Written response to text institute massachusetts department of education august 1 2 2007
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Written Response to Text Institute Massachusetts Department of Education August 1 & 2, 2007. Do not hire a man who does your work for money, but him who does it for love of it. Henry David Thoreau (1817 - 1862). Agenda Day One. Welcome and Overview

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Written Response to Text Institute

Massachusetts Department of Education

August 1 & 2, 2007


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Agenda Day One does it for love of it.

  • Welcome and Overview

  • Focusing on the Massachusetts English Language Arts Curriculum Framework

  • Grapes of Wrath

  • NCS Mentor

  • Lunch


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Agenda Day One (continued) does it for love of it.

  • Written Response to Narrative Text

  • Henry Hikes to Fitchburg

  • Written Response to Informational Text

  • Bone


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Agenda Day Two does it for love of it.

  • Meet in your core specific rooms

  • Harcourt Trophies

  • Led by Mary Ellen Caesar,Nicole Mancevice, Lenore Metter and Cathy Buendo

  • Peabody/Hawthorne

  • Houghton Mifflin

  • Led by Susan Kazeroid, Marybeth Keane, and Tracey Martineau

  • Presidents Room

  • Open Court and Scott Foresman Reading Street

  • Led by Kathleen Lord and Heidi Delisle

  • Walden One


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Agenda Day Two (continued) does it for love of it.

  • Meet in your core specific rooms

  • Scott Foresman, 2003 series

  • Led by Geri O’Brien

  • Emerson

  • Lunch

  • Work in groups to create written responses to text

  • Plenary Session

  • Debrief: Next steps for planning your instruction


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Objectives does it for love of it.

Revisit core selections with colleagues to identify important themes, concepts, and main ideas.

Construct written response questions that measure students’ understanding of these important elements and require text-based evidence to support their answer.

Develop scoring guidelines with expectations for accuracy, evidence from the text, and convey understanding.


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Cognitive Skills Related to Reading does it for love of it.

  • To guide your work as you create questions:

  • Three Levels:

  • Identify/Recall

  • Usually multiple choice, short-answer questions, answered with a phrase or a sentence

  • Infer/Analyze

  • Beginning of this in grade 3, but mostly grades 4 and up

  • Evaluate /Apply

  • Usually in upper grades


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Cognitive Skills Related to Reading does it for love of it. Turn & Talk

  • To what extent does your core program at grades K and 1 provide questions that you would label Level 2?

  • How often are students in grades 1-3 writing in response to reading, answering questions at Levels 2 and 3? Do teachers require their answers to include evidence from the selection?


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Performance Level Definitions does it for love of it. at Grade 3

  • Proficient on MCAS:

  • Comprehension

  • Understands concrete ideas and has a beginning awareness of implied ideas in grade-appropriate texts

  • Connects ideas within texts and provides basic supporting evidence

  • Above proficient

  • Demonstrates mastery of concrete ideas and a general awareness of implied ideas in grade-appropriate texts

  • Connects ideas within texts and provides substantial supporting evidence

  • MCAS Technical Report


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Performance Level Definitions does it for love of it. at Grades 4-8 and 10

  • Proficient on MCAS:

  • Comprehension

  • Demonstrates an understanding of many concrete ideas and most abstract or implied ideas in grade-appropriate texts

  • Connects ideas within texts and provides supporting evidence

  • Advanced

  • Demonstrates an in-depth understanding of concrete ideas and abstract ideas and complex meanings in in grade-appropriate texts

  • Connects complex ideas within texts and provides well-reasoned and well-supported arguments

  • MCAS Technical Report


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Large-Scale Assessment vs. does it for love of it. Classroom Assessment

  • The context of our work for the next two days:

  • Classroom assessment tests:

  • Usually a small amount of material

  • Tests a small familiar group of children

  • Tests students taught by the same teacher, using the same materials

  • Scoring is flexible

  • Teacher can clarify questions for students

  • Can use any type of questions


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Large-Scale Assessment vs. does it for love of it. Classroom Assessment

  • Whereas….

  • Large scale assessment

  • Tests all of the learning standards for a particular grade, a year’s worth of material

  • Tests virtually all students with entirely diverse backgrounds from all over the state

  • Tests about 70,000 students taught by different teachers using different curricula and materials

  • All written response questions are worth 4 points, MC worth 1 point

  • No clarification of test questions.


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Staying Focused on the ELA Framework does it for love of it.


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Grapes of Wrath does it for love of it.

  • Begin with the end in mind:

  • Massachusetts English Language Arts Curriculum Framework is recursive. Students at every grade level apply similar language skills and concepts as they use increasingly more complex materials. In this way, students build upon and refine their knowledge, gaining sophistication and independence as they grow.

  • ELA framework, page 2


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Grapes of Wrath does it for love of it.

  • Read selection silently

  • Read selection aloud

  • Review question

  • Review scoring guide

  • Read sample papers and scoring guidelines

  • Review Written Response template – it will serve as our model


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Grapes of Wrath does it for love of it. At your tables

  • Question begins with a quote and asks students to make an inference based on the characterization Steinbeck drew of Ma Joad.

  • How does Steinbeck describe Ma Joad physically?

  • How does Steinbeck describe Ma Joad’s role in thefamily?

  • What does Ma Joad know?


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Grapes of Wrath does it for love of it.

  • Scoring Guidelines:

  • 0 is irrelevant or incorrect

  • 1 is minimal statement about what Ma Joad knew

  • 2 is a partial explanation of what Ma Joad knew and how that knowledge influenced her actions.

  • 3 is an adequate explanation of what Ma Joad knew and how that knowledge influenced her actions. Includes supporting information from the excerpt

  • 4 is an insightful explanation of what Ma Joad knew and how that knowledge influenced her actions. Includes specific supporting information from the excerpt


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Grapes of Wrath does it for love of it.

  • Student work samples. Relevant part of the response is highlighted, and then an analysis follows each work sample.

  • 0 PAPER

  • No explanation, student recopied the question.

  • Irrelevant or inaccurate information.


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Grapes of Wrath does it for love of it.

  • 1 PAPER

  • Literal minimal explanation of what Ma Joad knew.

  • Ma Joad knew her son was home. She knew he might have broken out of jail.

  • The remainder of the response retells part of the excerpt, neither adds nor detracts from the score.


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Grapes of Wrath does it for love of it.

  • 2 PAPER

  • Partial understanding of the excerpt.

  • Ma Joad knew her son Tom was telling the truth about being home and having his parole papers.

  • Response focuses on emotions Tom was feeling rather than Ma Joad’s role in the family.

  • The reason he bit his lip was to hold back his emotion from his mother.

  • The remainder of the response is a detail from the plot that neither adds nor detracts from the score.


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Grapes of Wrath does it for love of it.

  • 3 PAPER

  • Demonstrates an adequate understanding of the excerpt.

  • A general explanation about Ma Joad knowing her family depends on her is provided. Ma Joad was the leader of her house she was the role model to all of her children.

  • There is some evidence that there is confusion about her reaction.

  • Her hand dropped because her stiff, tenseness loosened. Ma Joad had to make sure things were safe but then she knew they were, her control & comfort grew.


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Grapes of Wrath does it for love of it.

  • 4 PAPER

  • Demonstrates an insightful understanding of the excerpt.

  • An explanation about Ma Joad knowing that she provides her family’s emotional stability is given:

  • Ma Joad was “the citadel of the family: meaning that the entire family depended on her as a source of strength…she knew that if “she ever really wavered or despaired the family would fall.”

  • Clear connection to Tom and the scene where her arm drops: her outburst of emotion when Tom came back moved Tom so much that he bit his lip to restrain his emotions…she knows that for the sake of her family, she could not show any emotions.


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Grapes of Wrath does it for love of it. Turn & Talk

  • Reread the sample papers

  • What level of cognitive skill is required to answer this question?

  • What ideas must be connected in order to answer a 3 or a 4 on this question?

  • What evidence is found in the passage to support these ideas?


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NCS Mentor Overview does it for love of it.


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Henry Hikes to Fitchburg does it for love of it.

  • Read the selection silently

  • Read the selection aloud

  • Review the rubric and anchor papers

  • Score the student work samples


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Bone does it for love of it.

  • Read the selection silently

  • Read the selection aloud

  • Review the Written Response to text sheet

    • Identify the main idea

    • Identify the standard being measured

    • Read the written response question

    • Read the scoring guidelines to determine what needs to be included in a response


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Take a Moment does it for love of it.

  • Share one important idea or piece of information that you learned during the institute.

  • Take turns sharing with your colleagues at the table until time is called.


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Back at School does it for love of it.

  • With your colleagues at the table, please discuss the following questions.

    • What information do you need to share with the school principal?

    • What support do you need from the principal in order to disseminate the information?

    • What information do you need to share with your colleagues in the classroom?

    • How and when will you share this information with your colleagues initially? How and when will you follow-up?


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Survey of Technical Assistance does it for love of it. Interest & Needs

  • Part I

    • “I am confident in this area.”

    • “I would like some additional help in this area.”

    • “I would like a lot of additional help in this area.”

  • Part II

    • “This practice is in-place and fully implemented at my school.”

    • “This practice is partially implemented at my school.”

    • “This practice is not/minimally implemented at my school.”


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  • “You’ve learned the things you need does it for love of it. To pass that test and many more-I’m certain you’ll succeed.We’ve taught you that the earth is round,That red and white make pink,And something else that matters more-We’ve taught you how to think.”

  • (Suess & Prelutsky, 1998)