Thursday, September 25, 2014

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Thanks, TEA! Texas friends, TEA recently released our 2014 expository scoring guide. So now that we're a few years in, what's new and what's staying the same? Here are some trends that I noticed while perusing through the scoring guide. I focused mostly on the 2s because those are our kids that we have to move forward. Students who are consistently writing 2s in your classroom are less likely to be successful on their EOC in the spring.

Listen to these interesting tidbits taken directly from the scoring guide from score point 2 essays:

Score Point 2--Logical Progression of Thought:
  • wordiness and weak sentence-to-sentence connections cause minor disruptions in the flow of the essay
  • the writing becomes “jumpy” because the writer moves from the Mandela quotation to the athlete example without clearly threading the ideas together
[Jumpy, TEA?? Is that a technical term??]
  • three unrelated examples
  • Without meaningful connections between ideas, it is not clear how these ideas relate to one another. The ideas remain in three separate clusters, causing the development to be superficial and limiting the thoughtfulness of the essay
Score Point 2--Structure:
  • The writer uses a formulaic five-paragraph structure as the basis for writing the essay
  • the writer’s presentation of ideas is somewhat formulaic in that each paragraph 
  • consists of three sentences.
[Oh...my...word.]

Here are the take-aways...NO FORMULA. It's almost like TEA can smell it from a mile away. Not only are they are seeking papers with specific examples, but they are also looking for careful connections made between those examples. This does not mean perfunctory or formulaic transitions. Instead, students have to find ways to join examples together (if they choose to use two examples...they could choose to use one).

So...lots to think about today, friends. But don't worry! You're Curly friends are on it, and we're here to help with strategies and skills to grow better writers.

Check out the scoring guide and let us know what you see!




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