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
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.
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.
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.
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.