New teacher evaluations. New state tests. New standards. The myriad educational changes may seem overwhelming at times, especially for teachers who are trying to juggle the typical demands of a classroom, all the while adjusting their instruction and practice to … Continue reading
Though this list is far from complete with every word a student may encounter, here’s a partial list of words that may put students in a better position when it comes to understanding the questions and directions on a standardized test:
• Analyze & Synthesize
• Compare & Contrast
• Cite evidence
• Summarize & Retell Continue reading
In this era of increased accountability for students, stress is a very real concern for our young test-takers. Text anxiety takes a toll on students, and sometimes this worry carries with it the potential to negatively impact their test performance as well. As a parent, you can help alleviate some of the anxiety by following these recommendations:
In the 2014-2015 school year, students across the country will be taking new standardized tests. Of the 45 states that will make this transition, students will either take the PARCC Assessment, or the SMARTER Balanced Asessment: both will be aligned with the Common Core Standards. Continue reading
With the introduction of the Common Core Standards, school districts across the country have had to adjust their curriculum, testing procedures, and teaching methodologies. With change comes uncertainty, and the stress of the unknown carries with it the potential to affect all involved parties… including students.
As a parent, you may sense the differences – especially if you have more than one child who has gone through the same school. You may have noticed that even with the same teacher, requirements and expectations may have shifted over the past few years in response to the Common Core. Though these changes, left unchecked, can create stress for teachers and students alike, there are ways that you, as a parent, can help your child navigate any potential challenges as she or he faces more rigorous assignments, expectations, and criteria… Continue reading
Though the questions themselves may look similar to the questions teachers and students are familiar with on the current NJ ASK, the new PARCC assessment will introduce some novel formatting and response techniques that will increase the rigor of standardized testing.
This week we will investigate sample questions for Mathematics to highlight the major differences between the NJ ASK and PARCC. Please note that while the questions below are based on sample questions for Grade 3, this discussion applies to all grade levels, as the test format, computer skills that students will need, and the philosophy in creating the questions are similar — regardless of grade level, mathematical content, or task complexity… Continue reading
Over the past two weeks, we’ve taken a deeper look at sample questions for two of the sections of the ELA PARCC Assessment: the Narrative Writing and Literary Analysis tasks. This week, we will investigate the differences and advances between the NJ ASK and PARCC with respect to the third section of the English Language Arts/Literacy assessment: the Research Simulation Task.
This portion of the test is designed to assess students’ college- and career-readiness skills – skills including “observation, deduction, and the proper use and evaluation of evidence… Continue reading
Beginning in 2014, students will take the PARCC assessment in lieu of the NJ ASK standardized test. For English Language Arts/Literacy, there are three parts to the test: the narrative writing, literary analysis, and the research simulation tasks. Last week’s post analyzed the key differences and advances between the NJ ASK and PARCC for the narrative writing component. This week, we will unpack the literary analysis portion to give you an idea of what this will mean for you as a teacher, administrator or parent.
The Literary Analysis Task
This section of the assessment will include seven questions: six of them are going to be either an Evidence-Based Selected Response (EBSR) or Technology-Enhanced… Continue reading
The upcoming PARCC assessment for ELA will continue to ask students to read passages, answer follow-up questions, and complete writing tasks. However, with this new generation of standardized tests, the format and complexity of those questions will be taken to a new level.
This week we will look at one portion of the ELA assessment – the section that focuses on narrative writing (following the reading of a fictional passage) for Grade 6. While this set of samples is grade-specific, the rationale in creating the questions, the format, and the prerequisite technological skills is universal, regardless of the grade. Three key shifts in the PARCC for ELA are as follows… Continue reading
The Common Core Standards require that “by the end of the year, [the student will] read and comprehend literature [and informational text] with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range” (www.corestandards.org). Along with this standard are other related objectives that require active reading skills.
How, then, can we promote active reading among our students? The suggestions below will help students to think critically and slow down their reading (when appropriate) to better comprehend the text. In addition, these suggestions tie into the Common Core reading standards – for both informational literature and fiction… Continue reading
Between the Common Core State Standards and corresponding PARCC assessment (which will eventually be in lieu of the New Jersey ASK test), students are required to read more complex texts and answer questions that require a higher degree of critical thinking skills.
To help your child become more comfortable with the increased rigor in reading, there are some simple steps that you can take, such as:
Read What Your Child Reads
– Simply spend some time getting to know what your child is reading, whether it’s required for class or an independent novel. This will allow you to discuss the content with your child and gauge how well he or she comprehends the text… Continue reading