PSSA Prep Resources_ Tools_ and Strategies to improve student

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					          PSSA Prep:
Resources, Tools, and Strategies
to improve student achievement

          Colonial Intermediate Unit 20
            Educational Consultants
                Kathy Emeigh
               Melissa Petrilak
         Guiding Questions:
   What resources can help us to decide our
    instructional focus?

   What tools are available for us?

   What are practical strategies are there to
    embed PSSA prep in our daily
   What strategies do you use
    now to prepare your students
    for PSSA?
Bright Ideas
         Periodically a
          “Stop, Drop, and
          Jot” will take place.
         Use Bright Ideas
          paper to generate
          ideas of the
          information you’ve
          heard throughout
          the training.
              Why focus on the
        special education population?
   To meet adequate Yearly Progress (AYP)
    required by No Child Left Behind (NCLB)
    schools and subgroups must meet four
       Student achievement at proficiency or above
            For 2006-07 Math score - 45% (56% for ’08-’10)
            For 2006-07 Reading score - 54% (63% for ’08-’10)
       95% participation
       90% attendance
       80% graduation rate
     Special Education is a Subgroup

   Subgroups must meet targets or a school does
    not meet AYP

   Subgroup has 40 or more students.

   Bottom line… at least for now is that IEP
    students need to improve their PSSA
        The Good and the Bad of It
   Good                               Bad
      IEP students responsible           Rules changed mid game.
       for same                           Chronological age and
       Anchors/Standards as                grade used as the basis
       regular education students          for state assessment.
      IEP aligned to                     Some districts may only
       Anchors/Standards giving            focus on the IEP students
       Special Education                   who are capable of raising
       teachers a clear                    PSSA scores.
       instructional focus.
      Schools can meet AYP
       through a Safe Harbor.
What Should We Do?
Logic 101
    Continue to expect all
     students make
           AND
    Identify students who
     will increase the
     school or district
     proficiency rate by
PA Academic Standards
       1.1, 1.2, 1.3
  Assessment Anchor
  Content Standards
 A.1, A.2, B.1, B.2, B.3
    “Trifolds” and More from IU 13
         For reading assessment anchor content standards
    presented in “teacher friendly” charts and graphs.

         For math assessment anchor content standards
    presented in “teacher friendly” charts and graphs.


                Reporting Category

Five Math Reporting
     A. Numbers &
     B. Measurement
     C. Geometry
     D. Algebraic Concepts
     E. Data Analysis &

     Two Reading
     Reporting Categories:
     A. Comprehension and
     Reading Skills
     B. Interpretation and
     Analysis of Literature
    Reference to Standard- Math

    Reference to Standard- Reading

                   Eligible Content

         Known as
    “assessment limits”

 Identify how deeply teachers need
   to cover an Anchor to prepare
          students for PSSA

 Not all Eligible Content is assessed on the PSSA;
shows the range of knowledge from which the test
                    was designed.
   Sample Items

   Math only!
More sample items
Resource Materials
        Begin With the “End” in Mind!

                              Test Blueprint- Math
  Reporting        Grade       Grade       Grade       Grade       Grade       Grade       Grade
  Category           3           4           5           6           7           8          11
Numbers and
                   40-50%      43-47%      41-45%      28-32%      20-24%      18-22%      12-15%
Measurement        12-15%      12-15%      12-15%      12-15%      12-15%      12-15%      12-15%

  Geometry         12-15%      12-15%      12-15%      15-21%      15-21%      15-20%      12-18%
                   12-15%      12-15%      13-17%      15-20%      20-27%      25-30%      36-42%
Data Analysis
                   13-16%      12-15%      12-15%      15-20%      15-20%      15-20%      12-18%
and Probability
 Total Points     66 Points   66 Points   66 Points   66 Points   66 Points   66 Points   66 Points
Stop, Drop, and Jot
Information on Assessment Anchor
        Content Standards

 Open website to:
 Click on tab Pre K- 12
 Left hand side of page, click on
 Left hand side of page, click on
  Assessment Anchors
Online Resources

         Online Resources
Click here
     Downloadable Tools
The Assessment
Anchors and
Glossaries are

Item Samplers,
Handbook with
Formula Sheets
Critical Content Words
 Math and Reading

      …and More from IU 13
   An Assessment Anchor Guide with:
       assessment anchor
       eligible content
      key vocabulary
All on one teacher friendly page!
Critical Content Words

        Source of the words
      contained in this packet:
   The words were taken from one of the forms of the
    2005 Math and Reading PSSA

   They were not taken from test content, but from test
    question forms

   Please note that these words are not intended as a
    complete listing.

   The list represents the critical content words that
                  “stood out” upon review.
    Purpose of Adopt-A-Word
   To give students access to vocabulary that will
    help them better comprehend the intent of test

   To give teachers concise and common “test”
    vocabulary to embed in current classroom
    routines and curriculum across content areas
 Why “adopt” a word?
 Ina learning community, it is very
  important that all teachers take
  ownership of critical content vocabulary.

 Studentsneed multiple opportunities for
  exposure to these words across content
And from Susan in Philadelphia
       School District…..

    3 pages of strategies!

“Some PSSA Glossary Words
   Ideas and Mini-Lessons”
How can we use this tool?

  Item and Sampler Guide:
     Rubrics and Sample
Stop, Drop, and Jot
    A “Collection” of Strategies!
From Joann in Pocono Mt. School District.
   Using the Item Samplers from PDE:
        Practice with sticky notes
        Double-space and enlarge font (“George” went from
         below basic to proficient with this strategy!)
        Have your students grade the sample student
         responses, and see if their score agrees with PDE’s.
        Use acetate sheets and “grease” pencils to allow the
         students to interact with the text in a more concrete
    A “Collection” of Strategies!
From Susan in Philadelphia School District.
   Using the Rubrics from PDE:
      With your class, generate “student friendly”
      Student Work Sheet Constructed Response
       – Graphic using the 3 point reading rubric
      Uses “Reading Responses” with lawyer talk.
      She gave us the ideas for glossary mini-
 A “Collection” of Strategies!
                       Fraction Percent   Decimal
From Kelly in CIU 20
                         1/4     25%        .25
 Poster Support –       1/2     50%        .50
  “fading support”

                         3/4     75%        .75

                         1/1     100%      1.00
   A “Collection” of Strategies!
  More from Kelly in CIU 20 region.
   Strategies/toolbox specific to test taking.

Name:_______________                (4Sight Test) 1   2   3   4   5
What tools/strategies/bright ideas WILL you use to be
successful on the
What WILL you do if you become frustrated while taking the
What tools DID you use on the
What DID you do when you got frustrated? Did it work?
    A “Collection” of Strategies!
From Maria in Upper Merion SD.
   PSSA- specific instructional strategies to
    introduce students to rubrics:
        Present the rubric on an overhead transparency,
         underlining key vocabulary. Discuss and explain key
        Explain each level of the rubric noting the use of
         words such as “all, most, some, few, or none” and
         their relationship to the scores 0 – 4.
    A “Collection” of Strategies!
MORE from Maria in Upper Merion SD.
 Brainstorm and practice a problem together.
 Have students score their own work using the
  Math. General Problem Solving Rubric and
  discuss how they can improve their scores! (up
  one more level is inherently motivating!)
 Use the item sampler to illustrate the
  differences between a 4,3,2,1, and 0 score.
 A “Collection” of Strategies!
EVEN MORE from Missy in CIU 20 region.
 Hang posters that explain formulas, key words,
  vocabulary words
 Practice reading and solving different multiple choice
  and open-ended questions by focusing on key words.
 Use math notebooks to write key PSSA vocab,
  definitions, formulas, facts.
 Conduct teacher “think alouds” while solving problems.
      “I know lunchtime is at 12:00. It’s 11?40 now. I can count by fives to
       see how many minutes until lunchtime: 11:45, 11:50, 11:55, 12:00. I
       counted by fives four times, so that’s 20 minutes in all. Lunch is in 20
           Explanation Tips
1. Show all the steps you used to solve
   the problem. If you used a calculator
   or did some of the work in your head,
   you must write a description of the
   steps that you followed.
2. Write an explanation stating the
   mathematical reason(s) why you
   chose each of your steps.
          Explanation Tips
   Encourage students to EXPLAIN their work -
    not DESCRIBE it
      Description:
       “I multiplied 5 and 20 to get 100”
      Explanation:
       “I multiplied the number of quizzes and
       the number of points of each quiz to find
       the total points for the quizzes.”
       Explanation Tips
   Make sure ALL steps are explained.
   Encourage students not to use
    numbers in their explanations – this
    will stop them from describing their
     e.g. First I added $38.25 and $17
    and got $55.25. Then I divided
    $55.25 by $4.25 to get my answer….
Assign Targeted Students
    to Teacher/Coach
              Assigned teacher follows
               students from PSSA
               preparation to PSSA test
              Teacher assumes
               ownership responsibility
               for their group of
Use All Allowable Testing Accommodations
         when Administering PSSA
   Accommodations available online.
    • Ensure Special Education Teacher
      have copies of Accommodations
    • Review Accommodations with all
    • Devise a plan to put
      Accommodations in place
       Best Accommodations
   Small group administration of test (low
    teacher/student ratio provides needed
   Simplify the directions and make sure
    student is clear about what to do
   Teacher use of highlighters
   Adjust test taking time, give students
   Many Students Do Poorly on Tests
Because They are Confused by the Format
             or Directions

 Repeat and Clarify Directions
 Provide Individual Assistance
 Closely Monitor
 Redirect students to specific
  questions/responses if they
  are experiencing difficulties
    Special Education Teachers Need to
      be Knowledgeable About PSSA
   Understand the Importance of the PSSA
   Accept that students with IEPs must take the
    test and are expected to show improvement.
   Be familiar with the format
   Know Allowable Accommodations
   Motivational Strategies
   Test-taking Strategies
   Active During Testing
   Connect Teacher Performance to Student
Practice, practice, practice…
 embed, embed, embed …
       before the test
             Think about it….
   “Talent wins games, but teamwork and
    intelligence wins championships.” Michael Jordan
   “People who work together will win, whether it
    be against complex football defenses, or the
    problems of modern society.” Vince Lombardi
   “A pat on the back is only a few vertebrae
    removed from a kick in the pants, but is
    miles ahead in results.” Ella Wheeler Wilcox
   “Teamwork divides the task and doubles the
    success.” Anonymous

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