Sunday, May 20, 2012

How to Pass State Writing Test

How to Pass any State Writing Test: Tips on
Passing Writing Test Grades 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 

State standardized writing test are divided into two parts:
Writing test part one | Response to a prompt
Writing test part two | Multiple choice English Language Arts test

Students mast have time to prepare for state writing test, so if you are studying the night before your test, you need to study the ELA tier 3 academic testing vocabulary.

The fastest way to prepare for the multiple choice English Language Arts portion of the test is playing games.
Reading / ELA Vocabulary Games

Students must practice using a systematic graphic organizer that covers expository, persuasive, and or narrative writing. Students must also learn the critical tier 3 vocabulary that they will find on the multiple choice section of the writing test.

I use a STEAL Characterization chart to enhance the students understanding of the structures of writing whenever possible and to prepare students for state testing. My students have to take three normed writing assessment every year. Teaching them to use a systematic graphic organizer and sorry to say formulaic writing process has gained my students some of the highest writing scores in the state! Our class has the highest number of students that exceed and meets compared to other Title one schools. The past 4 years my students have had an amazing passing rate of 94% on state writing test. I also expose my students daily to the academic writing vocabulary.

Types of Writing Test

Narrative writing is a constructive format that describes a sequence of non-fictional or fictional events in a story. The word "story" may be used as a synonym of "narrative", but can also be used to refer to the sequence of events described in a narrative. A narrative can also be told by a character within a larger narrative.

Expository writing is a type of writing where the purpose is to inform, describe, explain, or define the author's subject to the reader. Expository text is meant to deposit information and is the most frequently used type of writing by students in colleges, high schools, middle schools, elementary schools and universities. A well-written exposition remains focused on its topic and lists events in chronological order. Examples of expository writing include driving directions and instructions on performing a task. Key words such as first, after, next, then, last, before that, and usually signal sequential writing. Second-person instructions with "you" are acceptable.However, the use of first-person pronouns should be avoided ( For example, I, I think etc...). Expository essays should not reveal the opinion of the writer.

Persuasive writing, also referred to as a creative writing or an argument, is a piece of writing in which the writer uses words to convince the reader of his/her view regarding an issue. Persuasive writing sometimes involves convincing the reader to perform an action, or it may simply consist of an argument(s) convincing the reader of the writer’s point of view. Persuasive writing is one of the most used writing types in the world. Persuasive writers employ many techniques to improve their argument and show support for their claim. Simply put, persuasive writing is "an essay that offers and supports an opinion".
Please use the sample STEAL chart below or design your own to start getting your students ready to pass the FCAT, CRCT, MCAS, PASS, CRT, AIMS, STAAR, TAKS, PAWS, STA 10, CSAP, CMT, ISTEP, SOL, NJ ASK, NC EOG, OAA, ... Writing Test this spring.

Academic ELA Vocabulary Tier 3 Writing Glossary

Sample of one of my Graphic Organizers that students train on.

Develop your own graphic organizers that help your students master expository/personal narrative writing.

“The Silver Bullet” STEAL Students Graphic Organizer
96% Meets or Exceeds on State Writing Test | 25% Exceeding on State Writing Test 

Verbs and Adverbs
Topic Sentence W.W.W. Who, What, and WHY!  What: My first roller coaster ride Who: I am Alone Why: My parents are afraid to ride the Matterhorn
Topic Sentence It introduces the main idea of the paragraph
Nouns and Adjectives
Debated decided dedicated valued chose cleaned
S – Speech/ Speaking / Dialogue
Speech What does the character say (YOU, FRIENDS, FAMILY)?
swift ancient modern bitter sweet alert sane
vaulted viewed visualized volunteered Captured cared for carried caught categorized challenged
T – thoughts/feelings/attitudes
Thoughts What is important about the character’s thoughts and feelings (YOU, FRIENDS, FAMILY)?
attractive sticky fuzzy giant fresh  graceful harsh whispering puny harsh noisy quiet shrill
championed changed checked cleared closed coached commanded commended
E – emotions/effects on others
Effect How do other characters feel or behave or react to the characters?
teeny massive careful cheap expensive rainy crystal sore dangerous combative
concentrated confronted constructed consulted continued controlled convinced cooperated copied corrected counseled
A – actions
Actions What does the character do? How does the character behave?
weary dull drab dim aggressive mellow fancy excited scared filthy superior lazy excited hungry crazy
created customized joined judged observed tackled talked targeted tasted taught obtained offered translated

L – looks/ settings/ imagery/ what
Looks What do you see? What do the characters look like? How does the character dress?
poor rich busy anxious steep skinny petite tiny miniscule salty delicious terrible dead alive huge tremendous elderly handsome ugly beautiful shiny
Verbs and Adverbs

Topic Sentence W.W.W. Who, What, and WHY!
Nouns and Adjectives

S – Speech/ Speaking / Dialogue

T – thoughts/feelings
E – effects/emotions on others

A – actions

L – looks/ settings
Verbs and Adverbs
Topic Sentence W.W.W. Who, What, and WHY!
Nouns and Adjectives
S – Speech/ Speaking / Dialogue

T – thoughts/feelings

E – effects/emotions on others

A – actions

L – looks/ settings

Persuasive Essay Graphic Organizer

Prompt Topic

Should all kids go to academic summer camp?

Hook |
pester / persuade / plea
Academic summer camps increases academic performance, resiliency, critical thinking, and problem solving skills.
Opinion |
judgment / attitude / belief
Giving all students a leg up is critical if we want to remain a first world nation not slide into a third world nation.
Thoughts | thoughts/feelings/attitudes
We need to find a way that all students have the opportunity to attend summer camp or “SuperCamp” not just a very small percentage of rich children.
Emotions | emotions/effects on others

If we are going to sentence our children to 16 years of school we should have the decency to make it a truly amazing 16 years not just testing factories.
Logic | deduce/convince/  reason 
The new Common Core Standards are designed to help bridge the academic achievement gap and prepare US students for the increasingly complex information age but they are just words if students are not exposed to many academic opportunities.

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