Increase Your Chances to Score better on Different Item Types You May Face in the State Assessments

State assessments across the country use a variety of item types to measure student progress according to each state’s standards. Popular item types students are likely to encounter selected response, evidence-based selected response, and technology-enhanced constructed response. Below you’ll find … Continue reading

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Proven Tips and Strategies to Face the State Summative Assessment

Regardless of what state students are getting their education in, state summative assessments are a challenge all students must face. Each state has different requirements and different subjects in which end of course assessments are given. There are a few … Continue reading
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Making the Shift: Common Core Teacher Resources

Common Core Teacher's resource

New teacher evaluations. New state tests. New standards. The myriad educational changes may seem overwhelming at times, especially for teachers who are trying to juggle the typical demands of a classroom, all the while adjusting their instruction and practice to reflect the continual educational shifts. And although the extra time and effort needed to make these changes are unavoidable to a certain extent, there are resources available to help make the transition smoother. Consider using the following teacher resources, materials, and samples to help out with your lesson planning, instruction, and materials:
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Surviving Standardized Tests: Helping Students Make the Grade

Helping Students Make the Grade

Though this list is far from complete with every word a student may encounter, here’s a partial list of words that may put students in a better position when it comes to understanding the questions and directions on a standardized test:

• Analyze & Synthesize
• Compare & Contrast
• Describe
• Cite evidence
• Summarize & Retell Continue reading

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Helping Your Child Succeed in a Climate of Educational Change


With the introduction of the Common Core Standards, school districts across the country have had to adjust their curriculum, testing procedures, and teaching methodologies. With change comes uncertainty, and the stress of the unknown carries with it the potential to affect all involved parties… including students.

As a parent, you may sense the differences – especially if you have more than one child who has gone through the same school. You may have noticed that even with the same teacher, requirements and expectations may have shifted over the past few years in response to the Common Core. Though these changes, left unchecked, can create stress for teachers and students alike, there are ways that you, as a parent, can help your child navigate any potential challenges as she or he faces more rigorous assignments, expectations, and criteria… Continue reading

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A Review of Sample Questions Released by PARCC: Implications for Mathematics

Though the questions themselves may look similar to the questions teachers and students are familiar with on the current NJ ASK, the new PARCC assessment will introduce some novel formatting and response techniques that will increase the rigor of standardized testing.
PARCC Math sample question review
This week we will investigate sample questions for Mathematics to highlight the major differences between the NJ ASK and PARCC. Please note that while the questions below are based on sample questions for Grade 3, this discussion applies to all grade levels, as the test format, computer skills that students will need, and the philosophy in creating the questions are similar — regardless of grade level, mathematical content, or task complexity… Continue reading

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A Review of Sample Language Art Questions Released by PARCC: Implications for English Language Arts/Literacy

The upcoming PARCC assessment for ELA will continue to ask students to read passages, answer follow-up questions, and complete writing tasks. However, with this new generation of standardized tests, the format and complexity of those questions will be taken to a new level.
PARCC sample question review
This week we will look at one portion of the ELA assessment – the section that focuses on narrative writing (following the reading of a fictional passage) for Grade 6. While this set of samples is grade-specific, the rationale in creating the questions, the format, and the prerequisite technological skills is universal, regardless of the grade. Three key shifts in the PARCC for ELA are as follows… Continue reading

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PARCC Implementation: Implications for Professional Development – Julie C. Lyons

PARCC Implementation: Implications for Professional Development - Infographic
Over the past few weeks, we have investigated the connection between the Common Core and the future state assessment (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, PARCC). With these changes comes realigned curriculam: clearly, what teachers teach must reflect the new standards, and past curriculum guides may have proven outdated or in need of tweaking.

However, even the most well-planned curriculum will be little more than a document without true implementation at the classroom level. In other words, students will truly benefit from the Core when instruction, standards, curriculum and assessment intersect. For this reason, professional development will need to take a front seat, as effective PD has the potential to provide teachers the support they need to understand, help them become comfortable with the changes, and guide them as they translate theory into practice. To maximize the benefits of professional development, let’s investigate the following three areas that can be utilized to effect true growth and development:… Continue reading

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PARCC Implementation: Discussion and Implications for Math – Julie Lyons

With the implementation of the Common Core, teachers and administrators alike have made changes in their curriculum and instructional practices. To ease the transition between the old and new, the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) has devised suggestions and a structure that will not only support the Common Core but also prepare students adequately for state assessments.

In the area of mathematics, there are many important distinctions between the previous NJ State Standards and the Common Core. For curriculum supervisors, administrators, and teachers to make well-informed decisions, it is important to take the following information into account. The items below reflect some of the major emphases of the model content framework, along with important differences between the Common Core and the former state standards:

Focus and Coherence:

The Common Core calls for students to not simply “cover” a topic, but to investigate, understand, and apply that content with deep, enduring understanding… Continue reading

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PARCC Implementation: Discussion and Implications for ELA

Data-driven instruction, The Common Core, College and Career Readiness. These are terms that have become a mainstay of the educational landscape in 2013, affecting anyone involved in education – from students to teachers, administrators, parents, and legislators

One aspect of the adoption of the Common Core is related to assessment. How do we know if students are meeting the required standards? That’s where PARCC comes in. The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) is committed to ensuring that today’s students have viable college and career options upon graduation, and the PARCC Assessment will be one measure to determine students’ growth and achievement with respect to these goals.

As the 2013-2014 school year commences, we are entering the field-testing phase of PARCC assessments. As an administrator or teacher, what will that mean for you?… Continue reading

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