Read CMT Language Arts Handbook text version

READING COMPREHENSION SAMPLE ITEMS

The passages and items that appear in this section are similar to the types of passages and questions found on the third generation of the CMT. The multiple choice and open-ended questions are organized by strands and relate to the skills that they are designed to assess. At each grade level, both narrative and informational texts are used. In the pages that follow, the strands are outlined, followed by two passages similar to passages used for the grade level of CMT testing. For one of the two passages at each grade level, questions are included that assess the skills for each strand. The length of the passages and the wide variety of reading samples reflect quality instructional practices and a desire to make the testing and classroom situations similar. Focusing on openended responses moves students beyond a "literal" reading of the text to one that requires them to reason about what they have read. Classroom instruction that encourages students to reconsider the text for a variety of purposes (context) and to engage in rich conversations concerning the text with their peers and teacher in order to develop a more complete understanding of the literary works and passages read, will enable students as readers and prepare them for the third generation CMT.

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READING COMPREHENSION STRANDS AND SKILLS GRADES 4, 6 AND 8

A.

Forming an Initial Understanding The reader will demonstrate basic understanding of the text's general content. · Determine the main idea (nonfiction) or theme (fiction) within a written work; · Identify or infer important characters, settings, problems, events, relationships and details within a written work; · Select and use relevant information from a written work in order to summarize; and · Use context clues to determine meanings of unknown or multiple meaning words or figurative language.

B.

Developing an Interpretation The reader will interpret and/or explain the text and connect the text to outside knowledge. · Make connections between the text and outside experiences and knowledge; · Identify or infer the author's use of structure/organizational patterns; · Draw conclusions about the author's purpose in including or omitting specific details in a written work; and · Use evidence from the text to draw and/or support a conclusion.

C. Demonstrating a Critical Stance The reader will elaborate on the text and make judgments about the text's quality and themes. · Use information from the text to make a prediction based on what is read; · Analyze the author's craft, including use of literary devices; · Evaluate explicit and implicit information and themes within a written work; · Select, synthesize and/or use relevant information within a written work to include in a response to or extension of the work; and · Demonstrate an awareness of values, customs, ethics and beliefs included in a written work. 34

READING COMPREHENSION PASSAGE SPECIFICATIONS/TEST FORMAT GRADE 4

In the reading comprehension section, reading passages will measure three strands of comprehen sion: forming an initial understanding, developing an interpretation and demonstrating a critical stance. Passage Specifications Reading passages will be narrative and expository. The topics of expository passages are related to either science or social studies. Passages are generally between 400 and 500 words in length, and they have a clear beginning, middle and end. Graphic organizers may be part of the response format. Test Format The reading test will use both multiple-choice and open-ended questions. Graphic organizers may be used as part of the test items. Student scores on the reading comprehension section of the Connecticut Mastery Test will be reported at the strand level (forming an initial understanding, developing an interpretation and demonstrating a critical stance), not at the individual skill level. Teaching skills in the context of the reading process will be more productive than teaching skills in isolation. The following general scoring guide will be used for open-ended items: 2 1 0 = The response demonstrates comprehension of important elements and/or relationships within and/or beyond the text. = Answer is marginal. The response indicates some comprehension but attention to important elements or relationships is not evident. = Answer is unsatisfactory. Some responses may be extremely sparse. A number of the longer responses may contain information that is largely repetitive, irrelevant or vague.

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READING COMPREHENSION SAMPLE PASSAGE TYPES GRADE 4

A. EXPOSITORY

Ramón's class was learning about different foods. The students had to give a report about something they like to eat. Ramón went to the library and found this article about one of his favorite treats.

How does maple syrup get to your table?

1. When you eat maple syrup, do you realize that it comes from a tree? Of course, that doesn't mean just any tree. It comes from a certain kind of tree called a sugar maple. Sugar maple trees grow best in the northeastern part of our country. There is an abundance of them in the states of Connecticut, Vermont and Mas sachusetts. 2. When you look at a sugar maple tree, you don't see anything unusual about it. It is a beautiful tree with a trunk, branches and leaves. So, where is the syrup? Actually, it comes from the juice inside the trunk of the tree. This juice is called sap. However, many things have to be done to this sap to make it good to eat. A group of sugar maple trees is called a sugar bush. Making maple syrup is called sugaring. In early spring, sugaring time begins. The days must be warm, and the nights must be cool. This is when the trees are ready to be tapped. To tap a tree, a small, harmless hole is made in the tree trunk. Next, a short, hollow tube is put into the hole. Then a bucket is hung below the tube. The sap is thin and clear. It flows easily out of the tree through the tube and drips into the bucket. When the bucket is full, it is transported to a building called a sugar house.

5.

People have many different ways of getting the sap from the tree to the sugar house. Some people carry the buckets by hand, but they are heavy! Other people empty the smaller buckets into larger containers that sit on a sled. They pull the sled with a truck or horses. Some people don't bother using buckets at all. They run long tubes all the way from the trees to their sugar house. In the sugar house, the sap is put into long pans that are not very deep. Then it is boiled for a long time. The boiling changes it into thick brown syrup. After boiling, the syrup is poured through a clean cloth to make certain the syrup is clean and clear. Finally it is poured into bottles and cans. In only a few weeks once a year, all the maple syrup is made. Then it goes to the store. At last it reaches your table so you can enjoy its sweet, delicious taste.

6.

3.

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4.

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GRADE 4 ­ SAMPLE PASSAGE

B. NARRATIVE Barbara was getting ready to go to camp. She found a library book about a girl her age who went to Camp Red Oak. This chapter in the book is called "The Canoe Race."

The Canoe Race

1. I pulled on my Camp Red Oak tee shirt over my bath ing suit. I could feel my heart pounding as I got ready for my first canoe race. Our team had trained hard for the past two months. Now it was time to test our train ing and our teamwork. We were ready for today's race. Because I am big for my age and stronger than most 9-year-old girls, I sat in the third seat. My teammates called me a powerhouse, and I knew they were count ing on my strength. The race was a half-mile course. I tried to tell myself that nothing could go wrong, although some of my teammates were worried. The rapids in the river could sometimes be rough. Even a small mistake in steer ing could make the canoe capsize. If our canoe did tip over, we would probably lose the race. We had practiced tipping the canoe over on purpose, so we could practice climbing back in as quickly as pos sible. But all we could do was hope that the water would be calm today and that our training would pay off. Our team gathered by the Camp Red Oak river an hour before the race. Seven identical brightly colored canoes lined up at the starting post. The waves tossed all of them as if they were beach balls. I felt my heart drop. The rough waves were going to make it a hard race. Even so, all of us were determined that we would wear the first-place medals at the end of the race. When the starting flag dropped, our paddles hit the water. I listened carefully as Danelle, our captain, counted the strokes. "Nine, ten, eleven, hut, hut, ho!" We paddled in even strokes, trying to keep our canoe upright. Every fourteenth stroke, we shifted sides. Our canoe sliced through the waves as the cold water splashed us with every stroke. 6. We took the lead early, but I could see the team from Camp Arrowhead gaining on us. "Harder, harder!" chanted our captain. Seeing the final post ahead, we doubled our efforts. Our muscles strained as we headed into the rapids, gripping our paddles tightly. The rapids seemed to delight in clapping against our boat until they finally turned us over. "Flip it back!" Danelle shouted, and our team went into action. Within seconds, the canoe was again afloat, and we were back inside. We paddled as hard as we could to make up for lost time. The Camp Arrowhead team had been luckier than we had been. They had passed us while we were scram bling to get our boat turned upright again. It looked as if there was no chance for our team to win. The Camp Arrowhead team was about to pass the finish post. Then quick as a wink, a wave washed over the Camp Arrowhead team's canoe. Their canoe flipped over, dumping the members of the team into the water. As the girls scrambled back into their canoe, we passed them and finished the race. Just after our canoe passed the finish post, the Camp Arrowhead team's canoe crossed it, too. We had won by only a few seconds. As I looked at my teammates, I began to laugh. We looked more like droopy, wet rags than winners.

7. 2.

3.

8.

9.

4.

5.

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READING COMPREHENSION

GRADE 4 STRANDS

A.

FORMING AN INITIAL UNDERSTANDING

The reader will demonstrate basic understanding of the text's general content. · Determine the main idea (nonfiction) or theme (fiction) within a written work; · Identify or infer important characters, settings, problems, events, relationships and details within a written work; · Select and use relevant information from a written work in order to summarize; and · Use context clues to determine meanings of unknown or multiple meaning words or figurative language.

SAMPLE TEST ITEMS The following sample items are presented to give illustrative examples of the wording and format that are being used on the third generation CMT. These sample items apply to the passage "The Canoe Race." Multiple-choice 1. This story teaches that a. b. c. d. boating is a costly hobby. unexpected events can ruin a day. danger is everywhere. teamwork is important to success.*

2. Where does this story take place? a. b. c. d. At Big Bend National Park. At an amusement park. On a large lake. On a river.*

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3. Which information could be included in a summary of the story? a. b. c. d. The team wore Camp Red Oak tee shirts. Danelle was the captain of the team. The team had practiced tipping over the canoe.* Camp Arrowhead crossed the finish post.

4. In this story, the word capsize means a. b. c. d. back up. turn over. * race ahead. spread out.

Open-ended S­1 What could be another title for the story? Use information from the story to explain your answer. Using information from the story, write one way that the Camp Arrowhead team had been luckier than the Camp Red Oak team. Write a BRIEF summary of the story. Explain what the storyteller means when she says in paragraph 4 " I felt my heart drop."

S­2

S­3 S­4

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B.

DEVELOPING AN INTERPRETATION

The reader will interpret and/or explain the text and connect the text to outside knowledge. · Make connections between the text and outside experiences and knowledge; · Identify or infer the author's use of structure/organizational patterns; · Draw conclusions about the author's purpose in including or omitting specific details in a written work; and · Use evidence from the text to draw and/or support a conclusion. SAMPLE TEST ITEMS The following sample items are presented to give illustrative examples of the wording and format that are being used on the third generation CMT. These items apply to the passage "The Canoe Race." Multiple-choice 1. When the storyteller says "I could feel my heart pounding as I got ready for my first canoe race," the reader can tell that she is a. b. c. d. expecting to win. getting nervous.* afraid of water. angry about the weather.

2. The race between the Camp Red Oak team and the Camp Arrowhead team is MOST like a. b. c. d. a game.* an election. a disaster. an experiment.

3. The ideas in paragraph 5 are arranged to show a. b. c. d. how two things are alike. how something changed. the order in which they happened.* a main idea and supporting details.

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4. The writer includes paragraph 3 in order to a. b. c. d. explain the rules of canoe racing. hint at what is going to happen in the story.* describe the main character more fully. make the reader afraid of what might happen.

5. Based on information in the passage, which of the following statements is true? a. b. c. d. Fourteen is the perfect number of strokes for canoe racing. The Camp Arrowhead team had not practiced tipping over. Everyone in the canoe had to stroke at the same time. * Waves could actually help in the canoe race.

Open-ended S­1 Think about someone you have read about or seen on TV who was able to get over difficulties to reach a goal. Explain how that person was like the main character in this story. Write the sentence in paragraph 1 that supports the topic sentence. In paragraph 8, why does the writer use the word "about"? Use information from the story to explain your answer. Which fact supports the idea that the captain is very important to the team?

S­2 S­3

S­4

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C.

DEMONSTRATING A CRITICAL STANCE

The reader will elaborate on the text and make judgments about the text's quality and themes.

· Use information from the text to make a prediction based on what is read; · Analyze the author's craft, including use of literary devices; · Evaluate explicit and implicit information and themes within a written work; · Select, synthesize and/or use relevant information within a written work to include in a response to or extension of the work; and · Demonstrate an awareness of values, customs, ethics and beliefs included in a written work. SAMPLE TEST ITEMS The following sample items are presented to give illustrative examples of the wording and format that are being used on the third generation CMT. These items apply to the passage "The Canoe Race." Multiple-choice 1. What will PROBABLY happen next? a. b. c. d. The Camp Arrowhead team will complain to the judges. The Camp Red Oak team will receive first place medals.* Camp Arrowhead will have a big party. Newspaper writers will interview everyone in the race.

2. In paragraph 4, the author says the canoes were like a. b. c. d. high waves. girls. medals. beach balls.*

3. Which opinion can be supported with information from the story? a. b. c. d. Willpower is all it takes to win. The Camp Arrowhead team had not practiced much. The rough rapids allowed Camp Red Oak to win. Hard work can make up for inexperience.*

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4. If the author added another sentence to paragraph 6, which of these sentences would BEST belong? a. b. c. d. The distance between us was narrowing quickly.* The water felt cool to our strained muscles. We watched as the other team flew past us. Their luck had finally run out.

5. From the story you can tell the main character believed that a. b. c. d. strength is more important than anything else. nine is a magical age for a girl. having an early lead means success. winning takes a lot of effort.*

Open-ended S­1 What will the Camp Red Oak team PROBABLY do next? Use information from the story to explain your answer. Do you think this story really could have happened? Use details from the story to explain your answer. Write one FACT and one OPINION in paragraph 4. Choose the part of the story that you think was MOST important. Use information from the story to explain why you chose that part. Using information from the story, explain how the writer shows that training and teamwork were important to the main character.

S­2

S­3 S­4

S­5

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Information

CMT Language Arts Handbook

11 pages

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