With the implementation of the Common Core Standards, the new Common Core test will start in Spring of 2015. This standardized test is given during the spring of a student’s junior year. Though the test is given junior year, the onus for making sure students are ready is also that of teachers working with freshmen and sophomores. Preparing students to be proficient in the skills necessary for college and potential careers is paramount; one way to ensure such preparation is creating exercises similar to that of the performance task on the sample test. The performance task focuses on assessing a student’s ability to comprehend multiple sources on one topic, support various claims with evidence from multiple sources, establish a counterargument, and compose an argumentative letter as a final product. The purpose of this project is to have students go through similar rhetorical moves as they will on the actual test. However, since the students are sophomores, the exercise will take place in small groups and at stations that divide up the tasks into more manageable chunks. Doing so will allow me to pinpoint students’ areas of weakness and modify the second exercise and my instruction accordingly to maximize learning and preparedness for constructing a solid argument.
Grinnell, Natalie S.; Rogers, Caley; and Christenson, Adam, "Teaching to the Test: De/Reconstructing the Argument" (2014). Arthur Vining Davis High Impact Fellows Projects. 26.