Additional literacy and numeracy education a continuing success

Year 8 students getting involved in the "balance" program.
Year 8 students getting involved in the "balance" program.

The second round of Bulahdelah additional literacy and numeracy customised education (BALANCE) commenced on the first day of term two, with a new cohort of Year 7, 8 and 9 students exploring making connections in literacy and fractions in numeracy.

Program co-ordinator, Kim Rigley said students are encouraged to use their existing knowledge and experiences, prior learning and creative thinking in literacy to help them recognise the links to and between different texts, themselves and the world.

“Students participate in group discussions following on from the short text read in class,” she said.

“Prompts are used to encourage students to follow their pathway of thinking and share it with the group.

“These discussions have revealed a variety of interesting connections made with the given text, a related text, and even unrelated texts.

“In some cases they have also lead to unforeseen, yet inspiring and informative group discussions.

“Students are learning that they can use other sources, experiences and knowledge to help build upon their understanding of a new topic or area of learning, giving them a more detailed view on life.”

As for numeracy, students have commenced their exploration of fractions and the general concepts of math as they are practiced in everyday life.

“Students have discovered fractions can be related to time, money, measurement, probability, and in the preparation of food, the latter being the most important, according to many students,” Kim explained.

“By relating these real-life everyday actions to math, it is the intention of BALANCE to make math relevant, meaningful and practical in answer to the age old question, “When am I going to use this in life?”

“Students are seeing math in action as they read the clock face, break down their day into its key elements, increase or decrease a recipe, or even play with lego.”

The current classes are at the halfway point already and students will continue to apply their new and existing knowledge to help them gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of the topic in preparation for their future real-life responsibilities.