Written Response to Text


Dale Comley Portfolio

NYS test.jpg

Overview and Purpose

In this course, educators will learn how to score written responses for grades 3-5 students on the rubric that NYS uses for state tests. We will then focus on transferring this information to students and give them specific tools and strategies to be successful.

Questions that will be addressed:

  • What are the two different types of written response questions?
  • How are the two types of questions graded differently?
  • What strategies will benefit students in answering these questions?
  • How can a written response program be implemented in the classroom?

Needs Assessment

1. Instructional Problem Although grades 3-5 students spend a lot of time writing in the classroom they predominately spend that time writing in narrative, persuasive, or expository writing. Writing that is centered around response to text often is a struggle for students and we see evidence of that with high numbers of grade 3-5 students failing NYS tests and scoring low on written response questions. Students are generally unaware of the expectations that are required for this kind of writing style and need to truly understand the intricacies of writing of this nature. Through methods of self assessment and strategies, educators can pass crucial knowledge on to their students to prepare them for state testing and beyond as they conclude the final years of elementary school.

2. What is to be Learned Educators will learn the actual scoring procedures for NYS written responses. They will be given tools to help reteach this content to their students and additional instructional strategies that will help their students write in a way that meets the criteria of text response writing.

3. The Learners The learners of this course will be K-5 teachers. Although ELA state testing includes only grades 3-5, the work that will be taught in this mini-course will be valuable knowledge additionally for K-2 teachers that are engaged in the scaffolding process of getting students ready for grades 3-5. The concepts taught in this mini-course will be applied directly to grades 3-5 and will be more of an end goal for K-2 teachers as they decide on what skills their students need to prepare for this kind of work in the upper elementary grades.

4. Context for Instruction Participants will be able to learn this course material in a location of their choosing. Materials will be presented online and therefore need a stable internet connection.

5. Exploring the Instructional Problem and Solution Participants will conduct their own written responses and will learn how to accurately grade written responses according to the NYS short and extended response rubrics. Participants will engage in the same learning process that they will than reteach to their eventual students. They will be given instructional tools to help their students master this form of writing.

6. Goals of this Mini-Course One major goal of this mini-course is to provide educators and students with the information required to accurately assess short and extended response questions. This mini-course will also provide teachers with resources that will allow their students to score higher on response questions. Finally this course will give teachers the tools necessary to implement a written response program within their classroom.

Performance Objectives

Upon successful completion of this mini-course, participants will be able to:

  • Identify the difference between short response and extended response questions.
  • Score writing samples in accordance to short and extended response rubrics.
  • Implement strategies to score higher on written response questions.
  • Implement a written response program in their classrooms.

Course Units

This mini-course includes the following units. Click the title of a unit to go to its page.

Unit 1: Short and Extended Responses - The Basics of Short and Long Responses

Lesson One: Short vs. Extended

Lesson Two: Get Ready to Grade

Unit 2: Tricks of the Trade - Improving Student Scores

Lesson 3: Claims and 2+1 Details

Lesson 4: Help Your Class Do It

Extended Resources