PARCC Prep: How and Why to Analyze Reading Questions

LITERACY AND THE COMMON CORETests are a genre. We don’t have to do test prep 24/7, but we do need to ensure that our students are familiar with that genre. One way to do this with PARCC reading comprehension questions is to analyze the online PARCC Practice Tests and incorporate their verbiage into your normal reading practice (e.g., Do Nows and homework). Hint: Use data from interim assessments to target particular standards with the appropriate questions. For example, if data showed your 6th-graders were struggling with CCS RL1, RL4, and/or L6, you could give them more practice with questions like #1 in the example below.

Useful links:

Question # Question Stem Standard(s)
6th grade example: 1 A: What does the word ___ mean as it is used in the sentence?

B: Which sentence from the passage best supports the answer from Part A?

RL1, RL4, L6

To download a file containing this table, click on PARCC Prep Analysis of Reading Questions TABLE

Check out the TLC “PARCC Prep” page for additional resources!

Posted in Analyzing the Common Core Standards, Assessment(s), Comprehension, ELA Common Core Standards, Genre, PARCC, Professional Development, Questioning, Reading, Reading Informational Text, Reading Literature, Resources, Test Prep, TLC Website Resources, Using Data, Vocabulary in Context | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

User-Friendly PARCC Writing Rubrics!

LITERACY AND THE COMMON COREFans of this blog know that the most recent version of PARCC writing rubrics emerged on July 29, 2014 and I blogged about them here.  As you may have also noticed, their verbiage is a bit clumsy/wordy.  Today I streamlined them to make them more user-friendly.

Note: Other than removing superfluous words and the phrase “appropriate to the task” (which seems redundant), I’ve kept the content intact. I also converted the PDFs to Word documents (Thank you, Nitro!), so if you want to re-tweak them yourself, you can.

Here they are:

PARCC Grade 3 July 29 SIMPLIFIED Rubric Final

PARCC Grades 4-5 July 29 SIMPLIFIED Rubric Final

PARCC Grades 6-11 July 29 SIMPLIFIED Rubric Final

(PS: Thanks to my friends at Camden’s Promise Charter School for inspiring this effort!)

Posted in Assessment(s), Literary Analysis Writing, Narrative Writing, PARCC, Research Writing, Resources, Rubrics, TLC Website Resources, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

PARCC Prep: How to Approach the Narrative Writing Task

LITERACY AND THE COMMON COREWhile some folks might gloss over preparation for the PARCC Narrative Writing Task (thinking perhaps, Students know the elements of short stories and they know how to write a story; this should be relatively easy for them), this task is trickier than it might appear. It’s not just about writing a story. It’s about analyzing a story or novel excerpt FIRST, then writing a story based on that.

As Willy Loman might say, Attention must be paid.

Given what we can infer from the PARCC Online Practice Tests, the task typically requires students to analyze the characters and conflict before writing. Here are a few examples:

6th NARRATIVE WRITING TASK:Today you will read a passage from a story titled Magic Elizabeth. As you read, pay close attention to the characters as you answer the questions to prepare to write a narrative story of your own….

THEN: In the passage from Magic Elizabeth, the author creates a vivid setting and two distinct characters, Mrs. Chipley and Sally. Think about the details the author uses to establish the setting and the characters. Write an original story about what happens when Sally arrives at Aunt Sarah’s house. In your story, be sure to use what you have learned about the setting and the characters as you tell what happens next.

7th NARRATIVE WRITING TASK:Today, you will read a passage from a novel. As you read, you will gather information to prepare for writing an original story….

THEN: At the end of the passage, Howie tells Kevin that he is not making a good case. Write an original story that describes what Kevin does next to try to change Howie’s mind about paying for Cromwell’s training. In writing your story:

•       Consider what actions Kevin might take or what Kevin might say that would strengthen his case.

•       Be sure to use what you have learned about the setting, characters, and plot of the passage.

8th NARRATIVE WRITING TASK:Today you will read and answer questions on a story about a man seeking to complete an important mission. When you have finished reading and answering questions, you will write a narrative story using details from your reading….

THEN: Write a continuation of the story of Bahauddin Shah using details from the passage. Describe what you think might happen after Bahauddin Shah climbs out of the Salt Caverns. What obstacles might he face, and what actions might he take to overcome them?

Now, how can we best prepare students?

  1. Make sure students can identify the key elements of a story (e.g., characters, plot, setting, conflict, and point of view). One way for them to apply this understanding is to pull elements from a given story and insert them into the “Narrative Writing Pre-writing Organizer” on the TLC “Narrative Writing” page. Note: The “Somebody Wanted But So” approach at the bottom of the organizer shows how the conflict drives the plot.
  1. Train students to infer character traits and analyze characters. The “DDAT Organizer” and “Character Analysis Organizer” (and model) on the TLC “Analyzing Literature” page are handy for these purposes.
  1. Explain to students that in order to complete the PARCC Narrative Writing Task (which, PS, is one of many genres of writing we will do this year; we are not doing test prep 24/7, only making sure you’re ready for this task then moving on), they will need to analyze the given narrative, then carry it forward as the directions require. They should not write a completely random story.
  1. If the directions call for a story that follows from the original (as most do), then we need to read and annotate with the following questions in mind:
  • What do we know about the character? What are his/her dominant traits? What do we know about the character’s strengths and weaknesses?
  • What is the conflict, and how does it get resolved—or not? What lesson does the character learn? How will he/she see the world through different eyes?
  1. Next, as we prepare to write, we need to answer this question: What are the potential sources of conflict for a sequel? Here are some options:
  • The original conflict gets revisited by a “mirror” character, and the main character has to help the new character learn the original lesson. So, if The Grinch met someone who hated Christmas, he could help the new guy learn how and why to appreciate it.
  • The main character has to figure out how to apply the newly-learned lesson. Now that I have this different perspective, how am I going to behave differently? For example, now that The Grinch’s heart has expanded, how will he live his life differently?
  • If the conflict is not resolved, how might it continue? Note: This is the most common question to address because the text excerpts are often short and leave the conflict unresolved.
  1. Once we’ve chosen a source of conflict to pursue, we can pre-write using the TLC “Narrative Pre-writing Organizer.” Note: This organizer calls for two characters. You may have to modify your approach, depending on the excerpt you’re given.
  1. After some quick pre-writing, it’s time to write. Make sure students know about catchy hooks and how to format dialogue. I like to remind them that every new speaker gets his/her own paragraph (You want to talk? Get your OWN paragraph!). Students will also benefit from more nuanced discussions of how to build suspense, use sensory details, and carry the tone/mood forward.

For useful tools in literary analysis and writing, please check out the TLC “Analyzing Literature” and “Narrative Writing” pages. Also, of course, make sure you’ve reviewed the PARCC Online Practice Test(s) for the grade(s) you teach.

PS-Thanks to Nancy Coner at Great Oaks Charter School for helping me to think through these steps!

Posted in Annotation, Assessment(s), Character Analysis, Genre, Lesson-planning, Narrative Writing, PARCC, Reading Literature, Resources, Test Prep, TLC Website Resources, Uncategorized, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

PARCC Prep: How to Unpack Literary Analysis and Research Writing Prompts

LITERACY AND THE COMMON COREWhen it comes to test preparation, it’s a good idea to teach students to PARAPHRASE the directions. However, in the case of PARCC Literary Analysis and Research writing prompts, it will help even more to teach them to turn the directions into QUESTIONS. This approach makes it easier to respond to the prompt and helps ensure that students address every aspect of the prompt.

NOTE: The writing prompts appear in two places: first before the reading passages, then right before the space for writing. In the examples below, I indicate the break with “THEN” to show the different verbiage that students will encounter in those different places. I highly recommend training students to read BOTH PARTS of a prompt BEFORE READING so that they can annotate with the clearest sense of purpose.

Here are a few examples using PARCC Practice Test prompts.*

Grade 3 LITERARY ANALYSIS TASK:
Today, you will read two stories titled “Johnny Chuck Finds the Best Thing in the World” and “Me First.” As you read, think about the actions of the characters and the events of the stories. Answer the questions to help you write an essay….THEN: Old Mother West Wind and the Sandwitch both try to teach important lessons to characters in the stories. Write an essay that explains how Old Mother West Wind’s and the Sandwitch’s words and actions are important to the plots of the stories. Use what you learned about the characters to support your essay.

UNPACKED:

How are Old Mother West Wind’s and the Sandwitch’s words and actions important to the plot of the stories?   Explain with details from the stories.

Grade 4 RESEARCH TASK:

Today you will read two articles and watch a video about the survival of wild horses on Assateague Island in Maryland and Chincoteague Island in Virginia. As you review these sources, you will gather information and answer questions so that you can write an essay….

THEN: Your class has been studying about the survival of the ponies on Assateague Island. Using information from the articles and the video, describe the roles that both the horses and humans play in the horses’ survival. Use evidence from the articles and the video to support your answer.

UNPACKED:

How do the horses and humans help the horses survive? Explain, using evidence from the articles and the video to support your answer.

Grade 5 LITERARY ANALYSIS TASK:

Today you will analyze a passage from the novel Ida B and a passage from the novel Moon Over Manifest. As you read these texts, you will gather information and answer questions about the influence of the narrator’s point of view so you can write an essay….

THEN: The stories titled Ida B and Moon Over Manifest both include events that did not happen exactly how the narrators expected them to happen. Write an essay describing how each narrator’s point of view influenced how these events are described. Be sure to use details from both stories.

UNPACKED:

In both stories, things happen that the narrators did not anticipate.   In an essay, explain how both narrators’ points of view affected how they described what happened.

Grade 6 RESEARCH TASK:

Today you will research how zoos impact animals. You will read one article titled “The Stripes Will Survive.” Then you will read one passage titled “The Zoos Go Wild” and view one video titled “Lions at the National Zoo.” As you review these sources, you will gather information and answer questions about how zoos impact animals so you can write an essay….

THEN: You have read two texts and viewed one video that claim that the role of zoos is to protect animals. Write an essay that compares and contrasts the evidence each source uses to support this claim. Be sure to use evidence from all three sources to support your response.

UNPACKED:

In the two texts and video, how does each source support the claim that the role of zoos is to protect animals? Write an essay that includes evidence from each source.

Grade 7 RESEARCH TASK:

Today you will research electricity and consider some of the methods used in science texts and videos to support different purposes. First you will read a passage that explains some general principles of electricity. Next, you will watch a video about fun ways to learn about electricity circuits. Finally, you will read an article that explains how different materials conduct electricity. As you review these sources, think about the purpose of each and the role that explanations, demonstrations, and/or descriptions of experiments play in communicating that purpose. At the end of the task, you will be asked to write an essay….

THEN: You have learned about electricity by reading two articles, “Energy Story” and  “Conducting Solutions,” and viewing a video clip titled “Hands-on Science with Squishy Circuits.”

In an essay, compare the purposes of the three sources. Then analyze how each source uses explanations, demonstrations, or descriptions of experiments to help accomplish its purpose. Be sure to discuss important differences and similarities between the information gained from the video and the information provided in the articles. Support your response with evidence from each source.

UNPACKED:

In these three sources about electricity, what purpose does each source serve? What message does each convey? How does each source use explanations, demonstrations, or descriptions of experiments to convey its message?   Write an essay, providing evidence from each source to support your assertions.

Grade 8 LITERARY ANALYSIS TASK:

Today you will analyze passages from two novels. As you read these texts, you will gather information and answer questions about the characters and points of view so you can write an analytical essay….

THEN: In Confetti Girl and Tortilla Sun, the narrators have points of view different from those of their parents. Write an essay analyzing how these differences in points of view create tension in both stories. Remember to use details from both texts to support your ideas.

UNPACKED:

In these two passages, how do the differences in point of view between the narrators and their parents cause tension? Write an essay using details from both texts to support your explanations.

Grade 9 RESEARCH TASK:

Today you will research the development and one-time use of the atomic bomb. First you will read a passage from a speech by Robert Oppenheimer, the director of the Manhattan Project, under which the bomb was developed in Los Alamos, New Mexico. Then you will read a letter from a group of eminent scientists to President Harry S. Truman, asking him not to use the bomb. Finally you will read about President Truman and his decision to drop the bomb. As you review these sources, you will answer questions and gather information so that you can write an essay synthesizing what you have learned….

THEN: Write an essay that compares and contrasts a primary argument in each text that you have read regarding the decision to drop the atomic bomb. Your essay should explain how effectively you think each author supported that claim with reasoning and/or evidence. Be sure to use evidence from the three texts to support your ideas.

UNPACKED:

How does each of these three texts deal with the question of whether of not President Truman should have dropped the atomic bomb?   Write an essay in which you explain how well each author supported his argument with reasoning and/or evidence.   Be sure to quote from all three texts.

 

*PARCC Practice Tests can be found at:
http://parcc.pearson.com/practice-tests/english/

PS–Thanks to Daquan Mickens at Great Oaks Charter School for inspiring this post!

Posted in Assessment(s), ELA Common Core Standards, Evidence, Explanation, Lesson-planning, Literary Analysis Writing, Paraphrasing, PARCC, Questioning, Reading, Reading Informational Text, Reading Literature, Research Writing, Test Prep, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

COMMON CORE READING: Another Great Resource for Nonfiction Texts!

LITERACY AND THE COMMON COREIf you haven’t seen it yet, Newsela.com is a great resource for nonfiction texts (and quizzes). It’s FREE and it presents articles on a range of topics:

War and Peace
Science
Kids
Money
Law
Health
Arts
Sports

You can filter your search by grade level, reading standard, and whether the Newsela folks have designed a quiz for the article.

Even better, the system enables you to convert the articles INSTANTLY into higher or lower Lexiles so you can use them with any grade from 3-12.

Check it out!

Posted in Comprehension, Curriculum, ELA Common Core Standards, Lesson-planning, Main Idea, Nonfiction, PARCC, Reading, Reading Informational Text, Resources, Test Prep, Text Selection, Unit-planning | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

PARCC Preparation: Tackling the Research Writing Task

LITERACY AND THE COMMON COREIn many schools where I work, they have opted to divide the responsibilities for mastering the PARCC writing tasks: the ELA teachers own the narrative and literary analysis tasks; the Social Studies/Science teachers own the research writing tasks.

This post explains how to begin preparing students for the PARCC research writing task. Future posts will deal with the other two genres.

Materials you will need for this lesson series:

  • Generic Template for the research writing task for your grade level: Refer to the PARCC online practice tests, and see 7th-grade model below.
  • Sample Writing Prompt #1: You create this based on content your students are familiar with.
  • Sample Exemplary Response #1: You create this based on 2 texts and a video and a question you design, using the Generic Template. Note: You do not have to show students these texts and videos during the rollout described below, but you will obviously need them in order to write the exemplar. Also, depending on timing, you might want to model with these texts first, then use the #2 materials more for the “We Do” work.
  • Sample Writing Prompt #2: You create this based on current/forthcoming content.
  • Sample Exemplary Response #2: You can write this A) in advance for reference, B) on the spot with the students, or C) not at all: just have students write it. See below to decide.
  • First Text for Prompt #2: You select this based on current/forthcoming content.
  • Second Text for Prompt #2: ditto
  • Video for Prompt #2: ditto
  • PARCC Research Writing Task Rubric: See URL: http://www.parcconline.org/samples/ELA

and be sure you have the one that corresponds to the grade you teach (They are pitched to grades 3, 4-5, and 6-11).

Day 1:

  1. Show students Sample Writing Prompt #1 and note that it appears in two parts (preliminary language and a later elaboration).
  1. Show Sample Exemplary Response #1 so that students can see what the final product should look like.
  1. Show students the Generic Template for the research writing task for your grade level, noting that the language is predictable, so once they’ve seen a few of these, they will become more comfortable with the task.

Here is a generic template for grade 7 PARCC research writing task (pulled from the practice test and modified slightly to accommodate history content—URL: http://parcc.pearson.com/practice-tests/english/):

Today you will research _____________ [topic, e.g., Colonial Americans’ quest for freedom] and consider texts and videos to support different purposes. First you will read a passage that _____________. Next, you will watch a video clip about ______________. Finally, you will read a text that explains how ____________. As you review these sources, think about the purpose of each and the role that explanations, descriptions, and arguments play in communicating that purpose. At the end of the task, you will be asked to write an essay….
THEN: You have learned about _________ [topic, e.g., Colonial Americans’ quest for freedom] by reading two documents, ___________ and  ___________, and viewing a video clip titled ___________.

In an essay, compare the purposes of the three sources. Then analyze how each source uses explanations, descriptions, and arguments to help accomplish its purpose. Be sure to discuss important differences and similarities between the information gained from the video and the information provided in the texts. Support your response with evidence from each source and explain the evidence.

 

  1. Cross-reference the template with Sample Writing Prompt #1 so they can see where the generic language is. (Later, you might want to give them practice in writing their own prompts, using texts you’ve selected.)
  1. Make the pitch that it’s important to annotate the prompt so that we can annotate the text as we go and save time because then we won’t have to re-read each of the texts 4 times. Then model how to paraphrase/unpack the directions for Sample Writing Prompt #2. If time permits, dive into annotating the First Text for Prompt #2.

Day 2:

  1. Remind students that we annotated the prompt so that we can annotate the text as we go and save time because then we won’t have to re-read each of the texts 4 times. Then model how to annotate the First Text for Prompt #2. I recommend two steps, which can be done either at the same time or first one then the other:

Step #1: Electronically highlight the arguments/main ideas/topic sentences and relevant evidence. The online PARCC assessment includes a highlighting tool with four color choices. I recommend green for arguments (“Go forward with your argument; go green.”) and yellow for relevant evidence (because it’s bright and easy to see when skimming). Make the pitch that highlighting will enable students to skim quickly and find information they need to review when writing, so they won’t have to read every word of every text multiple times.

Step #2: Many research writing tasks require students to compare and contrast three different texts. Unfortunately, Venn diagrams are not well-suited to this purpose. Would you want students taking notes in a chart like this?

venn-3circle

 

Right. I didn’t think so. That’s why I created the following three-column chart. After students have taken notes on all three texts, they should go over their notes and put checkmarks next to any items that all three texts have in common. And then they can identify key differences and jot a few notes in those bottom boxes. So, on a blank piece of paper, they should create this chart:

Text 1 Text 2 Video
Key points
Key differences

Day 3:

Invite students to help you annotate the Second Text for Response #2 and take notes on the 3-column chart. Day 2 was about modeling (“I Do”). Now you can move into the “We Do” phase.

Day 4:

  1. Model how to analyze the Video for Response #2. Because it’s a different genre of text, you need to go back to “I Do.” Explain HOW to analyze video; do not assume students know what to look for or how to take notes on what they are looking at.
  1. Go through the notes and invite students to put checkmarks next to items that all three texts have in common. Then model how to add notes about important differences. Give students some guidance on how to determine “what’s important.”

Days 5-6:

  1. As you move into writing based on the notes, revisit Sample Exemplary Writing Response #1 and explain how the parts of that essay work (i.e., that the introduction responds to the question, includes a thesis, etc.). Invite students to help you explain how each part of the essay functions and let them critique the piece in relation to the PARCC Writing Rubric: What score would they give it, and why?
  1. Then you have several options: 1) Hand out your pre-created Sample Exemplary Response #2 and invite students to explain how it accomplishes the task and meets the criteria for the PARCC Writing Rubric. 2) Conduct the writing process as a “write-aloud,” inviting students to help you compose. 3) Let students try to write their own.

Subsequent Days:

What you do next will depend on your last decision. One thing is for certain: a major next step is to give students a fresh prompt and texts (including, of course, two nonfiction pieces of writing and one video clip) and let them work through the entire process on their own.

Please feel free to reach out to me if you have any thoughts, suggestions, or questions!

Cheers,
ST
sarahtantillo@literacycookbook.com

(PS—Thanks to Prudence Minton, Mike Mackenna, and Daquan Mickens at Great Oaks Charter School for their ideas and for pushing me to think this through!)

Posted in Annotation, Argument, Assessment(s), DBQ Approach, ELA Common Core Standards, Evidence, Explanation, Genre, Main Idea, Media Literacy, Nonfiction, PARCC, Research Writing, Resources, Rubrics, Skimming, Test Prep, Thesis Statements, Topic Sentences, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

COMMON CORE READING: A Solid Resource for Texts and Materials!

LITERACY AND THE COMMON COREPeople often ask me where they can find useful nonfiction and literary texts for use with their students. I am pleased to report that ReadWorks looks like an answer to that question.

Here is the link: http://www.readworks.org/rw/about

The resources are FREE.

Here is the blurb:

The non-profit ReadWorks is committed to solving the nation’s reading comprehension crisis by giving teachers the research-proven tools and support they need to improve the academic achievement of their students.

ReadWorks provides research-based units, lessons, and authentic, leveled non-fiction and literary passages directly to educators online, for free, to be shared broadly.

The ReadWorks curriculum is aligned to the Common Core State Standards and the standards of all 50 states. Most importantly, ReadWorks is faithful to the most effective research-proven instructional practices in reading comprehension.

(PS: Thanks to Prudence Minton at Great Oaks Charter School for this lead!)

Posted in Comprehension, Curriculum, ELA Common Core Standards, Lesson-planning, Nonfiction, Professional Development, Reading, Reading Informational Text, Reading Literature, Resources, Unit-planning | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

HOW TO PREPARE STUDENTS FOR PARCC WRITING TASKS

LITERACY AND THE COMMON COREIf you teach in a state that uses PARCC assessments, then you have probably already reviewed the PARCC Practice Tests, so you know that the writing tasks look like this:

6th grade ELA:LITERARY ANALYSIS TASK:

Today, you will read and think about the passage from the novel titled Boy’s Life and the fable “Emancipation: A Life Fable.” As you read these texts, you will gather information and answer questions about comparing themes and topics so you can write an essay….

THEN: You have read the passage from Boy’s Life and “Emancipation: A Life Fable.” Both texts develop the theme of freedom. Write an essay that compares and contrasts the approaches each text uses to develop the theme of freedom.

***

RESEARCH TASK:

Today you will research how zoos impact animals. You will read one article titled “The Stripes Will Survive.” Then you will read one passage titled “The Zoos Go Wild” and view one video titled “Lions at the National Zoo.” As you review these sources, you will gather information and answer questions about how zoos impact animals so you can write an essay….

THEN: You have read two texts and viewed one video that claim that the role of zoos is to protect animals. Write an essay that compares and contrasts the evidence each source uses to support this claim. Be sure to use evidence from all three sources to support your response.

***

NARRATIVE WRITING TASK:

Today you will read a passage from a story titled Magic Elizabeth. As you read, pay close attention to the characters as you answer the questions to prepare to write a narrative story of your own….

THEN: In the passage from Magic Elizabeth, the author creates a vivid setting and two distinct characters, Mrs. Chipley and Sally. Think about the details the author uses to establish the setting and the characters. Write an original story about what happens when Sally arrives at Aunt Sarah’s house. In your story, be sure to use what you have learned about the setting and the characters as you tell what happens next.

 

In short, in the Literary Analysis and Research tasks, students analyze multiple texts and synthesize their findings in essay form. In the Narrative task, they read one piece of literature then, typically, continue the plot, incorporating elements from the original.

So: how can we prepare students to succeed at these tasks? And by “we,” I don’t mean only English teachers. Social studies and science teachers should take responsibility for the Research Writing Tasks.

  1. Train students to read the writing prompt(s) FIRST (i.e., before they read the passages or the questions) and show them how to annotate the passages effectively. Make sure students know how to annotate differently for different genres. Students need to practice using the online annotation tools, which are merely highlighters, at this point, though perhaps the technology will evolve. Until then, students should also take notes on a separate piece of paper while reading on-screen passages to simulate PARCC online testing conditions. PS—There is nothing on the PARCC Website to suggest that students cannot use blank scrap paper, and quite honestly, I don’t know how anyone could do well on these tasks without writing some notes.
  2. Model how to work through the writing task(s). Teach pre-writing organizational strategies. Students need to know that how you pre-write depends on the genre. Not everything requires a Venn diagram!
  3. Engage students in guided practice. When selecting passages for practice, consider “old” passages (which students have previously read and demonstrated comprehension of) in the early stages so that students can concentrate on their writing skills and so that you can see where their writing strengths and weaknesses appear.  As you move into more independent practice, add “new” passages so that you can see how students handle the work when they have to decipher passages from scratch (especially texts of varying complexity). Keep moving toward “new” passages so that students will gain, ultimately, authentic practice in completing the assessment. Below are suggested progressions to illustrate this approach.

Gradual Release for Literary Analysis and Research Writing Tasks:

Who Does? Passage 1 Passage 2
I Do OLD OLD
We Do OLD OLD
You Do* OLD OLD
You Do OLD NEW
You Do NEW NEW

 

Gradual Release for Narrative Writing Tasks:

Who Does? Passage 1
I Do OLD
We Do OLD
You Do* OLD
You Do NEW
You Do NEW

*Depending on how things go, students might need additional “We Do” practice.

If you have any questions, comments, or thoughts about this post, please chime in!

Thanks,
ST

Posted in Annotation, Assessment(s), DBQ Approach, Literary Analysis Writing, Narrative Writing, PARCC, Research Writing, Resources, Test Prep, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

FREE WORKSHOPS ON UNPACKING THE ELA COMMON CORE STANDARDS!!!

LITERACY AND THE COMMON CORE

Next week I will be presenting FREE workshops at Barnes & Noble stores in Staten Island (NY), Eatontown (NJ), and Clifton (NJ).  The official title for these workshops is “Transforming Common Core Standards into RPM (Rigorous, Purposeful, Measurable) Units, Lessons, and Objectives.”

Here’s the blurb:

How can we write curriculum units and lessons that help our students meet and exceed the Common Core Standards? In this workshop, participants will analyze the Reading Standards for Informational Text and learn a process for unpacking the Common Core Standards that enables teachers to design RPM (Rigorous, Purposeful, Measurable) units, lessons, and objectives. Participants will practice this approach and take away practical ideas, handouts, and strategies that they can use immediately to accelerate student learning.

To register for any of these events, please see below:

Oct. 13, Staten Island (NY) Barnes & Noble
Details here: http://store-locator.barnesandnoble.com/event/4732718

Oct. 14, Monmouth Mall Barnes & Noble (Eatontown, NJ)
Details here: http://store-locator.barnesandnoble.com/event/4747173

Oct. 16, Clifton (NJ) Barnes & Noble
Details here: http://store-locator.barnesandnoble.com/event/4738441

I hope to see y’all there!

Cheers,
ST

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PARCC Update: NEW SESSION TESTING TIMES

LITERACY AND THE COMMON COREIf your state is using PARCC Assessments, please note that PARCC recently (on Sept. 25, 2014) updated the session testing times.

Check out this page for details: http://parcconline.org/update-session-times

Or you can download this PDF: PARCC – Spring 2015 Test Administration Update – 2014-09-29.

Also, this latest PARCC newsletter promises that new practice tests will be posted on the Practice Tests Web page “in the fall and winter.” Stay tuned!

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