Reading & Writing Continuums Alive and Kicking

Glenn has created one Reading & Writing Continuum Book for his class. He uses this book as his focus for regular conferencing by writing anecdotal notes and ticking continuum descriptors as it becomes clear that they are true for his students.



Chad also uses a simple book to record movement along the continuums and to write anecdotal notes. However, he has gone one step further in order to increase student involvement and awareness of the continuum. As you can see in the pictures above, 5CW have a large, interactive version of both the reading and writing continuum on display in their classroom. They monitor their placing and movement along the continuum by placing a laminated photograph on the continuum itself.This is a fantastic idea as it “destigmatizes” assessments, creates a culture of academic honesty and helps students to see how assessments are all about where you’ve come from and where you’re heading.

I was chatting with Kyla and Cassie about setting this up in 6SS and we thought it would be amazing to have two sets of photos for each student, one that shows where they are with English and another to show where they are in their mother tongue. We’ll let you know how that goes!


  1. Cristina

    I love the idea!
    I used a different continuum last year with my 1st graders: What Kind of Reader Are You? and they would post their names on the continuum. It was not this complex though.
    May I steal your fantastic concept? 😀

  2. wkirkwood

    Actually showing where kids are along a continuum is an awesome idea. It not only shows the kids where they are up to but also makes them more aware of the continuum itself. This provides them with a details knowledge of the continuum and also provides them with the vocabulary to talk about their development.

    Great idea

    • Mr. Sam

      I agree. It’s this kind of openness about assessment that fosters a culture of academic honesty in a classroom and sets kids up for genuine involvement in their own development.

      Why are we so traditionally scared of making assessment data public?

      What other methods of being open about it are being used out there?

  3. Kyla

    By plotting both the stage the student is at in English as well as in their first language (if applicable) will not only empower the ELLs in a public forum but also give teachers insight into a whole new range of valuable information. BCH has had the continuum translated into most languages taught at NIST. Perhaps it will be a way of truly working collaboratively with our WL teachers valuing our students’ mother-tongue using a shared tool of common understanding. Exciting!

    • Mr. Sam

      Yes, I think it’s a cool idea too… so empowering for ESL students to see that we value “where they’re at” in their mother tongue.

  4. Chris

    It is exciting to see the connection between Year 1 across to Year 3. Cristina the ideas you have in the classroom provide such a strong foundation for what we are working on. Wow! Interesting idea with the BCH in different languages. It would be very empowering for them.

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