Gr 8 Science PSSA 2009 Teacher by pvino

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									Gr. 8 Science PSSA Prep 2009 Teacher Overview

Science PSSA prep materials consist of 2 companion documents. The first is an overview for students that decode the test question format, and the second is a companion packet of practice questions. The overview packet is divided into general decoding strategies and the “Big Ideas” covered by the test. The "Big Ideas" and associated concepts are from the Standards Aligned System, organized in a more student friendly format. The questions in the companion packet correspond to these big ideas and concepts. The materials are intended to be used by classes over 3-4 separate days spread over a few weeks (i.e. only one or two days a week prior to the test). Suggested Activities: Day 1-2 – Multiple-choice decoding strategies, Open-ended basics, and the nature of science practice questions.
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Read page 1 of the overview packet (letter to students) In small groups have students design an experiment to evaluate potential health effects of artificial sweeteners (or similar problem). Challenge students to propose a reasoned hypothesis, identify what they would measure, and how they would measure it, and what evidence would be used to evaluate their hypothesis. Have them record a basic plan on a large sheet of poster paper for reporting out to the class.

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Explain that half of the science PSSA is designed to measure the skills they just demonstrated.

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Review pages 2-9 as a class. Emphasize that if a question uses unfamiliar diagrams and vocabulary it is most likely a nature of science question and they should not let themselves be distracted by unfamiliar terminology. Content questions tend to be basic and straightforward.

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Have students independently try the questions on pages 3-10 of the practice question packet. Review the answers as a class.

Philip Vinogradov

Centennial School District

Gr. 8 Science PSSA Prep 2009 Teacher Overview

Day 3-4 – Content Category Review and Practice questions
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For each Big Idea place sheets of poster paper at stations around the room, assigning a number to each station.

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Ask students to quietly read through the big ideas and concepts in their overview packets, marking the one they feel most comfortable with.

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Have students move to the station that corresponds with the big idea the identified.

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Select competent/confident students to move to underrepresented stations. At their stations ask students to record, on large posters, experiences they remember from their science classes (or life experiences) that related to that concept (pictures and words). Have groups rotate to do a quick “chalk talk” (marker-talk), adding to the lists generated by others or posting questions. The aim is for this reflective piece to refresh students’ concept familiarity and the relationships between concepts.

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After discussion (probably the next day) have students independently try questions in the companion packet.

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Review answers as a class, highlighting concepts and decoding strategies, especially for questions that require interpreting graphics.

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If time allows return to the concept posters and try to clarify questions. (How do we know the universe is expanding?, etc.)

Additional activities Students could adopt or be assigned a big idea for “Big Idea Day” and come to school dressed in theme on the Monday/Tuesday before the Science PSSA (juniors will do this in the high school). Prizes could be awarded for various categories. Students could create “Big Idea” posters in a poster competition and line the hallways with these.

Philip Vinogradov

Centennial School District

Gr. 8 Science PSSA Prep 2009 Teacher Overview

Practice question Answer Key 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 D B A D D B B A C B

11.

Philip Vinogradov

Centennial School District

Gr. 8 Science PSSA Prep 2009 Teacher Overview

12.

13 C 14 A 15 D 16 D 17 B 18 C 19 D 20 A (THE OTHER ANSWERS HAVE SUBTLE INACCURACIES)

Philip Vinogradov

Centennial School District

Gr. 8 Science PSSA Prep 2009 Teacher Overview

21 C 22 D 23 B 24 D 25 D 26 15 27 B 28 B 29 A 30 B 31 B 32 C 33 C 34 A 35 A 36 D 37 A 38 A 39 B 40 A 41 B 42 D 43 B 44 B 45 C 46 A 47 D

Philip Vinogradov

Centennial School District


								
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