Study Guide

Field 038: Reading (Subtest I)
Sample Constructed-Response Assignments

The following materials contain:

Directions for the Constructed-Response Assignments

For each constructed-response assignment in this section, you are to prepare a written response of approximately 150–200 words in the response-box on-screen. Read the assignments carefully before you begin to write. Think about how you will organize your responses. You may use the erasable sheets to make notes, write an outline, or otherwise prepare your responses. However, your score will be based solely on the version of your responses typed in the on-screen response box presented with each assignment.

Please note that special characters (such as letters with accents or other diacritical marks) cannot be entered using the keyboard but are available for insertion in the on-screen response box. To access these characters, click on the button that appears in the upper left corner of the screen. Using the mouse, click on the character you wish to include in your response and then select "Insert". The character will be inserted where the cursor is positioned in the response box.

Your response to each assignment will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

Evaluation of each response will be based on the criteria above, not on your writing ability. Your responses, however, must be communicated clearly enough to permit a valid judgment of your knowledge and skills. Your responses should be written for an audience of educators in the field.

Your responses must be your original work, written in your own words, and not copied or paraphrased from some other work. You may not use any reference materials. Remember to review what you have written and make any changes you think will improve your responses. The final version of each response should conform to the conventions of edited American English.

Sample Constructed-Response Assignment #1

Use the information below to complete the assignment that follows.

Teachers use many different types of reading assessments. Each type is designed to provide specific kinds of information about students' reading strengths and weaknesses.

Sample Strong Response to Constructed-Response Assignment #1

   A middle school teacher wishes to use a particular novel with his or her students. A cloze test is a quick and efficient tool to use to determine if the reading level of the book is appropriate for the students and to help make student-grouping decisions for teaching the novel. To make the cloze test, the teacher selects a typical page or passage from the book, about 300 words in length. The teacher photocopies the material, blanks out every 5th word, and replaces the blanks with numbered underlines. Often the first and last sentences are left intact. The teacher makes a copy for each student. Students read the passage silently and fill in the blanks with guesses that make sense and are syntactically correct.

   The tests are scored by determining the percentage of accuracy (for this purpose, synonyms count as correct). Based on students' performance on the cloze test, the teacher may determine that the book is appropriate for one group of students to read independently, for another group to read with teacher guidance, and for a small group to read with substantial teacher support or with the assistance of a commercial or teacher-made recording. A cloze test is the most efficient test to use for the whole class in this situation. It is a flexible tool because it can easily be developed for use with a specific book.

Sample Constructed-Response Assignment #2

Use the information below to complete the assignment that follows.

A student reads aloud a passage from an unfamiliar text as the teacher notes the student's oral reading performance on a separate copy of the text. Following is an excerpt from the teacher's record.

Sample Strong Response to Constructed-Response Assignment #2

   The reader of this passage exhibits strength in using context clues. He/she self-corrected several miscues that didn't make sense semantically (for example, dō for do, tō for two, on for only, add for admit, for for forget), which showed evidence of being able to use semantic context clues. The reader also showed evidence of being able to use syntactic context clues when he/she corrected load to loaded, smack to smacked, and throw to threw.

   One very important weakness the reader demonstrates is a lack of fluency. He/she made frequent pauses and repetitions throughout his/her performance. The evidence seems to indicate that these fluency problems are caused in part by a limited sight word vocabulary (he/she initially missed several sight words, such as do, want, two, and first) and in part by poor word identification skills. An example of this is the reader's consistent use of the long vowel sound when attacking the beginnings of words, such as initially pronouncing tō for today, thō for thought, and prō for progress. Although the student stopped and self-corrected the incorrect use of the long vowel sound, the frequent interruption in the flow of sentences inhibited fluency and undoubtedly also interfered with comprehension.

Performance Characteristics

Responses are scored holistically based on the following performance characteristics:

Purpose The extent to which the response achieves the purpose of the assignment
Content Knowledge The extent to which the response accurately and effectively applies the relevant content knowledge and skills
Support The extent to which the response provides relevant and specific support

Scoring Scale

The three points of the scoring scale correspond to varying degrees of performance.

Score Point Score Point Description
3
The "3" response reflects a thorough understanding of the relevant knowledge and skills.
  • The response thoroughly achieves the purpose of the assignment.
  • The response demonstrates an accurate and effective application of relevant content knowledge.
  • The response provides relevant and specific support.
2
The "2" response reflects a general understanding of the relevant knowledge and skills.
  • The response largely achieves the purpose of the assignment.
  • The response demonstrates a generally accurate and generally effective application of the relevant content knowledge.
  • The response provides some relevant support.
1
The "1" response reflects limited or no understanding of the relevant knowledge and skills.
  • The response partially achieves or fails to achieve the purpose of the assignment.
  • The response demonstrates a limited, inaccurate or ineffective application of the relevant content knowledge.
  • The response provides limited or no relevant support.
U
The response is unrelated to the assignment, is unreadable, is primarily in a language other than English, or does not contain a sufficient amount of original work to score.
B
There is no response to the assignment.