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INSTRUCTIONAL PLANNING TOOL

Language Arts

Writing Composition GRADE 7

STAAR


Instructional Planning Tool User Guide  Overview 

This tool is designed to support teachers in instructional planning, by providing a means to process the sampling of  assessed standards on the released STAAR items. Using this process, educators will:    review historical assessment data;    read and solve sample STAAR items;    analyze assessment prompts in order to consider the multiple steps required to generate a response;   anticipate varying approaches and steps students might take; and   reflect on his or her current classroom instruction.     The goal of this tool is to guide effective planning, including probing questions, and monitoring of student progress,  which support student success.    The Instructional Planning Tool is organized by the learning standards assessed on STAAR.  Each standard is labeled as  Readiness, Supporting, or Process.    READINESS STANDARDS:   are essential for success in the  

PROCESS STANDARDS:  will be assessed in context, not in 

current grade or course; 

year (although introduced in the 

isolation in the content areas of 

are important for preparedness for 

current grade or course); 

Social Studies, Science, and Math; 

the next grade or course;  

SUPPORTING STANDARDS:  may be emphasized in a subsequent 

may be emphasized in a previous 

support college and career 

year (although introduced in the 

readiness; 

current grade or course); 

necessitate in‐depth instruction; 

address broad and deep ideas. 

will allow for a more integrated and  authentic assessment. 

play a role in preparing students for  the next grade or course but not a  central role;  

address more narrowly defined  ideas. 

  As you work through the tool, keep in mind that the intent is to help think through the instructional implications of  each standard. This tool provides an option to work through this thought process and can be customized to fit the  needs of each campus.  

Contents 

Each booklet contains:      

all learning standards assessed on STAAR for a grade and content area;  table to insert state, region, district, and grade TAKS performance data;  sample STAAR items;   example solution steps;  reflection questions to assist educators in increasing the rigor of classroom instruction.  

 

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Copyright©2012 Education Service Center Region XIII


Expository●

Writing Composition Grade 7

Test Genre: The scaffolded prompt may be a distractor for some students who might get wrapped up in the reading of the information box. It is important to teach the students how to navigate the scaffolding appropriately and see it as a springboard for thought.

Think/Analyze/Apply: Organization/Progression:

The organizing structure of the essay is clearly appropriate to the purpose and responsive to the specific demands of the prompt. The essay is skillfully crafted because the writer uses organizational strategies that are particularly well suited to the expository task. 

Form/Structure: The writer truly explores the issue of working alone vs. working in a group. He/she weighs the issue through explanation without slipping into persuasion. The writing stays focused on the subject (expository) and not on the reader (persuasion), which is the main difference between the two genres. Organized: The organizational pattern is four paragraphs: an introduction, two body paragraphs and a conclusion. The first body paragraph discusses the benefits of working alone, yet it also addresses some concessions (i.e., “…but it can also lead that person to never develop social and or team skills.”) The second body paragraph discusses the benefits of working in a team. In the concluding paragraph, the writer comes to a grand truth (i.e., “If everything was a one man job, then God wouldn’t have created two people…”).

The writer establishes a clear controlling idea. All ideas are strongly related to the controlling idea and are focused on the topic specified in the prompt. By sustaining this focus, the writer is able to create an essay that is unified and coherent. 

Controlling Idea: In this case, the writer’s controlling idea is a question (“Which one has a better look on life, and what does it say about their personality?”). The examples used in both body paragraphs tie back to this two-pronged question. Focus: The writer takes a unique approach to the topic while still adhering to the prompt. He/she decides to explore the personality traits and outlooks of team players vs. independent workers instead of taking a more simplistic approach.

The writer’s progression of ideas is logical and well controlled. Meaningful transitions and strong sentence-tosentence connections enhance the flow of the essay by clearly showing the relationships among ideas, making the writer’s train of thought easy to follow. 

Transitions: The writer uses a combination of formal and informal transitions to show cause/effect (“…This can lead them to become self-centered…”) and compare/contrast (…”but it can also lead that person to never develop…”) relationships. Sentence-to-Sentence Connections: The writer uses introductory signal words to indicate comparison/contrast and cause/effect making his/her logical connections easy to follow (i.e., “another thing” and “unfortunately.”)

Development of Ideas:

The development of ideas is effective because the writer uses details and examples that are specific and well chosen, adding substance to the essay. 

Details: The examples chosen by the writer show fairness with little bias toward one side or the other. They offer the writer the opportunity to truly explore the topic on an almost philosophical level. The examples, though generalizations, show a sophistication and perceptiveness that indicate an ability to synthesize ideas and concepts.

Copyright©2012 Education Service Center Region XIII Copyright©2012 Education Service Center Region XIII

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Expository●

Writing Composition Grade 7

The essay is thoughtful and engaging. The writer may choose to use his/her unique experiences or view of the world as a basis for writing or to connect ideas in interesting ways. The writer develops the essay in a manner that demonstrates a thorough understanding of the expository writing task. 

Thoughtful/Engaging: The writer is fusing his/her unique experiences with his/her views of the world to make thoughtful and true generalizations. The mature balance of ideas and philosophical musings are at the very heart of the expository genre. Again, his/her unique approach to the topic adds to the engagement.

Use of Language/Conventions:

The writer’s word choice is purposeful and precise. It reflects a keen awareness of the expository purpose and maintains a tone appropriate to the task. The word choice strongly contributes to the quality and clarity of the essay. 

Word Choice: The writer uses the tone and word choice appropriate for an expository essay. Instead of slipping into narrative techniques, he/she maintains an academic tone.

Sentences are purposeful, varied, and well controlled, enhancing the effectiveness of the essay. 

Varied/Well Controlled Sentences: The writer uses simple, compound and complex sentence structures.

The writer demonstrates a consistent command of sentence boundaries and age-appropriate spelling, capitalization, punctuation, grammar, and usage conventions. Although minor errors may be evident, they do not detract from the fluency of the writing or the clarity of the essay. The overall strength of the conventions contributes to the effectiveness of the essay.

Conventions: The few spelling and usage errors do not detract from the flow and overall effectiveness of the essay.

Instructional Considerations:

How do I currently teach this SE concept/content?

How do I need to adjust my instruction based on this analysis?

What formative assessment will I use to be sure it’s working?

Copyright©2012 Education Service Center Region XIII

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Copyright©2012 Education Service Center Region XIII


Narrative ʘ

Writing Composition Grade 7

Test Genre: The scaffolded prompt may be a distractor for some students who might potentially get wrapped up in the picture. It is important to teach students how to navigate the scaffolding appropriately and see it as a springboard for thought and creativity.

Think/Analyze/Apply: Organization/Progression:

The form or structure of the narrative is appropriate to the purpose and responsive to the specific demands of the prompt. The writer uses organizational strategies or literary devices that are particularly well suited to the narrative task. The writer is able to skillfully convey the experience and communicate its importance or meaning. 

 

Form/Structure: This paper clearly utilizes the form of a personal narrative and doesn’t deviate into other genres (such as persuasive, expository, etc.) The writer answers the prompt by writing in detail about the choice she made and addressing the outcome. Organized: This narrative effectively uses chronological order as an organizational strategy. There is a clear building to the climax and then the resolution. Literary Devices: Figurative language (“I was in a pickle.”)

All details contribute to the effectiveness of the narrative. The writer focuses on a specific personal experience and sustains that focus, strengthening the unity and coherence of the narrative.  

Details: Most of the details propel the progression of the story forward. Focus: The writer keeps a specific focus on the events leading up to the decision and is not sidetracked by extraneous information, such as why her sister was in the hospital.

The writer’s narrative presentation is well controlled. Meaningful transitions and strong sentence-to-sentence connections enhance the logical movement of the narrative and reinforce the link between the experience and its meaning. 

Transitions: The writer effectively uses formal and informal time order transitions creating sentence-to-sentence and paragraph-to-paragraph coherence such as: “as soon as,” “ever since,” “it was five o’clock.” There are no formulaic or inauthentic transitioned used. These would impede the flow. Sentence-to-sentence Connections: Each sentence is purposefully connected to the next with no gaps which would require the reader to infer meaning between sentences. The use of transitions and sentence-to-sentence connections aids in the natural progression of the story.

Development of Ideas:

Specific, well-chosen details add substance to the narrative. These details contribute significantly to the writer’s portrayal of the experience and provide the reader with a clear understanding of why this experience was meaningful. 

Details: The experience is enhanced by the effective selection of supporting details (ideas or events).

The narrative is thoughtful and engaging. The writer demonstrates a thorough understanding of the writing task by establishing a realistic situation, providing plausible motivations for behavior or actions, and revealing changes or insights that developed as a result of the experience.  

Thoughtful/Engaging: The writer takes what could be a seemingly ordinary experience and makes it engaging through the use of realism. Importance of Experience: The writer extends the lesson learned from just an unfortunate event into a life lesson.

Copyright©2012 Education Service Center Region XIII Copyright©2012 Education Service Center Region XIII

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Narrative ʘ

Writing Composition Grade 7 Use of Language/Conventions:

The writer’s word choice is vivid and expressive. It reflects a keen awareness of the narrative purpose. Effective word choice enables the writer to recreate the experience in a way that conveys its importance or meaning. 

Word Choice: Although the word choice is accurate, it is lacking excitement and specificity.

Sentences are purposeful, varied, and well controlled, enhancing the effectiveness of the narrative. 

Varied/Well Controlled Sentences: The writer varies sentences by alternating between simple, compound and complex structures. The writer also uses introductory phrases to break up the monotony (i.e., “In her response,…” and “Ever since…”).

The writer demonstrates a consistent command of sentence boundaries and age-appropriate spelling, capitalization, punctuation, grammar, and usage conventions. Although minor errors may be evident, they do not detract from the fluency or clarity of the writing. The overall strength of the conventions contributes to the effectiveness of the narrative. 

Conventions: This paper has a few spelling and usage errors. At the end of the composition the usage errors cause the reader to lose clarity (i.e., “I learned that if I ever had to make a decision like that again, to go through with the hardest decision for me.”)

Instructional Considerations:

How do I currently teach this SE concept/content?

How do I need to adjust my instruction based on this analysis?

What formative assessment will I use to be sure it’s working?

Copyright©2012 Education Service Center Region XIII

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Copyright©2012 Education Service Center Region XIII


IPT- Composition_Grade7