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Principal's Message

As I am sure you are aware, the state of Illinois has adopted the New Illinois Learning Standards in both English Language Arts and Mathematics for students in grades K through 12. During the past two years, I have used this space to share examples of assessment items that would be used to monitor your child’s progress in meeting these standards. The Illinois Standards Achievement Test (ISAT) has been phased out and is being replaced this year by the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Career (PARCC) test. This test will be taken in two phases by our third through eighth grade students in March and in April/May.

Beginning this month, I’d like to share with you explanations and examples of the three different writing tasks that our students will be tackling in this assessment. All writing tasks will require a written response to the text(s) students will be reading during this assessment. These writing tasks are being practiced in each ELA classroom as part of the units that have been created by each grade level.

The Narrative Task expands the way narrative writing has traditionally been defined as writing to tell a story. Narrative writing can be used to convey experiences or events, real or imaginary.

In this task, students may be asked to write/compose a story, detail a scientific process, write a historical account of important figures, or to describe an account of events, scenes, or objects. Each narrative task will be based upon the text passage(s) included in the assessment.

At the top of each passage (informational or literary), directions such as the following from the PARCC 3rd Grade Practice Test will appear at the top of the passages students will read:

“Today, you will read the story, “A Once in a Lifetime Experience.” Pay close attention to the actions of the characters and the events in the story. Answer the questions to help you prepare to write a narrative story.”

The following information will appear as the directions for the narrative writing task:

“This story tells about Derrick’s first camping trip. Write Derrick’s journal entry about this camping trip. Include information about how the characters responded to the events in the story as you write the journal entry.”

Within this month’s newsletter you will find the literary passage, “A Once-in-a-Lifetime Experience,” as well as the generic writing rubric provided by the PARCC consortium for scoring a third grade narrative writing sample. Please note that a significant number of points will be attributed to writing written expression, which assesses effective development of narrative elements appropriate to the task, consistent demonstration of purposeful and controlled organization, and using language to express ideas with clarity. Knowledge of language and conventions will also be assessed, but score points of 2 and 3 allow for some errors in convention if the meaning is clear.

You can find additional details and access the PARCC practice tests for ELA and math at .



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