- Program Considerations
- Classroom Strategies
- Levels of ESL Literacy
By Julia | Tuesday, December 13, 2011 at 1:50 pm
Program:Community orientation and participation ESL literacy programs
CLB Literacy Phase :
Where:Bow Valley College
Who:ESL Literacy Program
The numeracy sale project involves having students from the Foundation level to Phase II levels participate in a sale to practice and apply their numeracy skills in an authentic and relevant setting.
- Numeracy strategies : understand money concepts, identify coins and bills, count coins and bills, estimate value of items, recognize and use money symbols, write price on labels, apply and perform addition and subtraction operations, count out change to customers, fill out a receipt.
- Learning strategies: understand patterns and groups, sort items into similar categories.
- Literacy strategies: apply reading strategies by using vocabulary connected to money
- Writing strategies: write price of items and label item, fill out a receipt
The sale is to provide an authentic setting in which learners can apply the numeracy skills they have learned in the classroom. The learners not only get to use their listening, speaking, reading and writing skills related to money in a relevant situation, they also have fun interacting with each other in an unstructured activity. Because learners are involved in the process from the beginning to the end, thesales activity becomes more meaningful. Another purpose of the sale is to donate the money made from the sale to the student emergency fund. The students are therefore involved in a fundraising event which develops their community/cultural awareness.
1. Ask teachers to donate small household items, children’s toys, books or clothing, jewellery, etc.
2. Have foundation level students sort items into categories.
3. Distribute sorted items amongst learners and have them decide on the value of the item, write the price for the item, and label the item.
4. Put the learners into teams of 3 or 4 with each team consisting of a salesperson, a cashier and a supervisor. (for example, beginner learner can be the salesperson telling the customer the price or count the money, second student can add the total and give change, the supervisor can check the total and write the receipt. ( Have the team of students practice working together prior to the sale)
5. Make a schedule for each class participating in the sale so that each student has the opportunity to be both the shopper and the seller. (student can first be the shopper and come back later to work in the sales team or vice versa.)
6. Take photos or video tape the sale. Teachers can use it to assess the students and students can see how they performed.
7. After the sale, with the higher level class, put students into groups and have one group count and roll up all the pennies, another group the nickels, etc. Then each group write their amounts on the board onto a teacher created chart and the students add up the total together as a class.
Assessment: After the sale, teachers can talk about the sale with their learners and ask what they bought and how much they paid.
The learners have to report orally the price and say the name of the items they bought. The teacher can also make a chart for learners to write the name of the items they bought and the prices.
The video tape or photos of the sale can allow teachers to assess specific skills of students. Students can also re-tell and write a language experience story.
It was always rewarding to see the different literacy level students work together and have fun. The sale developed the learners’ self esteem as well as their numeracy skills. I observed some students who were normally quiet in the classroom actively engaged in the sale transaction. Most students were born shoppers and eagerly bartered or solicited customers. Many of the students were very savvy shoppers because they had markets in their countries and they revelled in getting good deals. Sometimes, we had to limit students to the number of items they could purchase as we did not want them to get carried away with their enthusiasm.
A good time to have this sale is around spring. The reason is that it is easier to ask people to donate items when they are doing spring clean up at home. I have also done the sale before Christmas and have people donate their unwanted or used Christmas ornaments and decorations. This way, the students can get Christmas items they can use at home for their Christmas holidays. It is also a good way for students to get inexpensive presents for their families. One suggestion is not to have electronic items or items requiring batteries as it’s a hassle to determine if the item works or not.