2 English PSSA Testing: April 14th – 17th SectionContent EmphasisNumber of MC/EBSRNumber of WP/TDAEstimated Number of PassagesEstimated Section Testing Time (in minutes)1Writing and Language20 MC602Reading15–18 MC4–5 EBSR358–69Reading andText Dependent Analysis14 MC2 EBSR7345–8 MC1–2 EBSR48–57Grades 4-8 FormatSection 1 will be about writing and language and will have 20 Multiple Choice and 1 writing prompt (not connected to a text that is read)Section 2 will have Multiple Choice plus 4-5 Evidence Based Selected Response questions (2 part multiple choice, taking the place of the old Constructed Response questions) with an estimated 3 passages.Section 3 will have 14 Multiple Choice and 2 Evidence Based Selected Response questions PLUS 1 Text Dependent Analysis question with an estimated 2 passagesSection 4 will have 5-8 Multiple Choice and 1-2 Evidence Based Selected Response questions PLUS 1 Text Dependent Analysis question with an estimated 1 passagePlease note- the testing times are recommended- PSSA is an untimed testNote- each section is not weighted evenly.
3 Examples of Changes…PSSA 2014The drama focuses on events in the life of Florence Nightingale. Write an essay analyzing how the three-scene structure of the drama emphasizes certain characteristics of Florence. Use evidence from the drama to support your response.PSSA 2010 Give at least two reasons that Dr. Ebbesmeyer probably wants to continue receiving information about these shoes. Explain why this information would be helpful. Use details from the passage to support your response.7th grade samplesPair/Share discussion:What does the old CR (20101) demand of students? Sample responses- you must go back in and find an answer, then find details to explain your answer. It is not an essay, and requires the student to have a surface level understanding.What does the new TDA (2014) demand of students? Sample responses- you must analyze the structure of the drama and compare it with how the author used that structure to demonstrate certain characteristics of Florence. You must still use evidence, but in addition to the evidence from the passage, you are now examining more closely the writing style, structure, and use of language. You are using the evidence to create your own analysis. You are going beyond explanation to analysis, which is a higher level skill.
4 Non-Examples and Examples Not Text-Dependent Analysis QuestionsText-Dependent Analysis QuestionsIn the text there once was a curious bird who says to Tortoise, “And you sowed yourself, too”. Describe a time when you showed yourself you could do something.The text begins with: There once was a curious bird who wondered, What can a small bird be? Write an essay that analyzes why the authors chose to begin the text with this question. Use evidence from the text to support your response.Amelia Earhart has been depicted as a daring, courageous person. Identify at least three events that demonstrate these traits. Then write a summary of Amelia Earhart’s life.The authors of each of the two texts about Amelia Earhart have been stated that she was a daring, courageous person. Consider the argument each author made to demonstrate her bravery. Write an essay that analyzes the strength of the arguments using textual evidence to support your ideas.In “Casey at the Bat”, Casey strikes out. Compare yourself to Casey by describing a time when you failed at something.The author of “Casey at the Bat” uses humor to describe Casey’s experiences. Write an essay analyzing the author’s techniques. Be sure to use textual evidence to support your analysis.Amelia Earhart is the best example/non-example here, since non-example looks most like what we are used to seeing in a constructed response.
5 Language is Different – but you know it! Argument – position or claim – should be supported with validevidence and reasoning. Should include a counter argument (counterclaim) to illustrate opposing viewpoints.Claim – another word for thesis statement that forms the basis of your argumentElaborate – add detail from the textFigure of Speech – a word or phrase used to convey meaning or heighten effectDrama – a play to be performed on stage, radio or televisionElement of Fiction – see your short story term sheet (character, plot, theme, symbol, tone…)
6 Stand Alone Multiple Choice – types of questions Read a short passage and answer questionsGrammarHow does an author use a certain word? (lit/symbolic)Sentence StructureRevisionAny element of fiction – “What is the theme?”Which intended effect do the sentences have on the reader’s point of view?Which answer best supports…
7 Some Multiple Choice Questions will have two parts – or more than one answer Part I – A stand alone questionPart II – Depends on your answer to part IRead each question carefully – some will require two answers for one question.
8 Text Dependent Analysis Some questions may require a written response. They will call it an essay.This essay could incorporate one, two or even three different texts.You are required to use all texts provided to answer that question.For any questions that say, “Text Dependent Analysis” you are NOT required to write 6 paragraphs.You do need to make sure that you answer ALL parts of the question and use EVIDENCE, EVIDENCE, EVIDENCE – specific examples from the text!!!!
9 Stand Alone Writing Prompts: Argumentative This is similar to the writing we have done in class:Introduction with a thesis/claimTwo-Three body paragraphs that support your claimOne paragraph of counterclaim of rebuttal.ConclusionExample: Your school is considering a change in the way class presidents are chosen. Some students want to create a small committee which, in turn, would choose the class president. On the other hand, there are those students who want all students in the class to be able to vote for their choice of class president. Think about which method of choosing the class president is the most effective. Write an argumentative essay stating your claim about whether a small committee of students or all the students in the class should be allowed to chose the class president. Be sure to use reasons and evidence to develop your argument.
10 Stand Alone Writing Prompts: Informative or Explanatory Introduction with a guiding statementTwo to Three Body Paragraphs devoted to one controlling point eachConclusionExample: Think about a law that is important – national, state or local. Consider why it is important and why it affects peoples’ lives. Write an essay for your teacher that describes an important law and explain why it is important. Be sure to use details and examples to support your ideas.
11 Stand Alone Writing Prompt: Narrative Tell a story that has a clear sequencing of events – includes charter, plot, setting, theme…Example: Imagine that someone became a positive role models for others. Think about what this person might have done to become a positive role model. Consider other people who might have been involved. Write a story that tells how someone became a positive role model for others.
12 8th Grade English Testing Schedule Building Schedule6 min.30 min.HomeroomPeriod 17:50 - 7:567:58 - 8:26Period 28:28 - 8:56120 min.Test9: :00Period 311: :3044 min.Period 511: :16Period 612:18 - 1:02Period 41:04 - 1:32Period 71:34 - 2:0231 min.Period 82:04 - 2:33Make-up Testing:April 20, 24 and May 4-8You will have 2 hours each day to read, answer all multiple choice questions and plan, write and revise your essays.All tests are untimed – so if you need more time - you have it!