Who has to prepare for a state writing test?

Discussion in 'Fourth Grade' started by Ms.Jasztal, Jul 29, 2007.

  1. Ms.Jasztal

    Ms.Jasztal Maven

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    Jul 29, 2007

    Some states are different, but I definitely stand as one of those teachers who has to prepare... in Florida.

    How many of you do writer's workshop and incorporate test prep?
    -and-
    How often do you discuss that when the time comes, the students will have a prompt to write to for the state?
     
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  3. WindyCityGal606

    WindyCityGal606 Enthusiast

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    Jul 29, 2007

    We don't have State-mandated writing assessments for my grade level but I've taught a few years in grades that did and yes...as far as incorporating the prompts and timed writing into the lesson. The kids need to know how to write in the time their given and how to make best use of that time. It is best to teach them the prompt signal words to differentiate between expository, narrative, and persuasive so once they read a prompt, they can get straight to work. Also, they need to know quick ways to brainstorm and organize. They also need to be aware whether their particular state test is more focused on content and therefore more lenient(sp) on spelling and punctuation. One more thing is do students earn more points if they write in cursive? All of these things are important to incorporate in daily practice until it becomes second nature and they are ready for test time. And that's my:2cents: worth!!:cool:
     
  4. Missy

    Missy Aficionado

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    Jul 29, 2007

    Ohio has a Writing Achievement test in fourth grade - two writing prompts, sections on grammar, spelling, and mechanics - all in 2 1/2 hours. It is definitely my least favorite test to prepare them for. (Good news though - last year all of my students passed!)
     
  5. Mrs.Gould

    Mrs.Gould Comrade

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    Jul 29, 2007

    4th grade in NY has a huge reading, listening and writing test. Actually 3rd-8th all have it, but 4th, 6th and 8th are the "big" test years. I'd say it's the most important state test besides math.
     
  6. collteach

    collteach Comrade

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    Jul 29, 2007

    We don't have a state test, but our county requires that our students take a "Writing Predictor" in 4th grade, since there is a big writing test in 5th grade. I am going to do a lot more test-taking skills with my students this year. We write all the time, and I score their writing using the rubric. However, I was lucky enough to be one of the scorers for the predictor this year, and I realized how invalid the scoring is! 5 of my students' papers were sent back as non-scoreable. Only one should truly have been labled that. The whole thing should have been looked at much closer when on the first day of scoring, we realized that asking 4th graders to write about the most memorable moment in their lives and expecting them to stick to a MOMENT was insane! I realized that the students will need to be ready to write a certain way to do well on a writing test.
     
  7. michelb366

    michelb366 Comrade

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    WE do a big test as well in CO. In 4th they need to do an extended writing piece as well as 2 shorter ones. This is in addition to the grammar/editing portion. I am using a writer's workshop format and this year I think we'll be using Fridays to do timed prompt writings. Last year's class was a much higher ability group, so this year's will need additional practice.
     
  8. Ms.Jasztal

    Ms.Jasztal Maven

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    Jul 30, 2007

    Definitely. It's good to know I've followed all that so far! :) They feel better because they know the signal words and understand the time limits of the prompt.
     
  9. TXTeacher4

    TXTeacher4 Companion

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    Aug 1, 2007

    We have a state writing test, as well as math and reading. They are all on seperate days. Writing comes first, and it is my favorite one to get them ready for. There are many varying opinions on best practice, but bottom line is one prompt and about 28 multiple choice grammar questions. They will accept any genre of writing, but we safely try to stick with personal narratives (again an opinion thing).
     
  10. apostle2

    apostle2 Rookie

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    Aug 5, 2007

    We have a 4th grade state writing test. It comes in March. The kids know from the beginning that they have a test and we do workshops, etc. constantly. This year we did a Writing in a Winter Wonderland and focused every morning on activities that culminated with a final story and sharing time on Friday. I think it made a big difference for the kids and did a lot to improve content. They still struggle with conventions, however!
     

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