Big Kids with Big Expectations
While third grade still had games and play incorporated into their day, fourth graders are spending much more time in deep concentration. Assignments are longer. Expectations are higher. Fourth graders have a lot of reading and writing assignments. For many students this is a very challenging academic year. Students are expected to be independent readers, writers and thinkers who can pull from prior reading and writing skills and subject knowledge.
To be considered College & Career Ready, fourth grade students will be reading passages that fall between the 740 to 940 Lexile Bands. The Fourth Grade Curriculum Map will include reading 1 extended informational text and 5 thematically short texts each nine weeks. Students will practice writing to Narrative writing prompts consistently throughout the year, while also dedicating the first and last 9 weeks to Informational prompts and the 2nd and 3rd nine weeks to Opinion prompts. The fourth grade ELA Milestones Blueprint tells us that students will have one 2 point constructed response item and 4 point Extended Constructed Response items for a Narrative prompt, and a 7 point Extended Writing Response for either an Informational or Opinion prompt. Because the writing and language portion will count as 47% of their overall score, it is important for students to have experience with and understand the fourth grade writing rubrics that will be used for Milestones scoring. Students are also challenged with increased depth of knowledge items. 35-55% of the items on the fourth grade Milestones are at a DOK 3 or 4 level.
In Georgia, students will receive a Lexile measure when they receive a scale score on a Georgia Milestones End of Grade or End of Course ELA assessment.
It’s Time to Use Formative Assessment to Drive Instruction
There is a wide range of reading and writing levels in every fourth grade class. Some students love reading and writing, while motivating other students is challenging to say the least. It is imperative that teachers have reliable data to form flexible small groups and drive instruction. Writing and Language are responsible for 47% of a student’s overall Milestone’s score, yet teaching writing and language is difficult. Many teachers struggle with pinpointing specific areas weaknesses, assigning unbiased scores to students writing, providing specific feedback to improve writing and fully understanding the prompts and rubrics. This is where Lennections Assesslets come in!