Tag Archives: Cengage Learning

It took EIGHT to get going! Cengage Presentations…you grow as you go


This term I completed eight presentations for Cengage and it took EIGHT! Each presentation improved as my knowledge and understanding grew. Anyone who reads my blog knows I’m a constructivist and it takes a constructivist to be a presenter!

Feedback is a powerful teacher and the more constructive the better. It’s like any learning experience, you grow as you go. The difference between presentation 1 and 8 is measurable but that’s what learning does and should do!

I met some incredible educators and thank them not only for their attendance but for their enthusiasm at the end of a long teaching day! If I can show something that can expedite assessment and provide ongoing recommendations for future learning around a student’s point of need, educators listen. If I can talk about comprehension and show Cengage reading materials which are differentiated for students’ ability, beautifully presented, rich in content and have multiple copies I’m going to.

I want all students to have quality reading material which is engaging, current and cost effective for schools. Have a look and do the maths!

Cheers Nina

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Nelson Literacy Directions Comprehension Years 3-6 Sample: Planning Reading Comprehension- Example and some questions answered!

This post has been written to answer specific questions I’ve been receiving, so I thought I’d share some ideas I’ve collected here….

Each day I’m learning something different about this resource. It’s like peeling the skin off an orange and pulling apart the segments. (What strategy?)

Explicit Teaching: Learners need substantial guidance. Below is an example of how NLDC Digital Texts for Box 5 can be planned across the year, linking the 6 comprehension skills, focus reading strategies and different text types.

First: Gather data – PM Benchmark RAR – Use Software to expedite analysis

Lesson Structure

WHOLE – Launch / Whole Class Focus

PART – Modelled / Guided/ Reciprocal Teaching /Independent Reading/ Read Aloud / Literature Circles

WHOLE – Reflection / Sharing

NLD Comprehension Box 5 example to get us thinking… ????????????????????????????????????

Term 1. Whole Class focus


Text Type: Narrative (imaginative)

Focus Skill: Making Inferences

Comprehension Strategies Focus: Cause & Effect, Figurative Language, Main Points & Bigger Ideas & Problem/Solution

Digital Text: Amy’s Brainwave (You’ll be using other supporting texts e.g. Big Books as well )

Term Planning Outline: Text Type, Reading Skill & Comprehension Strategies Example

Term 1: Text Type Focus for Reading and Writing – Narrative

page 1

Assessment of students: Benchmark recommendations for future learning – form groups of students with similar reading ability and learning goals.

Example Group Spread: Assessed for Guided Reading – NLD9/10 These levels are correlated to PM Levels and Reading Ages

 Example Below – Part: Guided Reading- Text Selection: Reading Age 10.1-10.3

Page 3

Page 7

To add to the mix there is the NLD Directions Exemplar Cards and Big Books, levelled novels and Guided Reading Card box sets.

Hope this helps! Any thoughts?

Cheers Nina


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Assessment: Choose tools that will help you expedite this process!

‘the IB helps schools teaching the Primary Years Programme (PYP) to identify what students know, understand, can do and value at different stages in the teaching and learning process’

‘In the PYP, learning is viewed as a continuous journey, where teachers identify students’ needs and use assessment data to plan the next stage of their learning.’


Kunyung Primary School



Love this chart and it’s so relevant to what I’m doing!

Emma RAR

The above report provides recommendations for future learning: reading behaviours, retelling and comprehension at the students ‘point of need’. I can also print a report of what the student ‘knows, understands and can do’. Fantastic!

Expedite Analysis: Choose tools that will help you expedite this process. Angela Stockman

This is why I’m choosing to talk about the PM Benchmark RAR and digital software. We must have ‘point of need’ data to plan future learning goals and we need to teach! We have to know what our student’s understand, know and can do and our students need to be able to  demonstrate what they know and articulate their learning goals.

Balance is the key… assessment which supports future learning is what I’m about and when a benchmark reading system gives you what you need to set goals with a learner… I’m going to spread the word.

Cheers Nina

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READING: Two presentations complete and I’m still learning!

This week I presented the new PM Benchmark Reading Assessment RAR for Cengage Learning and other resources which support comprehension. I’ve always loved PM for many reasons. The PM Assessment RAR impresses me because it provides ‘point of need’ information. I’ve snipped a few of my slides to share here.

My first presentation was for a small group of teachers and I thank them for coming. I enjoyed chatting to them and ‘soaking up’ their commitment and passion for what they do!

My second presentation was to a much larger audience and I had the opportunity to speak to a number of them after the presentation. They were amazing and inspiring! Some were working in special education settings and I loved the commitment they had to maximizing the potential of all students.

Teacher Judgement and Student Learning: There will always be a need for teacher judgement. We know our students! Regardless, we must have accurate assessments to plan for future learning.

Teacher Judgement


I love the fact that the philosophy of PM starts with success and enjoyment. We want our students to love reading and understand what they’re reading at their point of need.

Core skills

These six core skills are the main skills and I’m saying it.  We need to unpack and build a deep understanding of what each means in terms of teaching and learning.


Given how busy teachers are we need to be…

blog effective

effective definition

Allocating our time carefully to make sure what we are doing will be effective in our classrooms is vital. Being constructive, productive can mean evaluating what we are doing and making changes.

How can it be used.

What I really love! This is just an example of a few future learning goals for a student I assessed. There is so much more! And the assessment and online RAR gives me this information about the student so I can plan. This is just a snippet…


Planning teams

Unpacking future learning goals in teams and what it means at different stages of reading is powerful and effective use of our time. The online program can have as many students as you want – whole school data.

I’ve snipped a copy of a document I’ve printed which will guide my future planning for this student. It contains recommended learning goals for reading behaviours, retelling and comprehension and I can also add my own. I’ve also printed a document which tells me what the student is doing. Effective!

Emma RAR

There are so many amazing resources which I’m loving which support comprehension!


Next week I’m in QLD! Above photo: Love the NLD Comprehension…

Tuesday 10/5 – Robina: Improving Comprehension Skills

Wednesday 11/5 – Camp Hill: Assessing and Teaching Reading Comprehension

Thursday 12/5 – PM Benchmark and New Digital Software

Cheers Nina



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Implementing Change in Teaching and Learning


There are many different versions of the above chart. When this, or a similar chart was introduced to me it gave me clarity around the issues needed to promote, implement and sustain change. The change could be minor or major, it doesn’t matter because the elements for any change need to be in place.

Simply, if one of the key drivers of ‘change’ isn’t in place, the outcome is detrimental to the overall success of a program etc.


When investigating something new e.g. a new program I need to think about these questions.

What do I know?

What do I want to know?

How will I find out?

What have I learned?

What action will I take?

What further questions do I have?

Once these questions are investigated and whatever is being changed is seen as valuable, then the implementing change chart is a fantastic reference point. Are the following key components of change in place?





Action Plan

During my years of teaching, particularly in my earlier days, I’ve seen a number of very worthwhile curriculum initiatives not get off the ground or disappear because one or more of the key drivers wasn’t in place. What could have and should have led to improved teaching and learning for students fell by the wayside.

Anyone impacted by change needs to share the vision, be mentored or professionally developed with the skills needed to implement the change/program, know the purpose/incentives i.e. improved learning for students, have the resources required, and a detailed plan to add to the resources overtime built into an action plan which directly addresses all key drivers.

The impact of not getting things right is detrimental to the sustainability and overall success of a program. It doesn’t mean that a program won’t happen, it will just not be as effective as it could be. I’ve experienced the false starts and frustration which happens when you know a program or resource is fantastic and you haven’t got it.

Quality resources are essential and can be addressed in an action plan, whole school planning, school budget and future planning. This year I’m presenting some resources for Cengage Learning  and I’m delighted to be able to do this. It’s a casual role which I’ve taken on because I love their resources and have been using and writing about them by choice for a number of years, and now I am able to show and explain them to teachers.

The new PM Benchmark Reading Assessment Resource RAR system is fantastic. This morning I’ve been playing with the online assessment tools. To complete the reading assessment and  have at the moment, point of need data for teachers and students to set their future learning goals is just going to save so much time and provide greater accuracy.

Student data, class data and school data can be accessed and exported for classroom and whole school planning. Most importantly the assessment goals can be unpacked by teachers in planning teams for Foundation to upper primary students. This is just one example of Cengage’s resources. Cengage are  publishers so they can respond to the needs of teachers.

Cheers Nina

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My PM Benchmark RAR Software Review…

PM and Mum's birthday 030 (2)

Today I viewed the PM Benchmark online assessment and its brilliant. Anyone who reads my blog knows that I’m always on the hunt for something that will make a teacher’s life easier and for me that means anything that will replace photocopying reams of sheets and endless filing.

I also believe there will be less teacher error when a student is reading at pace. I’m sure we’ve all had to ask a student to stop while we annotate. It happens! This program is very easy to use.  Error rates are calculated straight away and assessing errors is quick. The reporting features would enable class and cohort data to be quickly attained.

The PM Benchmark RAR Software is an annual, site licence subscription (365 days from date of purchase). Subscriptions are $200 for unlimited teacher access for an unlimited number of students.

Features include automation of assessment:

  • retelling
  • reading record
  • comprehension
  • miscue analysis
  • reading behaviors

The summary succinctly presents all facets of the assessment along with recommendations and a copy of the reading record.

Reporting features include:

  • individual progress graphs
  • customisable group reports and graphs
  • ability to export to Excel

Nelson Cengage Learning Website

Cheers Nina

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