It’s a Whole New World
New ninth graders are often in for a big surprise when it comes to the challenges they face in high school. They will realize they aren’t in middle school anymore when they are expected to read the Grapes of Wrath, The Raven or even the Gettysburg Address. It’s a year full of citing evidence, analyzing theme development, outlining arguments (even for views they don’t agree with), understanding robust vocabulary, learning through informative text, creating stories, giving presentations and researching new topics.
To be considered College & Career Ready, ninth/tenth graders reading Lexile levels range between 1050L to 1335L. Ninth/tenth graders are expected to read from rich and challenging texts, have mastered the basic rules of English, grammar and computer skills. They are expected to use critical thinking skills and pull from years of prior knowledge. The 9th/10th Grade Literature Composition Curriculum Map suggests students participate in up to 11 reading texts, 5-8 writing pieces, in addition to making research connections with written responses and participating in routine writing every nine weeks.
The ninth/tenth 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 high school writing rubrics that will be used for Milestones scoring. Also note, 40-60% of the items on the ninth/tenth grade Milestones are at a DOK 3 or 4 level requiring higher cognitive demands than the previous levels.
It’s Time to Use Formative Assessment to Drive Instruction
High School teachers and students are busy and usually overwhelmed! Teachers have several classes, many students, and a wide range of academic strengths and weakness to identify and address. Teachers are constantly working to determine who to teach and what to teach for maximum learning gains. Many high school students have learning gaps or misconceptions that make learning new grade level standards challenging. Students who are working below grade level often feel embarrassed and overwhelmed. While other students are under tremendous pressure to work toward scholarships and have already begun college level courses. More than ever teachers need reliable data from quality formative assessments throughout the school year to pinpoint areas of concern and drive small and whole group instruction. Students need to better understand the learning expectations and specifically their mastery of standards. This is where Lennections Assesslets come in!