PSSA Test Prep

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PSSA Test Prep

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  1. PSSA Time!

    Slide 1 - PSSA Time!

  2. Essential Question(s): Why are the PSSAs important?

    Slide 2 - Essential Question(s): Why are the PSSAs important?

    • By the end of the lesson, you should be able to:
    • Understand why you’re taking the PSSAs
    • Understand what you will see on the PSSAs
    • Identify different types of questions:
    • Multiple choice
    • Constructed response
    • Identify and apply test taking strategies
    • State Standards:
    • You’ll be showcasing your skills on the test and applying all of the
    • standards we’ve been working on this year!
    • Lesson Objectives
  3. Let’s review our vocab terms, class!

    Slide 3 - Let’s review our vocab terms, class!

    • Strategy
    • Multiple Choice
    • Constructed Response
    • Active Reading
    • Vocabulary
  4. The annual Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) is a standards-based, criterion-referenced assessment used to measure a student's attainment of the academic standards while also determining the degree to which school programs enable students to attain proficiency of the standards. Every Pennsylvania student in grades 3 through 8 and grade 11 is assessed in reading and math. Every Pennsylvania student in grades 5, 8 and 11 is assessed in writing. Every Pennsylvania student in grades 4 and 8 is assessed in science. 

    Slide 4 - The annual Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) is a standards-based, criterion-referenced assessment used to measure a student's attainment of the academic standards while also determining the degree to which school programs enable students to attain proficiency of the standards. Every Pennsylvania student in grades 3 through 8 and grade 11 is assessed in reading and math. Every Pennsylvania student in grades 5, 8 and 11 is assessed in writing. Every Pennsylvania student in grades 4 and 8 is assessed in science. 

    • What are the PSSAs? The State’s Definition
    • What did you just say?
  5. A state test that measures the knowledge that you’ve gained throughout the year.

    Slide 5 - A state test that measures the knowledge that you’ve gained throughout the year.

    • What are the PSSAs? Student Terms
    • Now I get it!
  6. Why are the PSSAs Important?

    Slide 6 - Why are the PSSAs Important?

    • It allows the state, the teacher, and you as a student to evaluate your strengths and weaknesses as a learner.
    • It allows the state and the teacher to assess their teaching.
    • Did the teacher do a good job of teaching and did the student do a good job of learning this year?
    • They are important because it is a reflection on your school, teachers, and yourself.
    • Take them seriously and make yourself, your teachers, and your school shine!
  7. How Can I Prepare for the PSSAs?

    Slide 7 - How Can I Prepare for the PSSAs?

    • Prepare yourself both physically and mentally!
  8. Be Physically Ready

    Slide 8 - Be Physically Ready

    • Get a good night’s sleep before the test. This should take priority over entertainment options.
    • The morning of the test, eat breakfast. Some power foods include:
    • Eggs, bacon, peanut butter, cheese, yogurt, cottage cheese, etc.
    • Be on time!
    • Stretch and move around during testing breaks.
  9. Be Mentally Prepared!

    Slide 9 - Be Mentally Prepared!

    • Being nervous or not caring ruins your performance.
    • Be competitive with the test makers, not intimidated by them.
    • Remember, the passages were not chosen to entertain you.
    • Keep yourself engaged through active reading, highlighting, and writing notes.
    • Your goal: do better than last year! 
  10. Knowing the test’s design can help you kick this test in the butt!

    Slide 10 - Knowing the test’s design can help you kick this test in the butt!

    • You will test in 3 different subjects:
    • Math
    • Language Arts (reading and writing)
    • Science
    • There have been no changes made to science.
    • Math will now be in one test booklet and have a separate testing window.
    • Reading has been combined with writing into one testing booklet and will have a separate testing window.
    • What Will I See on the PSSAs?
  11. 2015 PSSA

    Slide 11 - 2015 PSSA

  12. 2015 PSSA Changes

    Slide 12 - 2015 PSSA Changes

  13. 4 sections (or tests) for Language Arts (reading and writing)

    Slide 13 - 4 sections (or tests) for Language Arts (reading and writing)

    • The sections will include the following types of questions:
    • Multiple choice questions
    • Evidence-based response questions
    • Writing prompts
    • Text dependent analysis
    • Each section will take about 60-90 minutes, or an hour to an hour and a half.
    • Language Arts Test Format
  14. Section

    Slide 14 - Section

    • Content Emphasis
    • Number of MC/EBSR
    • Number of WP/TDA
    • Estimated Number of Passages
    • Estimated Section Testing Time (in minutes)
    • 1
    • Writing and Language
    • 20 MC
    • 1
    • 0
    • 60
    • 2
    • Reading
    • 15–18 MC
    • 4–5 EBSR
    • 0
    • 3
    • 58–69
    • 3
    • Reading and
    • Text Dependent Analysis
    • 14 MC
    • 2 EBSR
    • 1
    • 2
    • 73
    • 4
    • Reading and
    • Text Dependent Analysis
    • 5–8 MC
    • 1–2 EBSR
    • 1
    • 1
    • 48–57
    • 2015 PSSA Changes
  15. The test is on your desk.

    Slide 15 - The test is on your desk.

    • Test Taking Strategies
    • What do you do now?
  16. Think of the test as several small jobs, not one big one.

    Slide 16 - Think of the test as several small jobs, not one big one.

    • Identify the type of reading, writing, science, or math questions you will be answering. Get your head into the right mindset.
    • Test Taking Strategies
  17. Test Taking Strategies: Multiple Choice

    Slide 17 - Test Taking Strategies: Multiple Choice

  18. Multiple Choice Question

    Slide 18 - Multiple Choice Question

  19. Evidence-Based Response Question

    Slide 19 - Evidence-Based Response Question

  20. Pretend it’s not multiple choice!

    Slide 20 - Pretend it’s not multiple choice!

    • Cover the answers and read the question to see if you can answer it on your own.
    • Then read all of the answer choices.
    • See if any of the choices match your prediction.
    • If your prediction isn’t one of the choices, reread the question. You may have misread it.
    • Test Taking Strategies: Multiple Choice
  21. Test Taking Strategies: Multiple Choice

    Slide 21 - Test Taking Strategies: Multiple Choice

    • Eliminate the answers that you know are wrong.
    • Look at the answer(s) left and determine which is the best.
  22. Test Taking Strategies: Multiple Choice

    Slide 22 - Test Taking Strategies: Multiple Choice

    • If you have:
    • Used what you know
    • Formed an answer in your mind
    • Eliminated answers that will not work
    • …And you still have no idea - GUESS!
    • Research shows that first instincts are often correct, but we tend to second guess ourselves. Go with your gut!
    • Don’t leave any question blank! You’ll lose points if you do.
  23. Read the questions before reading the passage. This will help you to identify the purpose of your reading.

    Slide 23 - Read the questions before reading the passage. This will help you to identify the purpose of your reading.

    • Highlight key words in each question such as: “main idea,” “compare,” etc.
    • Also, highlight any words that you do not know. You can try to use context clues from the reading passage or the answer choices to determine the meaning later.
    • Test Taking Strategies: Reading Passages
  24. Slide 24

    • In the first question the student highlighted, the words “main idea” and “third paragraph.”
    • In the second question the student highlighted, the words “Sara Jackson Milton.”
    • In the third question the student highlighted, the word “organized.”
    • In the fourth question the student highlighted, the words “comply with.”
  25. Test Taking Strategies: Active Reading

    Slide 25 - Test Taking Strategies: Active Reading

    • Use your reading strategies!
    • Take notes!
    • In your notes, highlight or write down the main idea, key words and details, etc.
    • In your notes, write down questions, comments, personal connections, etc.
    • Read in chunks (a little bit at a time) and then ask yourself, what is happening in this part.
    • Remember that if you’re not able to jot down any ideas or thoughts, or you can’t give a brief summary of your passage, then REREAD it!
  26. Text Dependent Analysis Question a.k.a.Constructed Response

    Slide 27 - Text Dependent Analysis Question a.k.a.Constructed Response

    • 1. Read the quotation from Winston Churchill:
    • “Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.”
    • Write an essay analyzing how the author responds to her surroundings, reflecting the truth of this statement. Use evidence from the letter to support your response.
    • __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  27. Writing Prompt Question

    Slide 28 - Writing Prompt Question

  28. Read the prompt or “essay” question before you start reading the passage that you’re writing about or before you start writing in general.

    Slide 29 - Read the prompt or “essay” question before you start reading the passage that you’re writing about or before you start writing in general.

    • Highlight or underline things you are asked to do, statements like:
    • Explain the main idea…
    • Describe the character…
    • Use 3 examples from the passage…
    • Keep the prompt in the back on your mind while you are reading/writing.
    • During reading, you can mark places in the passage that you could use in your response.
    • Testing Taking Strategies: Constructed Response or Writing Prompt
  29. Constructed response example:

    Slide 30 - Constructed response example:

    • Give a word or phrase that describes both the student and the school representative. Use at least one example from each editorial to explain your response.
    • Give a word or phrase that describes both the student and the school representative. Use at least one example from each editorial to explain your response.
    • Testing Taking Strategies: Constructed Response
  30. Testing Taking Strategies: Writing Prompt

    Slide 31 - Testing Taking Strategies: Writing Prompt

    • Write an argumentative essay for your teacher supporting your claim about which subject your school should choose for additional classes and why it would benefit students more than other subjects. Use evidence and reasons to support your argument.
    • Write an argumentative essay for your teacher supporting your claim about which subject your school should choose for additional classes and why it would benefit students more than other subjects. Use evidence and reasons to support your argument.
    • Writing prompt example:
  31. After the Test

    Slide 32 - After the Test

    • You’ve finished your test, now what?
    • Go back and review that you’ve answered ALL questions.
    • Erase all stray marks and smudges.
    • Close your book and give yourself a pat on the back!
  32. Slide 33

    • We discussed how to be physically and mentally prepared for the PSSAs.
    • We reviewed each section of the ELA test.
    • We reviewed the different types of questions you will see on the ELA test.
    • We reviewed test taking strategies to answer the different types of questions.
    • Summary
  33. Understand why you’re taking the PSSAs

    Slide 34 - Understand why you’re taking the PSSAs

    • Understand what you will see on the PSSAs
    • Identify different types of questions:
    • Multiple choice
    • Constructed response
    • Identify and apply test taking strategies
    • Review ObjectivesCan you do it?
  34. You’re going to kick the PSSAs in the butt!

    Slide 35 - You’re going to kick the PSSAs in the butt!

    • What’s Next?