English Language Arts

Assessment is About Measuring Progress

Elizabeth ConnersIt is spring in upstate New York although the weather does not yet reflect it.  One of the indicators that spring is here is the start of the New York State Assessments. 

Common Core Instruction: Developing a Claim Comparing the Themes of Two Poems

This ELA Common Core lesson features eighth grade students from Unadilla Valley Central School in New Berlin, NY. The lesson focuses on ELA Standards RL.8.5 and RL.8.6. In pairs, students compare the themes of two poems they have read several times, develop claims and cite evidence to support their claims. Teacher Julie Koster models effective questioning in order to push her students' thinking.

Common Core Instruction: Developing a Claim Using Two Informational Texts

This ELA Common Core lesson features seventh grade students from Unadilla Valley Central School in New Berlin, NY. The lesson focuses on ELA Standards RI.7.1, RI.7.9, and W.7.1, Students work in pairs and individually to analyze two rigorous informational texts in order to make a claim about the power of information. Teacher Stacey Brotherton has high expectations for her students and consistently gives them constructive feedback throughout the lesson.

Reflections from across New York: Grades 3-8 ELA Assessment Week

teacher helping students“These new exams are more sophisticated than those given years ago. The stronger emphasis on skills like problem solving and critical thinking focus on building what students need for success. We have spent this year implementing the new curriculum, and we believe that the tests are one fair measure of how well our students are learning the Common Core standards.

Video Professional Development Series: Making a Claim Using Two Texts with Similar Themes

The third installment of our new video professional development series focuses on a fifth grade classroom where students are making claims using two texts with similar themes (RL.5.1 & RL.5.9). The first video does not include captions of evidence of Common Core alignment. The second video includes captions that highlight when the task or teacher move is illustrating Common Core aligned instruction.

Who: individually or with small group of educators (1-4)
What: video professional development

"Light Bulbs are Lighting Up": Students Talk about the Common Core

"Light bulbs are lighting up" in math class

10-year-old Makenzie of East Greenbush explains how she's understanding fractions in new ways. Her teacher says that's because of the Common Core.

"My favorite class is ELA," says New York student

A seventh grade student from Windsor, New York describes how she is identifying quotes and analyzing texts through Common Core Learning Standards....and enjoying it.

Grade 9 ELA Module 4

Understanding and Evaluating Argument: Analyzing Text to Write Arguments

In this module, students read, analyze and evaluate informational and argument writing and build, through focused instruction, the skills required to craft strong and well-supported argument writing of their own. Through the study of a variety of texts, students learn to think of the products they use and consume everyday as part of a complex web of global production and trade that extends not only to distant lands but to the past as well.

High Stakes! Really?

Stephen BroadwellWhile “high stakes testing” is sometimes used in connection with assessments, there are only two types of high stakes tests for New York students; one is if the medical doctor tells a parent, “We want to run some tests on your child.” That is high stakes! The other tests that truly matter are the Regents exams. Failure to successfully pass the Regents exams connects to graduation. That could be considered stressful!

High Stakes! Really?

While “high stakes testing” is sometimes used in connection with assessments, there are only two types of high stakes tests for New York students; one is if the medical doctor tells a parent, “We want to run some tests on your child.” That is high stakes! The other tests that truly matter are the Regents exams. Failure to successfully pass the Regents exams connects to graduation. That could be considered stressful!

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