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PSSA Writing Test (PowerPoint)

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					PSSA Writing Test
          February
       11th-22th, 2008
Why is this important?

   In the 11th grade, you must
    demonstrate proficiency in writing in
    order to graduate.
   You will be required to submit a
    PSSA portfolio for graduation if you
    score Basic or below Basic on this
    test.
   Grades 5 and 8 are checkpoints to
    ensure that you are making progress
    toward the final 11th grade goal.
What will the test be like?

   20 Multiple Choice questions
    for editing and revision
   2 prompts to write to
Multiple Choice Section

   5 Short passages with errors
   Each passage followed by 4
    multiple choice questions
   Questions will focus on revising
    and editing the passages.
   Answers are a part of your
    conventions score.
WHAT IS A MODE OF
WRITING?

   MODE MEANS TYPE, STYLE, OR
    GENRE.

   THERE ARE MANY MODES OF
    WRITING SUCH AS NARRATIVE,
    POETIC, INFORMATIONAL,
    PERSUASIVE, ETC.
      WHAT MODES ARE TESTED ON
          THE PSSA WRITING
               TEST?
THE PSSA WRITING TEST INCLUDES:

   PERSUASIVE, INFORMATIONAL, AND
    NARRATIVE MODES IN GRADE 5
   PERSUASIVE AND INFORMATIONAL
    ONLY IN GRADES 8 AND 11
What types of writing have you
done in the narrative mode?
   Autobiography
   Autobiographical incident
   Short story
   Memoir
   Anecdote
    WHAT TYPES OF WRITING HAVE YOU
    DONE THAT ARE IN THE PERSUASIVE
    MODE?


THE FOLLOWING ARE PERSUASIVE:

   OPINION ESSAYS
   PROBLEM SOLUTION ESSAYS
   PERSUASIVE ESSAYS
     WHAT TYPES OF WRITING HAVE
      YOU DONE THAT ARE IN THE
        INFORMATIONAL MODE?

THE FOLLOWING ARE INFORMATIONAL:

   COMPARE/CONTRAST ESSAYS
   DESCRIPTIVE ESSAYS
   WRITING INSTRUCTIONS- “HOW TO”
   EXPOSITORY ESSAYS – “DISCUSS”
Guess the mode…
Remember:
 a narrative prompt will ask you to tell a
  story, or tell about a time or event in your
  life.
 an informational prompt will ask for an
  explanation, clarification, evaluation,
  comparison or definition.
 a persuasive prompt will ask you to take a
  side, support an opinion, or to defend,
  argue or refute.
Narrative, Informational or
Persuasive?
A new principal is contacting all
 students about changing or
 adding to the school rules.
 Think of a rule you would like
 to change or add. Write to
 persuade your principal to use
 your suggestion.
Narrative, Informational or
Persuasive?
You are the class president and
 have been asked to write an
 introduction for a person you
 admire greatly. Write an essay
 describing the most admirable
 qualities of the person.
Narrative, Informational or
Persuasive?
Think about a time when you have
 had to make an important
 decision in your life. Tell about
 that time and how your decision
 affected you life.
Narrative, Informational or
Persuasive?
 Many areas have laws that
 require motorcycle and bicycle
 riders to wear helmets. Do these
 laws conflict with your right to
 “life, liberty, and the pursuit of
 happiness”? Take a position for
 or against these laws and write
 an essay supporting your view.
Narrative, Informational or
Persuasive?


―Great thoughts speak only to a thoughtful
  mind, but great actions speak to all
  humankind.‖
                        —Emily P. Bissell
  How do ―great actions speak to all
  humankind‖? Write an essay that
  explains your understanding of this
  quotation.
Narrative, Informational or
Persuasive?
Many American citizens believe
 that the electoral college is
 unfair and propose that our
 President should be elected by
 popular vote. Take a stance
 and discuss your opinion of this
 issue.
Narrative, Informational or
Persuasive?

Think about discoveries or inventions
  that have affected our lives. Select
  one. Write to inform someone about
  this discovery or invention. Tell
  whether it has been good or bad for
  society.
Helpful Hints

When taking the PSSA Writing the
  first thing to figure out is:
What MODE of writing do they
  want here.
 They want me to tell a story.

 They want me to inform.

 They want me to persuade.
If they want you to inform figure out
what type of information they want

   How to
   Descriptive
   Compare/ Contrast
   Essay
If it’s “How to”-

   Think:
     Tell what I’m teaching and why
     Materials

     Steps with good transitions

     Anticipate problems reader will
      have
If it’s Descriptive-

   Think:
     Characteristics
     Images

     Adjectives

     Sense details
If it’s Essay -

   Think:
     Make a point
     Back it up
         Details
         Examples

         Anecdotes
If it’s Compare/Contrast

   Think:
     Venn Diagram
     Organization
         Point by Point,
         topic by topic,

         or like then different



        DO NOT TAKE A SIDE OR YOU’RE
         BEING PERSUASIVE!
If it’s the Persuasive Mode
Think:
 Clearly state and explain my stand…one
  stand even if I see both sides!
 Back it up with logical reasons, and any
  facts that I have.
 Use persuasive techniques like rhetorical
  questions, repetition, and ideas that will
  appeal to my audience.
 Recognize and refute, reasonably, one
  idea that my opposition might have
How will my test be scored?
   The 2008 PSSA uses a mode-specific scoring
    guideline for each prompt.
   The mode-specific scoring guidelines identify
    the most important qualities of the mode of
    writing and the specific prompt
   These qualities are broken down into 4 areas
    or domains - focus, content,
    organization and style.
   Conventions of writing are scored with a
    separate scoring guideline.
                       WHAT ARE
                       DOMAINS?

   THE DOMAINS ARE THE PARTS OF YOUR WRITING THAT ARE
         SCORED ON THE PSSA WRITING TEST.

   YOUR WRITING IS BROKEN DOWN INTO 5 DOMAINS:

       FOCUS
       CONTENT
       ORGANIZATION
       STYLE
       CONVENTIONS – using a separate rubric


   All PARTS HAVE TO BE STRONG FOR THE
    PIECE TO BE PROFICIENT .
    WHEN YOU FOCUS YOUR
    WRITING YOU:

   ANSWER THE PROMPT
   MAKE A POINT
   STICK TO YOUR POINT TILL THE
    END.
   WHEN YOU FOCUS YOU STAY
    ON THE TOPIC!
    WHEN YOU HAVE STRONG
    CONTENT,
    YOU’VE INCLUDED GOOD:

   DETAILS
   REASONS
   FACTS
   EXAMPLES
   CONNECTIONS
   ANECDOTES (BRIEF TRUE EXAMPLES)
   OR EXPLANATIONS

TO HELP YOUR READER UNDERSTAND
  YOUR IDEAS.
YOUR ORGANIZATION IS STRONG WHEN
YOU PICK A PATTERN AND STICK TO IT:


   MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT
   LEAST TO MOST IMPORTANT
   SIMILARITIES THEN DIFFERENCES
   TOPIC BY TOPIC COMPARISON
   CHRONOLOGICAL (FIRST TO LAST)

USE OF PARAGRAPHS AND TRANSITIONAL
  WORDS IS KEY!
YOUR STYLE IS STRONG
WHEN YOU:
   USE HIGH LEVEL
    VOCABULARY
   USE A VARIETY OF
    SENTENCE STYLES
   CREATE A STONG TONE
    (PERSUASIVE, INFORMATIVE
    OR STORYTELLER)
   AND SPEAK TO YOUR
    AUDIENCE’S CONCERNS (IN
    PERSUASIVE MODE).
YOUR USE OF CONVENTIONS IS
STRONG WHEN YOU USE:


   CORRECT SPELLING
   COMPLETE SENTENCES
   CORRECT END PUNCTUATION
   CORRECT INTERNAL PUNCTUATION
    (COMMAS, SEMICOLINS, ETC…
   CORRECT CAPITALIZATION
   CORRECT PARAGRAPHING
    TECHNIQUE

				
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