Thursday, December 19, 2013

Are You Preparing Your Students for PARCC?

A look at the PARCC models for ELA/Literacy reveals that student will be expected to read more than one reading passage; the main article and the sidebar. Requirements include close reading, finding relationships among key ideas, and comparing information covered by both topics.  Teachers are scrambling to find complimentary resources for student practice.  While daunting, the task is not impossible.  New Jersey ELL teacher Carol Novick  has even included technology in her practice with her ELL students.
Carol found a short video clip on the South Pole Allied Challenge for the students to view on her ipad in a small group. The Youtube transcript feature was not accurate and she decided not to use it. Then Carol paired an edited online article with a short publisher created reader to recreate the assessment task.  The online article was run through the Chrome readability app to increase the text size and remove the ads for some students.  For others, she used readability text tool called http://read-able.com/ to determine the reading level, then ran the text through http://rewordify.com/  to reduce the reading level by simplifiying  the text slightly. Finally, she developed her assessment questions based on the PARCC samples. Carol's strategy of using current events paired with existing educational materials will fill the gap until more testing samples are available.

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