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Amy is an active class member

Reflection - what these stories exemplify

exemplar wheel

Key competencies

Amy is showing increased confidence interacting with her peers (relating to others) across all aspects of her programme. Meaningful interactions are visible with a wider peer group. Amy is able to identify the needs of others – getting the balls for Petra at lunchtime, reading a story to Petra, and finding the matching pair for the staff. She can share in a two-way conversation with others – the shared humour with Karl over the book and talking about the contents of Emma’s lunch box.

In all of the stories, Amy had to recognise what was needed, whether it was sharing humour, encouraging Petra, passing the rainbow ring to Petra, or reading to Petra. Amy had to think about the context of the need and meet the need by managing herself.

How might these stories strengthen Amy’s identity as a learner?

It is evident from Amy’s learning stories that she is a sociable student who enjoys interacting with her peers. Through this interest (agency), Amy is able to practise and develop her social skills and continue to build positive relationships with others. Amy is able to interact meaningfully in a variety of situations (breadth) with a number of people (depth) and maintain it over time (continuity).

For more information on the four dimensions of agency, breadth, continuity, and depth (ABCDs), refer to Narrative assessment: a guide for teachers.

Learning areas

Level 1 health and physical education

In all of these learning stories, Amy is initiating the interaction with her peers. The learning is mainly in health education, within the health and physical education learning area but is being applied within the context of mathematics, language, and the arts.

Effective pedagogy

What does this tell us about teaching and learning in this setting?

The classroom programme provides Amy with plenty of opportunities to relate to and learn with her peers in meaningful contexts (facilitating shared learning). Even with one-on-one teacher aide support it is very important that peer relationships are meaningful. Allowing time within the programme for learning and practising Amy’s peer interactions is very important (providing sufficient opportunities to learn). The nature of the classroom environment facilitates peer interaction. All students are encouraged, through modelling, to be active classroom members, to think for themselves, to take the initiative with their own learning, and to help others with their learning too.

Reflective questions for the reader

“When a student has one-on-one support how do you facilitate peer interactions?”

“How do you decide when to ‘back away’?”

Useful resources

Ministry of Education. (2002). Kia tūtangata ai: supporting learning: an introductory resource for teacher-aides/kaiāwhina supporting teachers of students with special education needs.

Ministry of Education. (2008). Working with English Language Learners: A Handbook for Teacher Aides and Bilingual Tutors. Wellington: Ministry of Education.


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