Thursday, February 7, 2013

Passing the FCAT 2.0 Writing Test | FCAT 2.0 Writing Test 2013

Passing the FCAT 2.0 Writing Test 2012

Passing the FCAT 2.0 Writing Assessments 2013: How to help your students pass the FCAT 2.0 writing assessment.The Passing scores for the FCAT 2.0 are not in place YET! The one hour test will give most students and parents a bit of a shock at how low their scores are. The 3.5 score "cut score" is based on a scale of 1-6, 3.5 is approaching the standard not proficient. How will you Pass the FCAT when they set the passing scores in the future?

Passing The FCAT 2.0 | THE FCAT is written responses to a prompt ether persuasive, narrative, or expository. Three types of writing expository, persuasive, and narrative are covered on the FCAT, yet two are only used at each grade. The two types of writing that is given at each grade should be mastered to pass the FCAT writing tests at each grade level in 4th, 8th and 10th grade.


2010 FCAT writing prompts

Grade 4 Writing to Tell a Story (Narrative) 2010 prompts
The Grade 4 narrative prompt directed the student to write a story about a day some 4th grade students made lunch for the school.

Grade 8 Writing to Explain (Expository)
 The Grade 8 expository prompt directed the student to explain the biggest change he or she has experienced from elementary to middle school.

Grade 10 Writing to Persuade (Persuasive)
The Grade 10 expository prompt directed the student to explain how being famous would affect someone's life. 


2011 FCAT writing prompts

Grade 4 Writing to Explain (Expository) The Grade 4 expository prompt directed the student to explain the kind of weather he or she likes.

Grade 8 Writing to Explain (Expository) The Grade 8 expository prompt directed the student to think about a place he or she likes to go again and again and explain why he or she likes to go to this place.

Grade 10 Writing to Explain (Expository)
The Grade 10 persuasive prompt directed the student to persuade state legislators whether school libraries should provide Internet access for students.

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. 

Doing your Best on The Multiple Choice Part!

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 

Doing your Best on The Written Response Part! 

Doing your Best on the State Writing Test!

The real secret to passing ALL State writing test is thinking like the Fins (people of Finland), formative practice, formative practice, formative practice test with a well thought-out graphic organizer, and using a similar or previously released testing instrument if possible. School districts that administer High Stakes Test usually administer some form of summative assessments looking at the final scores, skipping all the writing steps that students need to know when writing competently. Formative writing test gives students and the teachers more ways to evaluate the entire writing process. My students practice and rehearse “writing success” with tools designed to make the writing process kid friendly.

Sit down with your team and design a graphic organizer that the kids can use. Start out with a simplified version and gradually make it more structured and competent.

The students in my class use a simple STEAL chart with pictures of lips for the S in speech, a picture of a brain for the T in thoughts and so on. Again the secret is formative assessment with lots of feedback and a graphic organizer to match the assessment.

In Short! Students must practice using a systematic graphic organizer that covers expository, persuasive, and or narrative writing depending on the test they take. Students must also learn the critical tier 3 vocabulary that they will find on the multiple choice section of the writing test. Students must be given the tools to succeed!

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 practice “summative” writing assessments every year. Teaching them to use a systematic graphic organizer, skipping the summative format and sorry to say teaching them a 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 4 years that my students took the test, they had an amazing passing rate of 94% on state writing test with the highest percent of students that exceeded the standards.

Best Practices in the Teaching of Writing
A Prezi on Expository writing 4th Grade Expository Benchmark Model 
Six Traits Writers Work Shop Handbook

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
PDF
Word

Sample of a few 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 Graphic Organizer | Characterization Chart
96% Meets or Exceeds on State Writing Test | 25% Exceeding on State Writing Test 
EXPOSITION| RISING ACTION| CLIMAX| FALLING ACTION| RESOLUTION
Narrative and a bit of Expressive writing  
WORD CHOICE
Verbs and Adverbs
EXPOSITION 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
WORD CHOICE
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
WORD CHOICE
Verbs and Adverbs
RISING ACTION Topic Sentence W.W.W. Who, What, and WHY!
WORD CHOICE
Nouns and Adjectives
S – Speech/ Speaking / Dialogue


T – thoughts/feelings


E – effects/emotions on others

A – actions

L – looks/ settings

WORD CHOICE
Verbs and Adverbs
RISING ACTION Topic Sentence W.W.W. Who, What, and WHY!
WORD CHOICE
Nouns and Adjectives

S – Speech/ Speaking / Dialogue

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

L – looks/ settings


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

Expository Writing with a bit of Narrative to meet the Six Traits of Writing
 Narrative with a bit of Expository Structures
WORD CHOICE
INTRODUCTION Topic Sentence It introduces the main idea of the paragraph
Ideas
POINT #1 (SUPPORTING DETAIL)
S – Speech/ Speaking / Dialogue
elaboration (mini-story)Speech What are people saying (YOU, FRIENDS, FAMILY)?
POINT #2 (SUPPORTING DETAIL)
T – thoughts/feelings/attitudes
elaboration (mini-story)
Thoughts What is important about the  thoughts and feelings (YOU, FRIENDS, FAMILY)?
POINT #3 (SUPPORTING DETAIL)
E –effects on others / emotions/
elaboration (mini-story)
Effect How do other characters feel or behave or react to the characters?
POINT #4 (SUPPORTING DETAIL)
A – actions
Actions What are people doing? What are their actions? How does the character behave?
POINT #5 (SUPPORTING DETAIL)
L – looks/ settings/ imagery/
Looks What do you see? What do the  events and action look like?
CONCLUSION / Transitions

Persuasive Essay Graphic Organizer
HOTEL Chart
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
Effect
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.




2013 FCAT 2.0 Scoring Guides

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