SAT and Literacy

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SAT and Literacy

  1. 1. SAT <ul><li>Literacy support for students Taking the SAT </li></ul>
  2. 3. History <ul><li>1901: College Entrance Examination Board founded. </li></ul><ul><li>1926: College Board has Carl Brigham, who worked on first IQ tests administered by the U.S Army, develop and administer first SAT tests to high school students. </li></ul>Carl Brigham, Professor of Psychology, Princeton University
  3. 4. SAmple Question from first SAT Test Sub-Test Four Each group contains six words. Three of these are related to each other in some definite way. Indicated which three are thus MOST CLOSELY RELATED by inserting the numbers of these words in the spaces at the right. The first two are answered correctly. 1, 4, 5 2, 3,4 doll ring flower drum top shoe bean carrot potato beet lettuce cabbage
  4. 5. History (cont.) <ul><li>1939: SAT introduces machine-scored answer sheets </li></ul><ul><li>1941: SAT is normalized to make tests scores as fair as possible </li></ul><ul><li>1958: Students see SAT scores for the first time. </li></ul><ul><li>1969: SAT offers fee waivers so more students can take tests. </li></ul>
  5. 6. History (cont.) <ul><li>1984: First College Board Prep books published with test samples. </li></ul><ul><li>1994: Antonym questions removed; essay added; calculators permitted. </li></ul><ul><li>2005 : Writing section added. </li></ul><ul><li>2009: Score Choice lets students choose which SAT scores they want to send to colleges. </li></ul>
  6. 7. What does the SAT really measure? <ul><li>“ According to the College Board, the SAT now does not measure any innate ability . Wayne Camara, Director of the Office of research at the College Board told FRONTLINE that the SAT measures &quot;developed reasoning,&quot; which he described as the skills that students develop not only in school but also outside of school. He pointed out, for example, that students who read a lot, both in and out of school, are more likely to do well on the SAT and in college. The College Board says that the best way to prepare for the SAT is to read a lot and to take rigorous academic courses.” </li></ul>
  7. 8. SAT Sections <ul><li>Essay </li></ul><ul><li>Writing </li></ul><ul><li>Critical Reading </li></ul><ul><li>Math </li></ul>
  8. 9. Essay <ul><li>Students have 25-minutes to choose from four possible topics and write up to one full page(front and back), 4-5 paragraph essay. </li></ul><ul><li>Two graders read each essay and assign from one to six points for the essay. </li></ul><ul><li>Rubric includes: organization, clarity of purpose, development of supporting examples, grammar/diction/spelling. </li></ul>
  9. 10. Sample Essay Prompt Think carefully about the issue presented in the following excerpt and the assignment below. We are very individually oriented. We see everything in terms of personal independence, personal pleasure, personal fulfillment. &quot;Do your own thing,&quot; we say. The idea that people can actually do things for someone or something else—a community, a school, or any other group—is lost. It is important to realize, however, that all people are interconnected. We cannot survive without each other. Adapted from Willard Gaylin in Bill Moyers, A World of Ideas Assignment: Do people put too much emphasis on doing things by and for themselves? Plan and write an essay in which you develop your point of view on this issue. Support your position with reasoning and examples taken from your reading, studies, experience, or observations.
  10. 11. “ When writing your essays, I encourage you to think for yourselves while you express what I most agree with.”
  11. 12. How to Attack the essay Prompt: Do people put too much emphasis on doing things by or for themselves? Thesis: People frequently over-emphasize working independently, even when turning to others for assistance might improve the results of their work and lessen their frustration.
  12. 13. activity <ul><li>Develop one essay prompt for your content area that you could use for a class assignment or assessment. The prompt must be written so that students may take one of two positions -- for or against. </li></ul>
  13. 14. how to attack the essay (cont.) Examples to use in essay: learning to play tennis; Huck in Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn . Keywords for essay: independence, achievement, assistance, help, interconnections, survival, self-fulfillment, cooperation. Thesis: People frequently over-emphasize working independently, even when turning to others for assistance might improve the results of their work and lessen their frustration.
  14. 15. Activity <ul><li>You now have three minutes to write a thesis for the prompt you created, cite two examples you would use to prove that thesis, and at least six academic keywords that could be used in the essay. (NOTE: This is the amount of time students should brainstorm before writing their essays ) </li></ul>
  15. 16. Support your students <ul><li>Give students prompt-reading and thesis-writing practice </li></ul><ul><li>Have students practice the art of brainstorming to develop thesis, examples, keywords. </li></ul><ul><li>Encourage students to write simply, clearly, and specifically; avoid redundancy and define vague terms </li></ul>
  16. 17. Writing Section: Multiple choice <ul><li>49 total multiple choice questions in two writing sections: 25 improving sentences, 18 identifying sentence errors (ISE), 6 improving paragraphs. </li></ul><ul><li>Improving Sentence sample question: Laura Ingalls Wilder published her first book and she was sixty-five years old then. (A) and she was sixty-five years old then. (B) when she was sixty-five years old. * (C) at age sixty-five years old. (D) upon the reaching of sixty-five years old. (E) at the time when she was sixty-five. </li></ul>
  17. 18. Test Time <ul><li>For the next ten minutes, you will answer five sample Improving Sentence questions from the writing section of the SAT. </li></ul>
  18. 19. Reflect <ul><li>What strategy or strategies did you use to eliminate choices? </li></ul><ul><li>What was your biggest challenge when answering these questions? </li></ul><ul><li>What did you find easy about these questions? </li></ul>
  19. 20. strategies for Improving Sentences <ul><li>Don’t read choice (A): it is what you choose if there is no error. </li></ul><ul><li>Predict what the answer is before you read the choices. </li></ul><ul><li>Beware the gerund. </li></ul><ul><li>Clarity is king. </li></ul><ul><li>Redundancies are forbidden. </li></ul><ul><li>Consider the shortest answers first, unless you identify a pronoun ambiguity problem. </li></ul><ul><li>If you can narrow down to two choices, guess. </li></ul>
  20. 21. Support your students <ul><li>Give students multiple choice tests using the SAT format. </li></ul><ul><li>Have students practice the process of elimination in classroom assignments and tests. </li></ul><ul><li>Design questions that force students to read every word closely for details. </li></ul>
  21. 22. Identifying Sentence Errors <ul><li>Sample Question: The other delegates and him * immediately accepted the resolution drafted by the neutral states. No error </li></ul>
  22. 23. Test Time <ul><li>For the next ten minutes, you will answer ten sample ISE questions from the writing section of the SAT. </li></ul>
  23. 24. Reflect <ul><li>What strategy or strategies did you use to eliminate choices? </li></ul><ul><li>What was your biggest challenge when answering these questions? </li></ul><ul><li>What did you find easy about these questions? </li></ul>
  24. 25. Strategies for ISE <ul><li>Never read choice (E). </li></ul><ul><li>Predict answer as you read the question. </li></ul><ul><li>Classify each underlined segment, such as: prepositional phrase, verb, adverb, comparison, pronoun, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Recognize patterns: “If a verb is underlined, I must check for tense or singular-plural problems.” </li></ul><ul><li>Simplify sentence: Identify subject and verb first. </li></ul>
  25. 26. Support your students <ul><li>Design activities which help students practice classification and pattern recognition. </li></ul><ul><li>Then have students practice using these skills to help them simplify a complex idea or process. </li></ul>
  26. 27. Critical Reading Section <ul><li>All multiple choice </li></ul><ul><li>19 Sentence Completion (vocabulary) </li></ul><ul><li>48 Passage-based Reading </li></ul>
  27. 28. Sentence Completion <ul><li>Sample Question: Hoping to ----------- the dispute, negotiators proposed a compromise that they felt would be ---------- to both labor and management. (A) enforce .... useful (B) end .... divisive (C) overcome .... unattractive (D) extend ... satisfactory (E) resolve ... acceptable* </li></ul>
  28. 29. Test Time <ul><li>For the next three minutes, you will answer five sample Sentence Completion questions from the critical reading section of the SAT. </li></ul>
  29. 30. Reflect <ul><li>What strategy or strategies did you use to eliminate choices? </li></ul><ul><li>What was your biggest challenge when answering these questions? </li></ul><ul><li>What did you find easy about these questions? </li></ul>
  30. 31. Strategies for Sentence completion <ul><li>Predict the answers by filling in the blanks with simple words </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t panic when you see a word you don’t recognize in the sentence or answer choices </li></ul><ul><li>Read closely for context clues: punctuation, conjunctions, adverbs, and keywords are critical. </li></ul><ul><li>Use Word Spectrums and Positive/Negative Meanings (see handout) </li></ul>
  31. 32. Support your students <ul><li>Introduce new vocabulary by giving students a sentence that has clues to the word’s meaning. Then have students create a definition for the word. </li></ul><ul><li>Slip at least one SAT vocabulary word into each lesson. (See handout.) </li></ul>
  32. 33. Passage-Based Reading(PBR) <ul><li>Directions: The passages below are followed by questions based on their content: questions following a pair of related passages may also be based on he relationship between the paired passage. Answer the questions on the basis of what is stated or implied in the passages and any introductory material that may be provided. </li></ul>
  33. 34. Test Time <ul><li>For the next ten minutes, you will read one passage and answer six questions about that passage from the critical reading section of the SAT. </li></ul>
  34. 35. Reflect <ul><li>What strategy or strategies did you use to eliminate choices? </li></ul><ul><li>What was your biggest challenge when answering these questions? </li></ul><ul><li>What did you find easy about these questions? </li></ul>
  35. 36. Strategies for PBR <ul><li>Closely read the italics and first paragraph and make predictions about the upcoming essay. </li></ul><ul><li>Premark (check questions for key line numbers and paragraphs) and symbolize the passage (circle keywords, summarize purpose of each paragraph, underline repeated words or phrases.) </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t fall victim to SAT traps: identical words and phrases in answer choices and passage. </li></ul><ul><li>If you find yourself re-reading lines because you are not focusing, stop, take a break, then return to the passage. </li></ul>
  36. 37. Support your students <ul><li>Have students practice how to skim passages for key ideas. </li></ul><ul><li>Assign 800-word essays to read and grade students on whether they have found all the treasures (main idea, supporting ideas, counter-examples, etc.) </li></ul><ul><li>Build inference practice into lessons, homework and assessments </li></ul>
  37. 38. Developed Reasoning
  38. 39. Part of the SAT is a guessing game. Fair Test's position is reasonably new on it. We've never said that the SAT is not measuring something meaningful. There's a little part of meaning, there's a little part of background, there's a little part of schooling. But there's a lot of test-wiseness. There's a lot of 'how shrewdly you can play the game?' Bob Schaeffer, Public Education Director, Fair Test (standardized test watchdog group )
  39. 40. Resource List <ul><li>College Board website and prep guides: sample tests and strategies </li></ul><ul><li>Flocabulary website and books: SAT vocabulary </li></ul><ul><li>PBS website: Frontline’s The Secrets of the SAT (1999) </li></ul>

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