Welcome to the second installment of our series, where we delve into a detailed six-week plan designed to prepare 3rd-grade students for the NYS ELA assessment. This plan is crafted to be systematic, sequential, and explicit, providing teachers with the necessary tools to enhance student readiness for the assessment.
Week 1: Reading Comprehension – Understanding Literary Texts
Targeted Skill: Identify key details and the main idea in a text.
Lesson Objective: Students will be able to read a passage and identify the main idea and supporting details.
Common Core Standard: CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.3.2
- Explicit Teaching: Use think-aloud strategies to model how to identify the main idea and details.
- Guided Practice: Provide structured worksheets where students can practice identifying the main idea and details in pairs.
- Strategies for Struggling Readers: Use graphic organizers to help visually organize information from the text.
- ELL and Special Education Strategies: Provide sentence stems and frames to support summarization and discussion of the text.
- Formative Assessments: Use exit tickets that prompt students to write the main idea of a text read during the lesson.
- Weekly Quizzes: Administer a short quiz on Fridays to assess understanding of the week’s texts.
Week 2: Vocabulary Acquisition and Use
Targeted Skill: Determine the meaning of general academic and domain-specific words and phrases in a text.
Lesson Objective: Students will be able to use context clues and word analysis strategies to determine the meaning of unknown words.
Common Core Standard: CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.3.4
- Direct Instruction: Teach context clues and roots/prefixes/suffixes.
- Interactive Activities: Use vocabulary games to reinforce word learning.
- Strategies for Struggling Readers: Offer additional practice with cloze sentences and matching exercises.
- ELL and Special Education Strategies: Provide visual aids and realia to connect new vocabulary with concrete references.
- Observation: Monitor student participation in vocabulary games and activities.
- Vocabulary Journals: Check vocabulary journals weekly to ensure students are incorporating new words.
Week 3: Writing Coherent Narratives
Targeted Skill: Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events.
Lesson Objective: Students will be able to write a narrative piece with a clear sequence of events and descriptive details.
Common Core Standard: CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.3.3
- Modeling: Demonstrate how to plan a narrative using a graphic organizer.
- Peer Review: Implement peer-editing sessions focusing on sequence and detail.
- Strategies for Struggling Readers: Use sentence starters to help students begin their narratives.
- ELL and Special Education Strategies: Provide story structure templates and visual story prompts.
- Writing Conferences: Conduct brief, individual conferences to discuss student narratives.
- Rubrics: Use a simple rubric to assess narratives for sequence and detail.
Week 4: Understanding Informational Texts
Targeted Skill: Explain events, procedures, ideas, or concepts in a historical, scientific, or technical text.
Lesson Objective: Students will be able to comprehend and summarize informational texts.
Common Core Standard: CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.3.3
- Shared Reading: Use a think-pair-share approach to discuss informational texts.
- Summarization Techniques: Teach students how to summarize paragraphs using their own words.
- Strategies for Struggling Readers: Provide audio recordings of texts for students to follow along.
- ELL and Special Education Strategies: Offer dual-language texts and glossaries for complex terms.
- Summarization Assessment: Collect summaries and provide feedback on clarity and accuracy.
- Weekly Reading Logs: Check reading logs for reflections on informational texts.
Week 5: Foundational Skills – Fluency
Targeted Skill: Read grade-level text with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.
Lesson Objective: Students will be able to read aloud a grade-level passage fluently and with proper expression.
Common Core Standard: CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RF.3.4
- Repeated Reading: Have students practice reading passages multiple times.
- Expressive Reading: Model and practice reading with expression during read-alouds.
- Strategies for Struggling Readers: Use choral reading to build confidence and fluency.
- ELL and Special Education Strategies: Provide sentence strips and highlight patterns in syntax and punctuation.
- Timed Repeated Readings: Record students’ fluency with timed readings.
- Fluency Self-Assessment: Students self-assess using a fluency rubric.
Week 6: Test-Taking Strategies and Review
Targeted Skill: Apply test-taking strategies for ELA assessments.
Lesson Objective: Students will be able to use strategies such as annotating the text and eliminating incorrect answers to improve test performance.
Common Core Standard: CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.3.1
- Strategy Instruction: Teach explicit test-taking strategies, including time management and question analysis.
- Practice Tests: Provide practice test opportunities to apply strategies.
- Strategies for Struggling Readers: Offer small group or one-on-one sessions to practice test questions.
- ELL and Special Education Strategies: Use clear language and visual aids to explain test directions and expectations.
- Mock Test Analysis: Review results of practice tests to identify areas needing further review.
- Strategy Checklists: Use checklists to ensure students are applying test-taking strategies during practice.
By following this six-week plan, teachers can provide a structured and comprehensive approach to NYS ELA test preparation. Each week builds upon the last, ensuring that students have mastered the necessary skills to perform well on the assessment. Progress monitoring is an ongoing process, enabling teachers to make informed decisions about instruction and provide timely interventions where necessary.