This morning my students were visited by Mrs. Mackall and Mrs. Daigle, two of our districts technology instructors, to introduce our class to NJ’s new assessment system the PARCC.
What is the PARCC?
Each year students are given a standardized test in 4th grade. Prior to this year, the tests were called the NJASK and students took them using pencil and paper. The PARCC (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers), however, will be taken strictly online. Students will read passages, answer math problems, and write essays all on the computer. This is more than a little intimidating. To help students prepare, they were introduced to the different types of questions and buttons that they will see when they take the assessment in the spring.
What types of questions will they see?
Multiple choice- students will see questions that have multiply choices. Students who are used to being able to cross off wrong answer choices will still be able to use this strategy. They will be able to eliminate answers that they know are incorrect using the answer eliminator button on the test screen. They will then click on the circle of the correct answer to fill it in. (Just like we do each week on our comprehension tests already)
Drag and Drop Questions- for these test questions, students students will select information from one area and slide it into the answer area. While our weekly tests do not use these types of questions, they are exposed to this through instructional games and websites that we use.
Short Response Questions- for these test questions, students will need to type in responses. There will be short response questions in both math and language arts test areas. Students do type essays in class now, but they will definitely need to work on this skill in the coming months. Students need to remember not to bold, underline, or highlight the text. This will result in the answer being scored incorrectly. There is no spell check on PARCC. Also, NO TEXT TYPING! Spell out the words! (no lol, u, r, brb). For the math short response questions, students will be given a set of icons to click on to show division symbols and whatnot.
Multiple Answer Questions- Some questions require students to select more than one correct answer. (For example: Select two of the details from the article from those below.) Students must click on more than one correct choice for these questions. These questions do look slightly different. They have square answer choices instead of circle answer choices. Students MUST follow the directions and select the number they are asked to find.
Drop Down Menu Questions- students will select the correct answer from choices in a drop down menu.
Shade in the Area Questions- students will select the areas to be shaded and the box or shape will change color
What tools will they be given to use?
In the math section there will be online rulers, protractors, and calculators that students can use in designated sections.
Students are also given scrap paper in both sections of the test- to plan out work in language arts and to use as scrap paper in the math sections.
At the end of each section, students are encouraged to click the review button to ensure that they have completed all of the questions in that section. Once they hit the submit button, they will not be able to go back to make any changes. As students take the test, they can also “flag” questions that they would like to remember to go back to and finish later. These flagged questions will also appear in the review section.
Students will not be able to open other websites or tools on the computer as they take the test. If they do they will be kicked out of the test site. This would not be good!!!!!!
How am I preparing your child in class?
Thankfully, our text books offer an online test option for both math and language arts tests. While this will help familiarize the kids with reading texts and questions online as well as answering the multiple choice questions, it does not help with the other questions types. To help prepare my students in class we will be utilizing practice tests and games to help us practice answering the other questions types. We also type frequently in class. All of our essays are typed before they are submitted for a final grade. We will be increasing our typing opportunities through the use of some typing websites. Our social studies tests do require some on line short response questions to help them prepare as well.
How can YOU help prepare your child?
Visit the district PARCC informational website and review the material with your child at www.parccmillville.weebly.com as well as visit the new PARCC resources page on our blog.
Offer your child the opportunity to log in to custom typing at home to practice typing skills. They can also practice typing on your tablet or computer for fun. They can even type homework if they want! Encourage your child to text you in complete words so that they get out of the “text talk” habit. Call me if you have questions!
This is new for all of us. I got a TON of useful information from today’s session. The website above gives games that will help students prepare as well as sample test questions for both you and your child to review.