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Modesto. Common Core Reading October 11, 2012. Performance Tasks.

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Common Core


October 11, 2012

Performance tasks

Performance Tasks

  • The main purpose of performance tasks (PT) is to address complex targets from multiple claims that require analytical thinking, evaluations, and support of students’ own responses to texts. The PTs provide a means for students to demonstrate the ability to think and to reason and to use higher- order thinking skills to provide the required evidence for multiple claims and targets. Students will produce either a full write text or present a speech which will be scored according to a rubric. These kinds of tasks demonstrate the Smarter Balanced intent to show evidence that students are ready for college or career.



Sample student work products

Sample Student Work Products

Also see p. 20 in Using Rigor and Relevance to Create Effective Instruction

Digging into the standards

Digging into the Standards

  • Divide into grade level groups to investigate the reading strand.

  • How does the grade span develop from one grade to another?

  • Identify the “step up” in task difficulty at each grade for the standards (Begin with Standard 9.)

Digging into the standards1

Digging into the Standards

  • Remember that each “step up” in task difficulty is matched by a “step up” in text complexity.

  • Select a recorder, reporter and time keeper

  • Record the step up on chart paper for your grade (20 minutes)

  • Teams report out and discussion the implications for their grade levels (20 minutes)

Standard 9 progression of difficulty

Standard 9 progression of difficulty

  • 1st – omitted “With prompting and support”

  • 2nd – added “most important” points

  • 3rd – added “and key details”

  • 4th – added “Integrate” … “in order to write or speak about the subject knowledgeably”

  • 5th – added “several” texts

Standard 8 progression of difficulty

Standard 8 progression of difficulty

  • 7 – “assessing whether the reasoning is sound and the evidence is relevant and sufficient to support the claim”

  • 8 – “recognize when irrelevant evidence is introduced”

  • 9-10 – “valid” reasoning; “identify false statements and fallacious reasoning”

  • 11-12 “seminal U. S. texts”; “constitutional principles and use of legal reasoning”; “premises, purposes, and arguments in works of public advocacy”


Overview of Text Complexity

  • Reading Standards include over exemplar texts (stories and literature, poetry, and informational texts) that illustrate appropriate level of complexity by grade

  • Text complexity is defined by:

Qualitative measures – levels of meaning, structure, language conventionality and clarity, and knowledge demands

Quantitative measures – readability and other scores of text complexity



Reader and Task – background knowledge of reader, motivation, interests, and complexity generated by tasks assigned

Reader and Task

Staircasing texts

Staircasing Texts

Toward CCR

Text at High End of Grade Band

End of Year

Text Between Middle and High End of

Grade Band

Text Near Middle of Grade Band

Text Between Low End and Middle of

Grade Band

Text at Low End of Grade Band

Beginning of Year

Selecting texts

Selecting Texts

  • Grade Level teams analyze text to be used in unit (Unit should include short and longer texts)

  • Using the Text Complexity tools determine the appropriateness of a text for your grade level

  • Additional time will be provided this afternoon for additional text analysis


Step 1: Qualitative Measures

  • Measures such as:

    • Levels of meaning

    • Levels of purpose

    • Structure

    • Organization

    • Language conventionality

    • Language clarity

    • Prior knowledge demands


SMARTER Balanced Assessment Consortia


Step 2: Quantitative Measures

  • Measures such as:

    • Word length

    • Word frequency

    • Word difficulty

    • Sentence length

    • Text length

    • Text cohesion

Text complexity grade bands and associated lexile ranges

Text Complexity Grade Bands and Associated Lexile Ranges

Lexile analyzer http www lexile com analyzer

Lexile Analyzer


Step 3: Reader and Task

  • Considerations such as:

  • Motivation

  • Knowledge and experience

  • Purpose for reading

  • Complexity of task assigned regarding text

  • Complexity of questions asked regarding text

Step 4 recommended placement

Step 4: Recommended Placement

Step 4: Recommended Placement

After reflecting upon all three legs of the text complexity model we can make a final recommendation of placement within a text and begin to document our thinking for future reference.

Text dependent questions

Text Dependent Questions

  • Step One: Identify the Core Understandings and Key Ideas of the Text

    • Design Backwards

    • What are the major points

    • Essential to designing good questions and a culminating assignment

Text dependent questions1

Text Dependent Questions

  • Step Two: Start Small to Build Confidence

    • Opening questions should be ones that help orientate students to the text

    • Be sufficiently specific enough for them to answer

    • Confidence to tackle more difficult questions later on.

Text dependent questions2

Text Dependent Questions

  • Step Three: Target Vocabulary and Text Structure

    • Key text structures

    • Academic words in the text that are connected to the key ideas and understandings, and

    • Craft questions that illuminate these connections

Text dependent questions3

Text Dependent Questions

  • Step Four: Tackle Tough Sections Head-on

    • Find the sections of the text that will present the greatest difficulty and craft questions that support students in mastering these sections (these could be sections with difficult syntax, particularly dense information, and tricky transitions or places that offer a variety of possible inferences).

Text dependent questions4

Text Dependent Questions

  • Step Five: Create Coherent Sequences of Text Dependent Questions

    • Questions should not be random but should build toward more coherent understanding and analysis to ensure that students learn to stay focused on the text to bring them to a gradual understanding of its meaning.

Text dependent questions5

Text Dependent Questions

  • Step Six: Identify the Standards That Are Being Addressed

  • Step Seven: Create the Culminating Assessment

    • (a) mastery of one or more of the standards

    • (b) involves writing, and

    • (c) is structured to be completed by students independently.

A close reading of lincoln s gettysburg address

A Close Reading of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address

  • section 1What’s at stake: a nation as a place and an idea

  • (1–2 days)

  • Section 1 Activities

  • Students first read Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address silently.

  • Teacher reads out loud, student follow along

  • Students re-read the first paragraph and translate it into their own words.

  • Teacher asks the class a small set of guiding questions about the first paragraph of Lincoln’s speech.

  • After the discussion, students rewrite their translation of Lincoln’s paragraph.

  • The teacher guides discussion of first line of second paragraph.

  • Wrap up.

A close reading of lincoln s gettysburg address1

A Close Reading of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address

  • In the first sentence, what does Lincoln tell us about this new nation?

  • “Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.”

Creating text based questions

Creating Text Based Questions

In small groups develop several questions that require close reading of the first paragraph of the Gettysburg Address

A close reading of lincoln s gettysburg address2

A Close Reading of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address

  • Guiding Questions:

    • What does Lincoln mean by “four score and seven years ago”? Who are “our fathers”?

    • What does conceived mean?

    • What does proposition mean?

    • What is he saying is significant about America? Is he saying that no one has been free or equal before? So what is new?

    • Sum up and gather what students have learned so far: have students summarize the three ways in which the nation is new.

Text dependent questions6

Text Dependent Questions

  • Close analytic reading of Lincoln’s “Gettysburg Address,” the following would not be text dependent questions:

  • Why did the North fight the civil war?

  • Have you ever been to a funeral or gravesite?

  • Lincoln says that the nation is dedicated to the proposition that “all men are created equal.” Why is equality an important value to promote?

Developing text based questions

Developing Text-Based Questions

  • Resource: http:/ for sample units

Question starters

Question Starters

Which sentence best emphasizes ___?

Which statement best supports ___?

Which is the most accurate statement ___?

Use details and information from the text ___?

Which fact provides the best evidence ___?

Which detail best illustrates ___?


Afternoon session

Afternoon Session

Developing a Unit

Developing a unit

Developing a Unit

  • Focus needs to address the Reading Strand

  • Develop Focus of Learning

  • Design Performance Task

  • Learning Activities

    • Select Text

    • Develop Text Based Questions

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