As I have mentioned before, all students at Lane will be taking the PARCC test instead of MCAS this Spring. The PARCC will test ELA and Math. Throughout the upcoming months, I will update you on what we expect the test will be like. But keep in mind, this is the first year of the test, thus there are still many unknowns. One thing we do know for sure is that our students are taking the pencil/paper version of the test (many schools in Massachusetts, including JGMS, are taking the online version). For this post, I want to focus on one of most challenging ELA Learning Expectations for Gr 3:
“Compare and contrast the most important points and key details presented in two texts on the same topic”(ELA Standard Gr 3).
What might this look like for grade 3? See the two links below which show two reading passages. After reading the passages, look at the question below in red. Your reaction may be “wow this is difficult” or “this seems reasonable.” Either way, we are working hard to make sure our students can demonstrate proficiency for this high-level skill. Let me know what you think.
Here is one of the questions our students would need to answer:
You have read two texts about famous people in American history who solved a problem by working to make a change.
Write an article for your school newspaper describing how Eliza and Carver faced challenges to change something in America.
• In your article, be sure to describe in detail why some solutions they tried worked and others did not work.
• Tell how the challenges each one faced were the same and how they were different
This year, students in grades 3-5 will be taking the PARCC exam instead of MCAS. Although there are some unknowns about the test, there are a few things we are confident will appear on the Math part of the PARCC in the Spring. One of the characteristics of the PARCC will be questions which ask the students to transfer their math knowledge to demonstrate understanding. In simple terms, this mean there will not be a lot of straight computation, like this:
Instead, students will need to use the skill of adding or multiplying numbers in combination with their mathematical knowledge to solve a multi-step problem. Why multi-step? Because most problems in life require more than just one step to solve. Our goal at Lane is to prepare students for their future. This means making sure they are equipped with the skills, habits and understanding to solve “real life” math problems. This is a short video I put together to give you a better sense of what to expect.