Are We Asking the Right Questions? Common Core Aligned Questions

I love what this assessment is doing. I always struggled with comprehension skills throughout grade school. Now students are required to actually use contextual evidence to answer questions and use critical thinking skills. And after being in college for 4 years I know these skills are critical in all college classes. I am honestly excited to start teaching in this new age of education.

The Teaching Factor

This school year I have been spending time studying the most recent New York State ELA assessment that was created to align with the Common Core.  Looking at the question stems for the multiple choice, short answer, and extended responses, it is obvious that the assessment is not asking basic comprehension questions. Rather, students are expected to read for understanding and answer questions related to vocabulary in context, inference, figurative language, and author’s purpose.

Questions like:

Which detail would be most important to include in a summary of . . .

The author uses the simile in the passage below to emphasize . . .

This passage is an example of what literary device?

What effect does this sentence provide the reader as the story develops?

Based on the passage, what is the meaning of the word . . .

Based on the passage, it can be inferred that …

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