10th Grade Writing Test

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					10th   Grade Writing Test
      Preparatory Workshop
   St. Stephens High 2010-2011

             Biggs 2010-2011
               “Stress Session”

Warning: 3 minute time limit! … Warning: 3 minute time limit!

                          Biggs 2010-2011
            About the Test
• All 10th grade students will take the test
  Tues., March 8th from approximately 8:30 –
• You have 100 minutes to write.
• The test is a state test developed by North
  Carolina testing division. They wish to see
  all 10th graders writing at or above grade

                   Biggs 2010-2011
Did you say 100 minutes?!?
                   • Don’t stress… plan
                     out your time.
                   • 100 minutes = 1 hour
                     and 40 minutes
                   • 100 minutes = 1 full
                     class period + 10

          Biggs 2010-2011
         More about the test…
• A level III or IV is considered passing. This
  workshop is designed to help you reach at least a
  level III.
• Two trained readers read your paper and score it.
  The scores are combined and set to a scale.
• Misconception: Students cannot review or study
  for this test.
• Wrong! There are techniques and strategies!

                      Biggs 2010-2011
    How do they score it?

                                    Content = 2/3


   Conventions                      Conventions =
                  Biggs 2010-2011
               Introductory Text
• The information (quotes, data, statistic, or excerpts) located
  within the box.

• If quotes or data, analyze each. Try to put it into your own
  words – paraphrase.

• If you do not understand one, skip it and see if another is
  easier to understand.

• Do you want to use any of the information in your paper?

                          Biggs 2010-2011
• The prompt follows the introductory text box.
• It will relate the information you need to get started writing.
• Look for the role of the writer, the audience, the format, and the
• It also relates the type of informational writing: definition, cause,
 or effect.
• Strategy for prompt… RAFT

                               Biggs 2010-2011

R: Role Who are you?
A: Audience Who are you writing to?
F: Format What are you writing?
T: Topic What is your focus?

               Biggs 2010-2011
                   Practice RAFT
#1 – Write a speech to present to your community’s elementary
and middle school Parent/Guardian Associations in which you
examine the harmful effects of children watching too much
#2 – As a school guidance counselor, write an article for the local
newspaper discussing the effect of peer pressure on high school
#3 – Congratulations for completing half of your sophomore
year! Along the way you have learned invaluable lessons. Write
a letter of advice to eighth grade students advising them on the
best way to be successful in high school.
Try these and check your answers.
                         Biggs 2010-2011
     Answers to RAFT practice
#1 – R: student (yourself) A: Parent/Guardian Association
     F: speech T: harmful effects of too much TV

#2 – R: School Guidance Counselor A: local newspaper
     (community) F: article T: peer pressure

#3 – R: 10th grader (yourself) A: rising 9th graders
     F: letter of advice T: success in high school
                         Biggs 2010-2011
          Past Prompts (a breakdown):
Year       Role         Audience         Format              Topic           Type        Link
2003   10th educ.      PTO              Speech          Harmful effects   effect       2003
       (yourself)      (elem/mid)                       of too much
2004   valedictorian   Peers, grad.     Speech          Meaning of        definition   2004
                       class                            integrity
2005   10th educ.      Peers,           Article         Meaning of        definition   2005
       (yourself)      teachers,                        individuality
                       admin.                           (group)
2006   10th educ.      School Board     Letter          Effects of no-    effect       2006
       (yourself)                                       pass, no-play
2007   10th educ.      Admin,           Article         Meaning of        definition   2007
       (yourself)      teachers,                        human rights
2008   10th educ.      Admin,           Article         Effects of        effect       2008
       (yourself)      teachers, peer                   technology
                                                        (everyday life)
2009   10th educ.      Readers of       Letter to the   Effects of cell   effect       2009
       (yourself)      your local       Editor          phone
                       newspaper                        (everyday life)
2010   10th educ.      Readers of       Letter of    Meaning of           definition   2010
       (yourself)      high school      explanation responsibility
                       orientation                   (re: high school)
                                          Biggs 2010-2011
• Are the pictures hanging on your wall
 at home in focus or out of focus?
• Focus = staying on topic throughout the paper.
• Level III begins with maintaining focus.
• How do you ensure focus is maintained?
 Brainstorming and planning…
                    Biggs 2010-2011
         • Bubble map
         • List
         • Outline

    Biggs 2010-2011
             Topic: Success as a result of

          Student                                        Athlete

                         Success comes from
                         making mistakes and
      Studying           learning from them.              Bad Play

“You can’t win unless
you know how to lose.”
- Kareem Abdul Jabar
                          Lied                 At Home
                            Biggs 2010-2011
         Outline Form/Plan for Topic
I.     Introductory Paragraph
       A. Introduce myself to audience
       B. State reasons for speech – topic
       C. Use quote (hook)
II. Success as a student
       A. Story of Final Exam – did not study = failure
III. Success as an Athlete
       A. Story of basketball game – bad play = team loss
IV. Success at Home
       A. Story of late arrival – lied = loss of trust
V. Conclusion
       A. How I turned everything around… learned from my mistakes.
       B. Life worth living is one with mistakes
       C. Quote from George Bernard Shaw (clincher)
                                     Biggs 2010-2011
Ripple Effect

                • How does it affect me,
                my family and friends,
                my community,
                humankind as a whole?

   Biggs 2010-2011
Ripple Effect Example
             Topic: Integrity

              What it means to me…

                 What it means to my friends
                 and family…

                What it means to my
                community or society…

       Biggs 2010-2011
• Use graphic organizers such as bubble map, list, outline,
 or cause/effect list.
• Types of organization:
   •Chronological – order in which it happened
   •Spatial – in relation to space
   •Importance – most important to least important
   •Cause/effect – cause leads to effect, repeat…

                           Biggs 2010-2011
Support and Elaboration
              • What is the difference
              between a bowl of ice cream
              and a sundae? The extra
              toppings! Make’s it more
              • Males need to work on
              support and elaboration; data
              • Give evidence to back up
              ideas, and use anecdotes, or
              • Explode a moment!
        Biggs 2010-2011
                  Dramatic License
• You have been issued a dramatic license for the 10th grade
  writing test. Use it!
• This gives you the right to bend the truth… but it must be
  believable. (Similar to a poetic license where poets may
  bend the rules of poetry.)
• Ex: When I was sixteen, my parents caught me in a lie. I was not allowed
to ride home from school with any of my friends. At dinner, my father
asked me how I got home from school. “The bus,” I replied. “Why do you
ask?” He shook his head with disappointment and said, “I guess you have a
twin. I saw your best friend Kim with your twin on Springs Rd.” Trust me,
I should have told the truth. I was grounded for two months.
                                Biggs 2010-2011
***this did not actually happen to me, but to a friend = dramatic license

                   Jeans to a prom?
                   Evening gown or
                   suit to a bowling

• Are your words/verbs precise?
• How do you build your sentences?
• Style is acquired.    Biggs 2010-2011
• Conventions encompasses grammar, spelling, and mechanics.
• Common mistakes:
    •Fragments and Run-ons
    •Misplaced phrases or unclear phrases
    •Incorrect use of verbs
    •Pronoun Misuse
    •Misuse of a word
    •Incorrect Capitalization
    •Incorrect Punctuation
    •Failure to indent          Biggs 2010-2011
Writing Process
                Top half of bun = Intro
                Burger = Body
                Cheese, lettuce, tomatoes =
                Ketchup, Mayo, Mustard =
                Bottom half of bun =

    Biggs 2010-2011
         Introductory Paragraph
Hook? Try something humorous or
Quote? Use an old adage or a quote
from the introductory text.
Story? Once there was… or Pretend
you are a basketball player who has
just scored a basket for the other
Statistic/Data? 75% of all high school
graduates admit to cheating.

                          Biggs 2010-2011
• SO WHAT? The reader must not
leave without this question being
answered… how does it matter to
• Restate thesis
• Leave them thinking…
• Rhetorical Question or Clincher?
• Advice or a quote that sums things
                         Biggs 2010-2011
Thesis Statement
                       Let your
                       audience know
                       what you are
                       writing about
                       and the
                       direction you
                       are going.
                       What are you
                       trying to prove?
     Biggs 2010-2011
• Each body paragraph must begin with a main
idea. The next sentence should offer a
supporting point. The final sentences should
elaborate with further discussion or explanation.
• Time should allow for 3 fully developed
paragraphs or 2 extensively developed
• Think Power Writing…
                     Biggs 2010-2011
             Power Writing
Power 1 (red) = main idea or topic sentence
Power 2 (blue) = supports main idea
Power 3 (green) = elaborates main idea
Power 4 (orange) = concluding sentence
Power 0 (yellow) = above and beyond in detail

*Be conscious of your writing…
                   Biggs 2010-2011
      Example of Power Writing
  Two unusual mammals live in Australia. The koala bears
  live in trees. They seldom come down to the ground. The
  kangaroos live in the grasslands. They live in large groups
  called mobs.

  (1) Two unusual mammals live in Australia. (2) The koala
  bears live in trees. (3) They seldom come down to the
  ground. (2) The kangaroos live in the grasslands. (3) They
  live in large groups called mobs.

** Every body paragraph should begin with a 1, 2, 3…
                         Biggs 2010-2011
Revision Matters!

           • Most level II papers could
           have been level III had the
           student reread and revised with
           the leftover time.
           • Learn to hear yourself in your
           head! Crazy? A little… but
           works for the writing test.

     Biggs 2010-2011

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