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CMT Parent Expo. Reaching High on the… Connecticut Mastery Test Language Arts Component Miss Rebecca Sabol, Language Arts Subject Area Leader Ms. Laura Khamarji, Reading Teacher. What is the Language Arts CMT?.

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cmt parent expo

CMT Parent Expo

Reaching High on the…

Connecticut Mastery Test

Language Arts Component

Miss Rebecca Sabol, Language Arts Subject Area Leader

Ms. Laura Khamarji, Reading Teacher

what is the language arts cmt
What is the Language Arts CMT?
  • The Fourth Generation of the Language Arts CMT is broken down into four areas of assessment:
        • Reading Comprehension
        • Degrees of Reading Power (DRP)
        • Editing and Revising
        • Direct Assessment of Writing
testing times for the cmt
Testing Times for the CMT
  • Reading Comprehension- 2 passages per session; two 45 minute sessions
  • DRP- 7 passages; 45 minutes
  • Editing and Revising- 4 passages; 60 minutes
  • Direct Assessment of Writing- 1 writing prompt; 45 minutes
reading comprehension
Reading Comprehension
  • The Reading Comprehension component of the CMT is based on the following Connecticut Language Arts Standards:
      • Forming a General Understanding(theme, main idea, story elements, summarizing, predicting)
      • Developing an Interpretation(author’s structure, author’s purpose, draw and support a conclusion)
      • Making Reader/text Connections(make connections between text and outside experiences)
      • Examining the Content and Structure(Literary Devices)
what kinds of questions are on the reading comprehension part of the cmt
What kinds of questions are on the Reading Comprehension part of the CMT?
  • Composed of roughly 22 multiple choice and 10 open-ended questions between the two testing sessions
  • Passages are authentic works of literature that represent Reading for Literary Experience, Reading for Information, and Reading to Perform a task
  • Word Counts per passage:
    • Grade 6 550-750 words
    • Grade 7 700-900 words
    • Grade 8 800-1000 words
What are some examples of questions I can ask my child at home while they are reading, that will help them on the CMT?
  • What is the article/story mainly about?
  • What important lesson does the main character learn?
  • What is the main character’s problem, and how is the problem solved?
  • How does the character change in the story?
  • What prediction do you have for the next event in the story?
  • What is the author’s purpose?
  • Which character in the story would you like to know and why?
  • Which part of the story was the most interesting and why?
  • Imagine that you were going to give a talk to your class about______. Using information from the story, write two important ideas that you would include in your speech.

(See CMT strand questions for more examples of test questions you can ask your child)

reading comprehension multiple choice examples
Reading Comprehension Multiple Choice Examples:
  • In paragraph 1 the author used a question to

a. introduce the topic of the article

b. state the main idea of the article

c. present the facts about Twain

d. compare Twain and Clemens

  • From the information in paragraphs 5 and 6, you can tell that

a. Twain’s wife persuaded him to move to Connecticut

b. Both Twain and his wife planned their house.

c. Twain enjoyed warming himself near the fireplace.

d. Twain liked reading his work out loud as much as writing it,

reading comprehension open ended examples
Reading Comprehension Open-Ended Examples:
  • The title of this article is “Mark Twain.” What could another title for it be? Support your answer with information from the article.
  • Write a brief paragraph summarizing the text.
  • Think about a person you know or have heard about who has had many different experiences. Using information from the article, explain how this person is or is not like Twain.
degrees of reading power drp
Degrees of Reading Power (DRP)
  • Measures reading as a process in which students attempt to make sense of the text that they read.
  • Consists of nonfiction passages on a variety of topics.
  • Words have been deleted and the students are asked to select the correct word out of a group of words for each deletion in the text.
  • Test measures student reading ability on a readability scale.
  • Multiple choice test
  • DRP scores can be used to identify books for a student to read at their reading ability level
sample drp question
Medieval craft guild were associations of men practicing the same trade. Guilds cared for members’ needs. They nursed sick members, buried dead ones, and found homes for the homeless. Sometimes business was bad or supplies were cut off. Many people were in danger of starving. But guild members were the last to___1___. The guild sustained them during hard times.

Guilds also set prices and monitored the distribution of raw materials. They governed the number of apprentices and workers that members could have. These controls prevented any member from becoming rich at another’s expense. So ____2_____were limited. In return, members were protected against ruinous competition.

1. O vote O suffer

O unite O advance

O finish

2. O sources O profits

O travelers O machines

O universities

Sample DRP Question:
editing and revising
Editing and Revising
  • Students read passages with errors and answer multiple-choice questions to indicate appropriate corrections.
  • Editing and Revising Skills Test Objectives:
        • Content, Organization and Tone (topic sentence, supporting details, chronological order, tone)
        • Revising: Syntax (fragments, run-on, awkward construction)
        • Revision: Word Choice (transition words, misplaced modifiers, redundancy of words)
        • Capitalization
        • Punctuation
sample editing and revising questions
Read sentence 3. It is poorly written.

Josh jumped up he grabbed the broom from the closet.

What is the best way to rewrite this sentence?

O Josh jumped up. He grabbed the broom from the closet.

O Josh jumped up, he grabbed the broom from the closet.

O Josh jumped. Up he grabbed the broom from the closet.

O Josh jumped up he grabbed. The broom from the closet.

Choose the word or phrase that BEST fits at the beginning of sentence 4.

O Since,

O However,

O Even though,

O In other words,

Sample Editing and Revising Questions:
direct assessment of writing
Direct Assessment of Writing
  • Students are given a prompt that they have 45 minutes to answer.
  • Students are assessed on a scale from 1-6. (see rubric) The prompts will be graded by two people and then the two scores will be added together for a final score.
  • Sixth graders will write an expository piece. Seventh and Eighth graders will write a persuasive piece.
sample writing prompts
Sample Writing Prompts:

Grade 6

What do you usually do on a weekend in the summer? What do you usually do on a weekend in the winter? Write a comparison of your weekend activities in the summer and winter.

sample writing prompts15
Sample Writing Prompts:

Grade 7

Your local school board has decided to lengthen the school day by one hour. What is your opinion on the best way to use this additional hour? Write a letter to your principal expressing your opinion on the best way to use the additional hour and presenting reasons that will convince the principal to agree with your position.

sample writing prompts16
Sample Writing Prompts:

Grade 8

There is a budget crunch at your middle school, and it is certain that many of the non-core classes and activities the school currently offers will be cut. All programs are in danger: sports, band, choir, computers club, drama club, debate and others.

Your principal wants to give students an opportunity to express their points of view about which extra curricular activities they think are more important.

Write an essay for your principal arguing why ONE of the extracurricular programs your school currently offers should continue to receive support, even if no other program can survive.

What has the staff at West Rocks Middle School been doing to help my child prepare for the Language Arts portion of the CMT?
  • All Related Arts teachers are reinforcing the skill of making connections (Strand C) in their classes through the study of non-fiction articles.
  • Support teachers provide small-group instruction to reinforce literacy skills.
  • Language Arts teachers are administering and reviewing
    • sample writing prompts
    • Editing and Revising and DRP workbook activities
    • CMT-like open-ended questions
    • Pre-tests and post-tests on CMT strands
  • We are tracking student performance on pre- and post-tests to plan and deliver small-group instruction on skills that were not mastered.
  • Science and Social Studies teachers are administering practice DRP exercises with readings from their content areas.
  • We have initiated a school-wide reading incentive program, the “Read Around the World Challenge”, to encourage students to read 15 or more books this year in a variety of genres, particularly non-fiction books.
how can i help my child prepare for the cmt
How can I help my child prepare for the CMT?
  • Encourage at least 20 minutes of reading every day. Have students read a variety of fiction and nonfiction texts.
  • Discuss what your child has read using the CMT strand open-ended questions handout.
  • Go over your child’s homework with him/her daily to check for understanding.
good luck
Good Luck!
  • West Rocks Middle School teachers wish all of our students good luck on the Connecticut Mastery Test in March.
  • If you have any questions, Ms. Sabol can be reached at, and Ms. Khamarji at You may also call us at (203) 899-2970.