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Reading Test Success

Teacher Resources

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Instructions
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Inference
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Teacher Resources

 

Introduction - "Reading Testing Success" is a course designed for eighth grade students to ensure mastery of skills previously taught and prepare for end of grade testing, as well as ninth grade success.  This course will review what students have learned about reading skills and literary elements.  The focus will be, specifically, on identifying the prompts for these skills within reading passages and questions and then utilizing prior knowledge and testing strategies to determine the best answer.  It will help students in the areas of cognition, critical stance, interpretation, and connections. 

 

Aim“Reading Test Success” refreshes learners’ knowledge of reading skills and teaches them testing strategies to help them perform better on testing.

 

Rationale - "Reading Test Success" Rationale - Several gateway year students (namely eighth graders) have a grave concern, if not trepidation about performing well on end of grade tests and being prepared for the next grade level.  Their concern is justified.  Yearly, schools across America are reporting test scores that fall below average, many failing.  Many schools do not meet their AYP, and test scores have a lot to do with this.  Everyone related to education has a vested interest in test success - students, parents, teachers, administrators, school districts, communities, politicians, and even the president (as evidenced by the creation of the No Child Left Behind Act).

    By refreshing information that has been taught throughout the year prior to testing, teachers can greatly improve the level of comfort students have as they approach annual testing.  In addition, teaching students test taking strategies within the subject specific content areas can only serve to build students' confidence and improve test scores.  Not only is this a benefit as far as test scores are concerned, but delivering a course such as "Reading Test Success"  can improve student success as they transition to the next grade level.  Completion of this course will ensure that critical skills and concepts have not been missed due to transfer to another school, extended absences, or student inattention.  It give them a "second chance" of sorts - another opportunity to master information and perform sufficiently in their academic careers.

 

Learners - eighth grade Language Arts students

 

PrerequisitesPrior to taking this course, students should have an understanding of Author’s Purpose, Inference, and Main Idea.  In addition, students should have previously taken some sort of standardized testing, preferably the end of grade benchmark.  Students must also be familiar with operating a computer mouse and navigating a web page.

 

Subject Matter The subject of the course includes recognizing and applying knowledge of graphic organizers, metaphor and simile, synonyms and analogy, tone and emotion, author's purpose and critique, allusion / inference / prediction / foreshadowing / flashback, sources of information, problem / solution, symbolism, main idea, generalizations, different genre characteristics, eliminating choices, following directions, supporting information / detail, and question - answer relationship.

 

Goals and Objectives 

 

After completion of this course and the culminating final project, students will be able to:

 

1.)  identify prompts within questions, leading to correct answer choices.

2.)  determine what type of information each prompt / question seeks, leading to correct answer choices.

3.)  utilize knowledge of reading skills and literary elements to comprehend reading passages and other information (graphs, charts, organizers, etc...), leading to correct answer choices.

4.)  examine the information retrieved for prompts and eliminate answer choices that do not confer with prior knowledge, leading to correct answer choices.

5.)  choose the best answers to test questions, as evidenced by higher test scores.

6.)  understand the process of creating questions based on learning objectives, demonstrated by satisfactory sample tests created by the students.

7.)  relate to educational instructors through participation in a sample lecture derived from the information they collect about testing strategies involving reading skills and literary elements.

 

Instructional Plan 

Preparation

Give a basic review of reading skills and literary elements terminology to be examined.  Students will be asked to define and create a KWL chart of the literary topics of the curriculum web.  Make sure to highlight the posters in the classroom that cover these specific topics as the students recall the information.  Any information that is not mentioned and listed on the graphic organizer should be emphasized by the teacher before beginning the computer based learning.  Two days of lecture will be devoted to viewing the testing strategies that students will use on example tests for each literary topic.  Be sure to assess proper understanding of:  eliminating choices, following directions, and question - answer relationship.

 

Overview of Plan

This module is designed to achieve two goals in four weeks.  The first goal is to serve as a refresher of literary content and the second, to teach students new testing strategies.  To this end, students will research all three topics listed on the web site by using the links provided (author's purpose, main idea, problem / solution) and collect notes on important information.  One week will be dedicated to this activity.  This will include the two day lecture on testing strategies provided to students by the teacher.  Student will need to take notes on this lecture as well.  Students will be given a format for note taking for uniformity.  The notes will be assessed as a portion of the final grade, using a rubric.  Students will work individually at first to gather information and complete the example activities listed after each topic's lesson.  Students will be allowed one week to complete all example activities and browse the textbook list of works.  The completed activities will be another portion of the final grade.  Later, students will come together in groups of 4-6 members to complete the final project.  The project consists of 1.)  an actual presentation / lecture covering their assigned topic and 2.) a sample test covering their assigned literary topics, utilizing the testing strategies taught.  Two weeks will be allowed (one week for the lecture presentation and one week for test creation) for the final project.

 

Teacher Instructions

- Divide each class period into groups of 4-6 for the final project.  Remind students of the value of working together to achieve a common goal.  Students will assess other group members at the end of the project.  Each student's rating will be considered as a part of the participation grade.

- List the duties for each group.  In the final project students will serve in one of the following capacities:

Media specialist - responsible for visual presentation including all graphics (preferably 2 students)

Group Leader / speaker - responsible for actually presenting the lecture and helping each member with duties.  The leader will also coordinate any additional assistance or items needed for the team.

Test Coordinator - although all students in the group contribute to creating the questions (which may not be the same questions used as examples on the curriculum web site), the coordinator's job is to provide the layout, sequence, and final product of the sample test (preferably two students)

Task Master - will keep a file of all information collected by the group, keeping record of each team meeting, and keeping the team to schedule.  If the team requires additional research, the task master will be responsible for its collection.  This assumes that each student's notes are sufficient according to the rubric.

 

Expansion

As an optional add-on to this module, students may sign up to receive instruction from the technology instructor on creating a presentation (Word, Excel, Power Point, etc...).  Once the group has gathered all information and agreed upon a clear vision for the final presentation, the instructor will offer two days to help students put the information into a visual format using computer software.  This is an option that students must sign up for.  The entire group must attend even though the media specialists are ultimately responsible for the final product.

 

 

Materials 

  • An Internet-linked computer with a web browser
  • The “Reading Test Success” course, found at http://masseyboggan.tripod.com/
  • A printer for completion of practice pages
  • Access to school computer lab and equipment (LCD, overhead, etc…)
  • Materials for visual displays – markers, white-board, construction paper, crayons, pens, pencils, foam board, etc.

 

 

 

 

Assessment and Evaluation

Assessment Plan

 

Each student will be assessed in three major areas:

  1. Topic example quizzes
  2. Notes taken from each topic and the two day testing strategy lecture
  3. The final project, consisting of:
    1. The group presentation
    2. The group’s sample quiz
    3. Group participation rating

 

The criteria for measuring mastery on the example quizzes will be getting 3 of the 5 questions correct for each example quiz.

 

The criteria for evaluating the notes will be the following rubric:

 

 

Main Idea

Neatness

Proper Format

Paraphrase

Excellent

Includes all important ideas

Neatly written

Follows proper format – 0 errors

Totally written in own words

Above Avg.

Includes most…

Neatly written

Follows proper format – 0 errors

Mostly written in own words

Average

Includes most…

Fairly neatly written

Follows  mostly proper format – 1-2 errors

Own words present

Insufficient

Includes few…

Sloppy writing

Improper format – 3 or more errors

Notes not written in own words

 

 

The criteria for evaluating the final project is a rubric for each of the following areas:

Presentation

 

Interesting

Quality Visuals

Included Main Ideas

Easy to follow

Tool for assessment of understanding

Excellent

6

6

6

6

6

Above Avg.

4

4

4

4

4

Average

2

2

2

2

2

Insufficient

1

1

1

1

1

TOTAL POINTS - 30

 

 

 

Sample Test

 

Utilizes testing strategies

Questions are relevant to reading

Sufficient # of questions

At least are higher level questions

Excellent

7.5

7.5

7.5

7.5

Above Avg.

5.5

5.5

5.5

5.5

Average

3.5

3.5

3.5

3.5

Insufficient

1.5

1.5

1.5

1.5

TOTAL POINTS – 30

 

For the group participation are of the final project, surveys will be completed by each group member.  Self evaluation is included in the final assessment.  There are a total of five questions worth eight points each (40 pt total).  The instructor will apply the ratings based on the scale selected by the group members.  An example of the survey is below.

 

Rate each group member including yourself in the following areas.  Circle the letter of the frequency that applies.  A – always, S – sometimes, N - never:

 

 

Present / active participant each group meeting

Completed assigned duty

Turned in information on time

Cooperative – not distracting or off task

Tom

A      S      N

A      S      N

A      S      N

A      S      N

Jane

A      S      N

A      S      N

A      S      N

A      S      N

Harry

A      S      N

A      S      N

A      S      N

A      S      N

Sally

A      S      N

A      S      N

A      S      N

A      S      N

 

If there was a group member that you felt went above and beyond the normal call of duty (helped with a duty that was someone else’s), please name the student and describe their efforts briefly:  __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Resources

 

 

Curriculum Webs:  A practical Guide to Weaving the Web into Teaching and Learning, Second Edition by Craig A. Cunningham and Mary Billingsley.  Published by Allyn and Bacon.  Copyright @ 2006, 2003 by Pearson Education, Inc.

 

Glencoe Literature:  The Reader’s Choice and accompanying Workbook.  Published by McGraw-Hill, New York, New York.  Copyright @ 2000 by McGraw-Hill.

 

Harcourt School Publishers Skill Activity.  www.harcourtschool.com.activity/book_buddy/book/rosie/skill_pre.html.  April 2006