PBA for ELA - Clermont County Educational

Kasey Dunlap, Clermont County Educational Service Center
What is a PBA?
• Simply put – a Performance-Based Assessment requires students
to demonstrate their learning and understanding by doing something,
or applying learned skills and content in an authentic way.
• Traditional tests are designed to find out what a student knows,
but only through performance of an act or a series of acts can we
find out what a student can do.
Why PBAs
• The Common Core State Standards represent a shift
from knowledge-based standards to developing strategic
thinkers – therefore the new assessments must find a way
to evaluate these new demands.
Many young people come to university able to
summarize the events in a news story or write a
personal response to a play. . . . But they have
considerable trouble with what has come to be
called critical literacy: framing an argument or taking
someone else's argument apart [and] synthesizing different
points of view.
Mike Rose, Lives on the Boundary, p. 188
Components of PBA for ELA
• The ELA PBA will include a literature analysis, a research simulation, and a
narrative session. For each task, students will be asked to read one or more
texts, answer several short comprehension and vocabulary questions, and
write an essay that requires them to draw evidence from the text(s).
• Text are authentic works. Selected response items are designed to evaluate
comprehension of the text(s) and lead students into deeper thinking about
the text(s).
• PBA (reading comprehension and writing) + EOY
(reading comprehension) = Summative Score
• (number and items and specific points for each section are available in the
Test Blueprints on the PARCC website)
PBA Samples
from CCSS Appendix B
for Stories, Drama and Poetry (grades 2/3)
• When discussing E.B. White’s book Charlotte’s Web, students distinguish their
own point of view regarding Wilbur the Pig from that of Fern Arable as well
as from that of the narrator.
• Students describe how the character of Bud in Christopher Paul Curtis’ story
Bud, Not Buddy responds to a major event in his life of being placed in a
foster home.
from CCSS Appendix B
for Informational Texts(grades 6-8)
• Students trace the line of argument in Winston Churchill’s “Blood, Toil,
Tears and Sweat” address to Parliament and evaluate his specific claims and
opinion in the text, distinguishing which claims are supported by facts,
reasons, and evidence, and which are not.
from CCSS Appendix B
for Stories, Drama and Poetry (grades 9/10)
• Students analyze how Michael Shaara in his Civil War novel The Killer Angels
creates a sense of tension and even surprise regarding the outcome of events
att he Battle of Gettysburg through pacing, ordering of events, and the
overarching structure of the novel.
PBA Samples
PARCC Task Generation Models for Grades 3-5
Grade 3: A = Literature Text (Literary Analysis/Argument)
• Task Focus: Analysis of the contribution of illustrations
• Task Focus: Central idea/lesson of literature from diverse
• Task Focus: Characterization in a story
• Task Focus: Author’s study including analysis of illustration
PARCC Task Generation Models for Grades 3-5
Grade 5: B = Informational Text (Research Simulation)
• Task Focus: Analyzing the relationship between a series of
concepts (3 texts: 1 extended; 2 additional)
• Task Focus: Analyzing the role of illustrations (3)
• Task Focus: Analyzing multiple accounts (2)
• Task Focus: Analyzing author’s use of evidence (2)
PARCC Task Generation Models for Grades 9-11
Task C: Literature Text (model is the same grades 3-11)
• Task Focus: Narrative story
• Task Focus: Narrative description*
*will not be assessed this year
PBA Samples
Available Item Sample from PARCC
Purpose Setting Statement
• Today you will read passages from two novels about characters
who are learning to survive in the wilderness. The first passage is
from the novel Brian’s Winter by Gary Paulsen, and the second
passage is from the novel Call of the Wild by Jack London. As
you read these passages, you will answer questions and think
about how the texts reveal theme and character. After you read,
you will write an analytical essay about the passages.
from PARCC
Sample Items for Grade 8:
Excerpt from Brian’s Winter by Gary Paulsen
• Sample Item #1:
Part A Question: What is the meaning of the word adversary as
it is used in paragraph 21?
a. problem’s solution
b. indication of trouble
c. opposing force*
d. source of irritation
Sample Item #1 (Grade 8)
• Part B Question:
Which phrase from paragraph 21 best helps clarify the meaning
of adversary?
a. “own worst enemy”*
b. “the primary rule”
c. “missed the warnings”
d. “most dangerous thing”
Sample Item #1- Scoring Notes
• Student answers both A and B correctly = 2 points
• Student answers A correctly and B incorrectly = 1 point
• Student answers A incorrectly and B incorrectly = 0 points
• Student answers A incorrectly and B correctly = 0 points
Sample Item #2 (Grade 8)
Question: Create a summary of the excerpt from Brian’s
Winter by dragging four statements from the list of events
and dropping them in chronological order into the table
titled Summary.
N.B. Multiple-select items are new
for PARCC assessments. Does your
classroom instruction support the
idea of more than one right answer?
Sample item #2 Scoring
• 2 points are awarded when the student correctly identifies and orders all four
• 1 point is awarded when the student correctly identifies all four events but
incorrectly sequences the events OR correctly identifies and sequences any
three of the four events.
• No points are awarded for any other answer combination.
Sample Item #3 (Grade 8)
• Part A Question: In the excerpt from Brian’s Winter, Brian comes
to a major realization at the end of the passage. Which statement
best describes his realization?
a. He needs to avoid confronting wild animals.
b. He needs to prepare for the perils of winter.*
c. He needs to create a better way to store food.
d. He needs to find a new, safer shelter.
Sample Item #3 (Grade 8)
• Part B Question: Which detail best supports the answer in Part A?
a. “The bear…turned back to ransacking the camp, looking for where that delicious smell had
come from.” (paragraph 15)
b. “He would have to find some way to protect himself, some weapon.” (paragraph 19)
c. “He kept putting wood on the fire, half afraid the bear would come back.” (paragraph 20)
d. “…he had missed the warnings that summer was ending…and what was coming would be
the most dangerous thing he had faced…” (paragraph 21)*
Sample Item #4 (Grade 8)
from second passage: The Call of the Wild
• Part A Question: What does the word placatingly mean as
it is used in paragraph 2?
a. in a warning tone
b. in an annoying manner
c. in an attempt to be agreeable*
d. in a way that expresses discomfort
Sample Item #4 (Grade 8)
• Part B Question: Which phrase from the passage
provides the best clue to the meaning of
placatingly as it is used in paragraph 2?
a. “…bristling and snarling...”
b. “…a whiff of warm air...”
c. “…squirmed and wriggled…”
d. “…a bribe for peace...”*
Sample Item #5 (Grade 8)
• Part A Question: Which statement best reflects a
theme of the excerpt from Call of the Wild?
a. Survival is unlikely when one is new to an environment.
b. Survival requires adapting to one’s surroundings.*
c. One cannot rely on others when learning to survive.
d. Advanced preparation is necessary for survival.
Sample Item #5 (Grade 8)
• Part B Question: Which two details from the excerpt best
support the answer in Part A?
a. “Here and there savage dogs rushed upon him, but he bristled his neck-hair and snarled (for he was
learning fast), and they let him go his way unmolested.” (paragraph 1)*
b. “Again he wandered about through the great camp, looking for them, and again he returned.”
(paragraph 2)
c. “He sprang back, bristling and snarling, fearful of the unseen and unknown.”
(paragraph 2)
d. “Buck confidently selected a spot, and with much fuss and wasted effort proceeded to dig a hole
for himself.” (paragraph 3)*
e. “It was a token that he was harking back through his own life to the lives of his forebears…”
(paragraph 4)
f. “…he saw the white camp spread out before him and knew where he was…”
(paragraph 4)
Sample Item #6 (Grade 8)
• Part A Question: Which statement correctly shows a
difference between the beginnings and endings of the
excerpts from Brian’s Winter and Call of the Wild?
a. Call of the Wild begins with a former conflict between characters, and Brian’s Winter
ends with a current conflict between characters.
b. Brian’s Winter begins by revealing a character’s faulty reasoning, and Call of the Wild
ends with a character’s faulty reasoning.
c. Call of the Wild begins with a crisis to be resolved, and Brian’s Winter ends with a crisis
that needs to be resolved.*
d. Brian’s Winter begins with the thoughts and actions of a character seeking shelter, and
Call of the Wild ends with the thoughts and actions of a character seeking shelter.
Sample Item #6 (Grade 8)
• Part B Question: Select one detail from the list below from Brian’s
Winter and one detail from the list below from Call of the Wild that
best support the answer in Part A.
a. “He had seen them several times while picking berries, raking the bushes with their teeth to pull the fruit off....”
(Brian’s Winter paragraph 2)
b. “Other than some minor scratches where the bear’s claws had slightly scraped him—it was more a boxing action than a
clawing one—Brian was in one piece.” (Brian’s Winter paragraph 16)
c. “Everything in nature means something and he had missed the warnings that summer was ending, had in many ways
already ended, and what was coming would be the most dangerous thing he had faced since the plane crash. “(Brian’s
Winter paragraph 21)*
d. “The tent, illumined by a candle, glowed warmly in the midst of the white plain…” (Call of the Wild paragraph 1)
e. “Miserable and disconsolate, he wandered about among the many tents, only to find that one place was as cold as
another.” (Call of the Wild paragraph 1)*
f. “The day had been long and arduous, and he slept soundly and comfortably, though he growled and barked and
wrestled with bad dreams.” (Call of the Wild paragraph 3)
Sample Item #7 (Grade 8)
Summative Writing Piece
• Question: You have read excerpts from two novels focused on survival in the wilderness.
These excerpts are from:
• Brian’s Winter by Gary Paulsen
• Call of the Wild by Jack London
Consider how the main character in each excerpt reacts to the incidents that occur, and write
an essay in which you analyze how each character’s thoughts and actions reveal aspects of his
You do not need to compare and contrast the characters from the two texts. You may consider
each one separately. Be sure to include evidence from each excerpt to support your analysis
and understanding.
Preparing for PBAs
Close reading
Writing linked to readings
Evidence, evidence, evidence
Thinking forward and backward
• Identify themes vs. choosing themes
• Synthesis is the key to research
• Give them the resources vs. hunting for sources
Designing PBAs
• Task focus
• Text sets
• Questions Sets
• Analysis
• Synthesis
Task Focus
• Structural analysis
• Impact of word choice
• Analysis of topic and themes in
different genres
• Analysis of fictional representation vs.
Analysis of subject or scene
Focus on point of view or purpose
Use of illustrations or visuals
Analysis of argument within a text
historical events
• Analysis of complex characterization
• Refer the specific standards at your grade
level for guidance
Text Sets and Complexity
• Text sets should include passages that are at grade level as
well as some that are slightly below and slightly above
grade level.
• Texts should have important connections
• Texts should be collected with an eye to task
Question Sets
• Prompts progress from simple to more complex.
• Prompts are text-specific and probe the specifics of the text while
avoiding questions that could be asked of any text.
• Prompts may be preceded by “purpose setting statements.”
Text Dependent
Text Specific
What is the author’s message in the text? Why does Monk as this question in the
passage, “Who is ‘We the People’?”
What is the main idea of the passage?
Why does Monk claim that popular
sovereignty is the form of government in the
United States?
What details can you find that support
the main idea?
What evidence is there in paragraph three
regarding Marshall’s claim about “the
evolving nature of the constitution”?
Key Points
• Prompts do not “lead the witness” but rather lead students to draw
conclusions about the text.
• Prompts relate back to the key understandings or essential questions posed
by the text.
• Prompts require close reading of the text with a focus on specific sections,
paragraphs, or word choices.
Translating into the Classroom
Focus on writing tasks
Louisiana Model
• Anchor text plus additional literary, nonfiction, and non-print texts
• Unit Focus: Text Use and Key Standards
• Summative Unit Assessments
• Culminating Writing Task- essay: extended or in-class
• Cold-Read Assessment- may include several multiple-choice and constructedresponse items
• Extension Task- connect and extend learning through research or writing
Louisiana English Language Arts Curriculum,
Grade 8: The Call of the Wild
Louisiana samples
In the introduction to Beautiful Joe, An Autobiography by Marshall Saunders, a nonfiction book about a dog who
is rescued from abusive owners, Hezekiah Butterworth claims the following:
The story speaks not for the dog alone, but for the whole animal kingdom. Through it we enter the
animal world, and are made to see as animals see, and to feel as animals feel. …
Kindness to the animal kingdom is the first, or a first principle in the growth of true philanthropy.
Young Lincoln once waded across a half-frozen river to rescue a dog, and stopped in a walk with a
statesman to put back a bird that had fallen out of its nest. Such a heart was trained to be a leader of
men, and to be crucified for a cause. The conscience that runs to the call of an animal in distress is
girding itself with power to do manly work in the world.
Louisiana samples
Consider The Call of the Wild and the author’s depiction of Buck’s relationship with his many owners
throughout the novel. What central idea or theme about humans’ treatment of animals does the novel convey?
(RL.8.2) How does Buck’s point of view about particular incidents in the novel reveal the owners’ traits
and develop a theme of the novel? (RL.8.3, RL.8.6)
Compose an essay that examines how the theme is developed and cite textual evidence that strongly supports
your analysis. Be sure to follow conventions of standard English.
Teacher Note: Students should write a multi-paragraph essay that introduces a claim about the theme, cites several pieces of textual evidence,
including direct quotations with page numbers, and organizes reasons and evidence logically. Students should use the evidence and analysis from
their journals to support their writing. (RI.8.1, W.8.1a, b, c, e; W.8.4; W.8.5; W.8.9b, W.8.10, L.8.2a-b) The completed writing should use
grade-appropriate words and phrases and demonstrate command of proper grammar, usage, punctuation, and spelling. (W.8.1d; L.8.1c, d;
L.8.2c; L.8.3a; L.8.6) Use peer and teacher conferencing as well as small-group writing time to target student weaknesses. (W.8.4, W.8.5)
Cold-read outline
Reread an excerpt from extended or other text that has been covered in class
AND Read an excerpt from a cold read text
OR Read more than one cold read text
Write an essay that synthesizes the two (or more) texts based on specified
Cold-read sample: Grade 7 Unit-The Giver
Read “The Road Not Taken” and Lois Lowry’s “Newbery Acceptance Speech, June 1994”
independently and then answer a combination of multiple-choice and constructed-response
questions about these texts and in comparison to the other texts in the unit. Be sure to use
evidence from the texts to support your answers.
Sample questions:
• What does the speaker say about choice in “The Road Not Taken?” What lines of the poem
reveal the speaker’s ideas about choice? Provide at least two details from the poem to
support your response. (RL.7.1, RL.7.2, RL.7.10)
Cold-read sample: Grade 7 Unit – The Giver
• Compare the speaker’s beliefs about choice in “The Road Not Taken” to Jonas’s
beliefs about choice in The Giver. Provide at least one detail from both texts to
support your response. (RL.7.1, RL.7.2, RL.7.6, RL.7.10, W.7.9a)
• Select one of the memories Lois Lowry shares in her acceptance speech.
Summarize how the memory is portrayed in The Giver. Then explain how Lois
Lowry uses and alters her memories to create a section of The Giver. Provide
details from both texts to support your response. (RL.7.1, RL.7.2, RL.7.9,
RI.7.1, RI.7.3, RI.7.10, W.7.9a-b)
Extension task: Grade 4 Unit - The Lightning Thief
• Select a mythological character (e.g., Zeus, Hercules, Poseidon, Pan) and investigate his or her
stories (both Greek and Roman versions) beginning in lesson 6. Collect words, phrases, stories,
speeches, poems, videos, commercials, and/or other texts that refer to your mythological
character. Gather these notes and references in your Mythology Folder during lessons 7-14.
(RL.4.1, RL.4.4, RL.4.10, RI.4.1, RI.4.9, RI.4.10, W.4.7)
• During lesson 15, categorize your notes into main topics, and then write a one-page typed
explanation of how your mythological character is part of our lives today. Introduce and
develop your topic, link ideas using vocabulary words and phrases, provide closure, and
demonstrate proper grammar and spelling. Provide a list of sources used during research.
(W.4.2a-e, W.4.4, W.4.6, W.4.8, W.4.9a-b, W.4.10, L.4.1e-g, L.4.2a-d, L.4.3a, L.4.6)
Extension task, Grade 4: The Lightning Thief
• Publish your explanation and categorized notes on an online, collaborative platform, such as
Blendspace5 or Mural.ly.6 (W.4.6)
• Create a presentation about your character, providing descriptive details and appropriate and
relevant information about his or her life, memorable stories, and how he or she continues to
influence us today.
• Present the information from your explanation and provide audio recordings and/or visual
displays (e.g., online display) to support the ideas of your presentation. Speak clearly at an
understandable pace, using formal English appropriate to the task. (SL.4.4, SL.4.5, SL.4.6)
• What is the point of your unit? What key thinking or standards are you
targeting? Keep this in mind as you construct assessment items.
• What specific lessons have led students to be able to complete the
assessment tasks?
• What are the expectations? Are these clear to you? Clear to students? Do
you have a master rubric for grade level/building?
Additional Training
• CCESC – Two-day workshop, November/December 2014
• HCESC – OPAPP workshop, 5 days in January/February 2015
Thank You
Kasey Dunlap, ELA Consultant
Clermont County Educational Service Center
Kasey Dunlap, ELA/School Improvement Consultant
Clermont County Educational Service Center
Email me at: [email protected]
The ESC blog: www.ccesc.org
My ELA blog: [email protected]
Follow me on Twitter @clermontELA

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