Perfecting your PARCC Practice

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PARCC Name: Prose Constructed Response
Acronym: PCR
My Nickname: Essay

This three word name is just another way of saying Essay. Students will respond to a writing prompt by constructing multiple paragraphs that will be graded based on these rubrics. Essays will only appear on the Performance Based Assessments (PBAs), not on the End of Year assessments (EOYs).

Below is a screen shot from Question 17 on the 11th Grade ELA Performance Based Assessment (PBA) released PARCC Practice Test with two coaching tips.

Screen Shot 2015-02-11 at 1.22.54 PM

Coaching Tips:

1. Highlighting:
I always tell my students Mark up your text! Show me where you got that answer! PARCC offers highlighting as an option for students to mark up their text as they read. It allows you to mark in the questions, directions, or passages. It’s important for students to know that the highlights they make on the passage in one question will not carry over to the passage as it appears on another question. The highlights will be saved on the question where they made them. It’s also good to think through the color options on the highlighting. Maybe you want students to associate different color highlights with different notes? Perhaps you could say yellow highlights are for main events/arguments while blue highlights are for parts I want to revisit. It’s just good to talk with your students about the tools they have and how they can maximize their usefulness.

2. Typing in a small box:
That box is tiny. It’s important that students know they are NOT limited in their answers. When coaching for a game or performance, making sure students understand the boundaries or stage area is essential! It’s the same here–students need to know that those lines are in fact NOT their boundaries. In fact, I would tell my students that if you are using evidence from three sources and explaining thoroughly there is no way you will stay in that tiny box. I would set the expectation that they see a scroll bar.

Try it out yourself on Edcite with this question: https://edcite.com/1cemfk

Next page: Concluding Thoughts

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