English Language Arts
ELA Test Prep - Middle School
ELA Test Guidelines from NY State Dept. of Ed
Exerpt from EngageNY
"In an effort to provide educators with as much support as possible regarding the instructional and assessment shifts necessitated by the Common Core, the Department has prepared 2014 Test Guides for each subject and grade.
The Grade 3–8 Common Core English Language Arts Test Guides will introduce several changes that differentiate the 2014 CCLS English Language Arts Tests from past New York State tests. Some of the important changes discussed in the 2014 English Language Arts Test Guides include:
- additional information about authentic passages
- the 2014 ELA tests will be split into 3 books administered across 3 days
- Day 2 will consist of one book with both multiple-choice and constructed response questions
- in Grades 5–8, Day 2 will have fewer passages and questions than Day 2 of the 2013 tests"
Click here to find the 2014 Educator Guides for ELA
Click on this Link for: New York State 2013 Grades 3-8 Common Core ELA Rubric and Scoring Turnkey Training
This is a PowerPoint presentation from a NY State training on scoring using the 2013 Rubric. This presentation includes scored examples of student writing.
Click here to find the Annotated 2013 3-8 ELA State Test Questions. These packets include readign passages, multiple choice questions, writing prompts and sample student responses. All portions are annotated with the explanation for the score.
Evaluating Data to Support ELA Test Preparation Planning
Instructions for Finding Your Item Analysis of the ELA Test in ARIS ARIS Directions.doc
Planning Small Group Instruction Using ARIS Data from 2012 Tests
Using Grade 5 Data Using ARIS Item Analysis from 2013 ELA Test - Grade 5.doc
Using Grade 6 Data Using ARIS Item Analysis from 2013 ELA Test - Grade 6.doc
Using Grade 7 Data Using ARIS Item Analysis from 2013 ELA Test - Grade 7.doc
Navigating ELA Prep Materials
The following lists support teachers in locating the lessons that support individual Common Core Standards
ELA Test Prep Unit Planning
Possible Structure for ELA Prep Unit -- Possible Unit Structure and Possible Daily Plan Structure Possible Schedule for an ELA Test Prep Unit.doc
Building Reading Volume and Stamina --
Planning for an Extended Reading Session Planning for a Day of Extended Reading.doc
Strategies for Building Reading Stamina Refresh Button.doc
Reading Log for Reading Stamina Days Reading Volume and Stamina Log.doc
Writing About Reading Cards (Using test language) Prompts for Writing about Reading.docx
Tips for Answering Multiple Choice Questions
Small Group Lessons/Games to Support ELA Test Prep.
2014 Use the Clues - Vocabulary game -- Use the Clues - Vocabulary game 2013.doc
2014 Candy Jar Game -- Central idea game -- Candy Jar Game - central idea.doc
2014 I Say... -- Developing familiarity and expertise in using test language -- Talk Cards - Test Language Practice.doc
2014 Match Game -- Matching Claims and Supporting Details Matching Claims to Supporting Details.doc
2014 Central Idea -- Distinguising between Central Idea choices that are too broad, too narrow and "just right" Central Idea Too Broad Too Narrow.doc
2014 Short-Response Small Group Lesson Short Answer Revision - Sweet Science - Grade 6 2013.doc
Preparing for the Writing Portions of the Test
Tips for Teaching the Short Response -- Short Response 2014.doc
Tips for Teaching the Extended Response -- Extended Response 2013.doc
CCSS Continuum -- This chart shows the development of each of the Literacy CCSS for grades K-12 highlighted for several of the power standards. This chart has been used to help with assessing student work. It may help with not only stating whether students are meeting grade level standards, but also with stating what standards the students are meeting. By doing this, it may be possible to look across the continuum to see the ways in which the expectations of each standard are lifted each year and imagine a teaching trajectory for lifting the level of student work. CCSS Continuum 2012-13.doc
The Continuum Record is an Excel Spreadsheet to help note student progress. This may aid with looking at student work in the fall to note where students are in relation to the standards and then again looking at how students are performing in the spring following the unit of study designed to lift student performance. CCSS Continuum - Record 3.xls
Argument Writing -- Annotated Student Samples -- These are pieces of student writing from the Common Core State Standards -- Appendix C. They have been color coded and annotated to help see precisly which writing moves are meeting which portions of the argument writing standards. These versions may be helpful as anchor texts when looking at student work and determining which writing moves are or are not meeting the grade level expectations.
Teachers are again recognizing the vital importance of fluency work in the ELA classroom. However, many teachers have been asking for alternatives to round-robin reading, because it only offers fluency practice to one student at a time and very little time at that. For a bit of information on round-robin reading and several alternatives
"You can't create, what you can't imagine." --Eloise Greenfield
Reading logs can be a powerful window into the reading lives of our students. We can study reading volume and stamina, reading rate, genre preference, author preference, and more. For a few tips on how to study reading logs and a few ideas of what to teach students based upon your findings: Studying Student Reading Logs.doc
Sample Reading Logs
Tips for Reading Conferences
Samples of Forms for Recording Conferring Notes
As many schools are reviewing the Common Core State Standards, they are considering revising some units of study and possibly adding in a few units. To help with this process of developing curriculum, I’ve created a list of professional resources that support unit planning for reading and writing instruction. For each of the units included, I’ve listed titles of professional resources and noted whether those books offer daily model lessons, a unit description with a few sample lessons or whether they offer an assortment of model lessons that could be organized into a unit of study.