This year the state is changing the format and rubric for its writing assessment that is administered to fifth, seventh, and 11th graders.
In the past students would respond to a one or two sentence prompt and were expected to stay on topic while demonstrating mastery of appropriate writing skills.Under the new test students must first read a text, and then respond to the text while including evidence to support their response and still demonstrating mastery of writing skills.
To help their students adjust to the changing expectations, Stoner Creek Elementary School in Mt. Juliet has begun a Celebration of Writing program to expose all their students to the new expectations.
The students’ first school-wide writing event will be this Monday, Dec. 3.
Each grade level will be giving a common writing prompt and scoring it using a rubric based on all the information the state has provided about how the new assessment has changed.
“We’re excited about the changes,” says Assistant Principal Joel Hoag, “but we also know it will be challenging for our students to adjust, so we want to make it as exciting and positive as we can.”
Students will be writing together Monday and their work will be showcased in the hallway beginning Thursday afternoon when many parents will be coming to school for the Book Fair Family Night.
“The book fair always generates a lot of excitement and community participation,” explains Principal Kathy Stivender, “and this was a great opportunity to expand that excitement about other’s writing. It also lets us expose parents to the expectations their children must meet in a fun and positive atmosphere.”
For the next two years, scores from the writing assessment will not be used by the state to evaluate districts, schools, or teachers as students and educators “learn and prepare for new standards and expectations in a low-stakes manner,” according to www.tncore.org.
For more information about the state assessment visit http://www.tn.gov/education/assessment/writing.shtml