Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Fluency Resources

PARCC has recently developed and released assessments for reading fluency in grades 2-8. "The purpose of the reading fluency assessments is to provide educators with instructionally useful information related to how students demonstrate strengths and needs with reading fluency. These assessments have been designed to maximize instructional time and minimize testing time." The resource includes both literary and informational texts (comparable in both length 250 words per passage and complexity).

The resources include teacher administration guides, student fluency recording sheets, class fluency spreadsheet, expression rubric,  and the informational and literary passages for grades 2-8. As I mentioned last week, these resources are currently available free of charge, however PEARSON will begin charging for these in the not so distant future.

To access these materials click here.  The first time login code is MA1788, after initially logging in you will be prompted to create your own password).

Monday, December 21, 2015

New Formative Assessment Tools

Have you or your colleagues ever wondered how they can support and prepare students in Kindergarten, first and second grade with opportunities to engage in tasks and learning opportunities similar to those they will experience on state assessments? Recently PARCC released 16 ELA and 16 Math performance tasks which are designed to engage students in learning while teachers observe how students demonstrate proficiencies with respect to the standards embedded in the tasks. These task include formative tools which can be used to inform instructional decisions. Click here to access the formative assessment tools (you will have to create a user name. The first time login code is MA1788, after initially logging in you will be prompted to create your own password).

Each grade features 2 literary tasks and informational reading tasks (grades K-2). Each ELA task is broken into three files. The first file provides access to the actual performance task (full day by day lesson plans- see example below), the second file contains the copyrighted text (full texts, in color!) and the third file provides resources needed to accompany the task. These materials are currently free, however, we anticipate PEARSON will be charging for these resources within the near future.

Additionally, PARCC has released

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

MA Assessment 2016

It  is hard to believe that December is here. These past few months have flown by and have been filled with excitement. On November 12th, the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education voted on a Next Generation MCAS assessment which will combine elements of the current MCAS assessment with another that is closely aligned to with the ELA Massachusetts Frameworks. The state anticipates this assessment will be ready for administration in 2017. This week I would like to highlight some logistical details for assessment this school year.

2016 Transition Year 
  • MCAS districts in 2015 can choose to switch to PARCC in 2016 and select their mode of administration (computer based test (CBT) or paper based test (PBT))
    • Any district taking PARCC will be held harmless
    • Any district administering MCAS will be held accountable
      • 2016 MCAS test will include augmented PARCC items
      • ELA Composition eliminated in grades 4 and 7
      • Grade 10 Composition will remain 
  • PARCC districts in 2015 will again administer PARCC, but can choose to change their mode of  administration to CBT or PBT.
    • New Tools on PARCC this year:
      • TestNav app for desktops and laptops replaces all Google Chrome and older Java based browsers
      • Headphones required for all ELA/L units
      • Larger screen size  for ELA/L constructed responses
      • Spell check available for ELA/L responses
      • Flag items for review before exiting session
  • ALL Districts will continue to administer:
    • Grade 5 and Grade 8 Science and Technology/Engineering MCAS
    • Grade 10 MCAS ELA and Mathematics Test
    • High School MCAS Science and Technology/Engineering tests
    • High School MCAS retests
    • MCAS-Alt
    • ACCESS for ELLs 2.0
      • now computer based
  • 2016 Testing Window Dates
    • MCAS
      • Grades 3-8 ELA: March 28-April 12
      • NEW: ELA window will be one week later for grades 3-8
      • Grade 10 dates will remain the same
      • Grades 3-8 Math: May 9-24
    • PARCC
      • NEW: Consolidated schedule (End of Year (EOY) and Performance Based Assessment (PBA) in 2015) will be combined into ONE testing window in 2016)
        • CBT: April 25 - June 6
        • PBT: April  25-May 27