Teacher Designed ELA 9 Reading, Writing, and Grammar Benchmark Assessment

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SWBAT demonstrate their prior knowledge of ELA 9 ongoing Priority Standards by completing a teacher made Benchmark Assessment.

Big Idea

Teachers must analyze and understand the academic strengths and needs of their students in order to plan lesson and assessments for the year.


5 minutes

I begin the activator by telling the students, “It is important to determine what knowledge you have and what you will need to know in order to pass ELA 9.   This assessment will give me a clearer understanding of how I can best support your success.”  

I ask students to think of one reasons why they should do their best on the test.  I pick a few students and ask them to share what their reasons with the class SL.10.1

Building Knowledge

10 minutes

I understand that many of my students are test avoidant due to their negative past experiences with testing but I also understand that testing is a reality in our schools and my goal is to help desensitize them to this important process of sharing what they know and understand.

Formative Assessment

I tell students that this test will not be graded but students who fully participate and do their best at completing all sections of the assessment will be given extra credit for the class.  This benchmark is a formative assessment tool that I'll use to guide my teaching.  One great advantage of formative assessment for learning is that it is ongoing. This benchmark test and other formative assessments allow for incremental feedback to identify problems at their earliest stages.  Summative unit assessments will also be given through out the year to determine mastery of the standards being taught.

The benchmark assessment covers grammar, selecting the main idea from a short paragraph W.9-10.10, literary terms, reading comprehension, and an open response prompt from informational text about sports injuries in which they will cite evidence from the text to support their answer as required in CCSS RI.9-10.1.

Some students benefit from the use of organizers as a tool for filling in the necessary information before writing the final draft.  I give a graphic organizer  to those students who need to organize their thoughts and evidence from the text when answering the Open Response question.  It turns out that most of my students benefit from their use.

Learning Activity

55 minutes

I administer the ELA 9  formative Benchmark Assessment.  I arrange the class in rows or "test mode" seating. Provisioning is as important during testing as it is  when teaching a lesson. I want to be prepared for students who do not come to class with something to write with so every student is given a pencil to avoid unnecessary wasted time.

Maintaining a quiet test environment is important especially for those students who need all the allotted time to complete the test.  Sponge activities keep students engaged and "soak up" time that would otherwise be open time that lead to possible distractions or idle students. For any student who finishes early I have a "sponge activity" or another assignment they can do independently.


Wrap Up

5 minutes

Exit slip: I ask students to write a sentence describing how they felt they did on the assessment and why.  I will read these statements and compare them to how the students actually scored on the benchmark assessment. Please see my Assessing the Assesment video for further clarification.