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Secondary History/Social Studies

Task 3: Assessment Commentary

TASK 3: ASSESSMENT COMMENTARY


Respond to the prompts below (no more than 10 single-spaced pages, including prompts) by typing your responses within
the brackets following each prompt. Do not delete or alter the prompts. Commentary pages exceeding the maximum will not be
scored. Attach the assessment you used to evaluate student performance (no more than 5 additional pages) to the end of this
file. If you submit feedback as a video or audio clip and your comments to focus students cannot be clearly heard, attach
transcriptions of your comments (no more than 2 additional pages) to the end of this file. These pages do not count toward
your page total.

1. Analyzing Student Learning


a. Identify the specific learning objectives measured by the assessment you chose for
analysis.
[The specific learning objectives measured by this assessment are from lesson three. There are
two objectives from this lesson. They are (1) students will be able to describe the
accomplishments and contributions of the ancient Egyptian civilization (NYS 9.1.c) and (2)
students will be able to discuss their findings and base it on evidence (9-10.WHST.9).]
b. Provide a graphic (table or chart) or narrative that summarizes student learning for your
whole class. Be sure to summarize student learning for all evaluation criteria submitted
in Assessment Task 3, Part D.
[The following table was compiled to discern trends and opportunities for performance
improvement. Each student number is listed in column one. The three focus students are in bold
type with an asterisk. They are student numbers six, eleven, and sixteen. The rubric scores
(one, two, or three points) are shown for each student in columns two, three, and four. The
maximum number of points is nine. Each students point total is shown in the fifth column. This
is the quantitative grade. The percentage of those points achieved is in the sixth column. The
qualitative grade in the seventh column is derived from the rubric points. Achieving a score of
two in each category would yield a percent score of 67%. This is satisfactory. A score below
that, effectively five of nine points, would be categorized as developing. Achieving four points or
less would be unsatisfactory. The data is summarized below columns five through seven and
shows that the performance of fifteen students was satisfactory, four students were developing,
and two students performed unsatisfactorily. Under columns two, three, and four is percentage
data that captures performance for each category. This is the area that needs analysis to
provide insight that leads to higher achievement of the stated objectives.
Data table follows on p.2.

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Secondary History/Social Studies


Task 3: Assessment Commentary

Assessment Analysis
Category A
Category B
Category C
Student # Rubric Score Rubric Score Rubric Score Points of 9
1
1
1
2
4
2
1
2
2
5
3
2
2
2
6
4
1
3
2
6
5
3
2
3
8
6*
3
2
3
8
7
2
2
1
5
8
2
2
2
6
9
1
3
2
6
10
3
2
2
7
11*
2
2
2
6
12
2
2
3
7
13
2
2
2
6
14
1
2
2
5
15
3
2
1
6
16*
1
2
1
4
17
2
3
2
7
18
1
3
2
6
19
1
2
2
5
20
2
2
3
7
21
2
2
2
6
Average
1.8
2.1
2.0
6.00
% score 3
19%
19%
19%
SAT
% score 2
43%
76%
67%
Developing
% score 1
38%
5%
14%
UNSAT
*Focus students

SAT
Developing
UNSAT
% of pts.
44%
56%
67%
67%
89%
89%
56%
67%
67%
78%
67%
78%
67%
56%
67%
44%
78%
67%
56%
78%
67%
67%
15
4
2

>/=67%
<67% & >45%
</= 45%
Grade
UNSAT
DEV
SAT
SAT
SAT
SAT
DEV
SAT
SAT
SAT
SAT
SAT
SAT
DEV
SAT
UNSAT
SAT
SAT
DEV
SAT
SAT
SAT
71.4%
19.0%
9.5%

c. Use evidence found in the 3 student work samples and the whole class summary to
analyze the patterns of learning for the whole class and differences for groups or
individual learners relative to

facts and concepts


inquiry, interpretation, or analysis skills
building and supporting arguments or conclusions
Consider what students understand and do well, and where they continue to struggle
(e.g., common errors, confusions, need for greater challenge).
[This formative assessment was a focused reading comprehension and writing exercise that will
be used to inform future planning for a writing workshop, focused on essay writing. Student work
was assessed using a rubric with three categories. The first category assessed coding and
annotation of text, consistent with the school wide reading comprehension initiative,
Comprehension at the Core. These comprehension techniques support the other two rubric
categories that determine how well students provide relevant facts, analyze these facts, and
support their arguments. The second and third rubric categoriesstudents identify an Ancient
Egyptian contribution with reasons for impact and students state an opinion regarding the
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Secondary History/Social Studies


Task 3: Assessment Commentary

pyramids with back-up evidence-directly measures achievement of the lesson objectives.


These lesson objectives fulfill (NYS 9.1.c) and (9-10.WHST.9) by requiring students be able to:
(1) describe the accomplishments and contributions of the Ancient Egyptian civilization and (2)
discuss their findings and base it on evidence.
The results of the whole class indicate that average achievement was 6 of 9 possible
points. Approximately 71% of students met or exceeded 6 points. This was deemed satisfactory
performance. However, the class could have achieved higher scores easily with minor
adjustments to their approach. Approximately, 19% of students performed marginally achieving
5 of 9 points. This was categorized as developing. Approximately 10% of students achieved 4 of
9 points, an unsatisfactory performance. The relationships in results between the rubric
categories are noteworthy. The best performance occurred in categories B and C. Students
were able to state an Egyptian contribution in question two and gave only one valid reason. The
same occurred in question 3 where students expressed their opinion but only reinforced it with
one piece of evidence. There seems to exist a tentative causal relationship between coding and
annotation skill and performance on the two questions. Those two students who achieved the
highest scores (8 out of 9 possible points) coded and annotated their text completely and
purposefully. Focus student number one performed comprehensive coding and annotated the
text with interesting points that added to background knowledge. Others who coded completely
achieved satisfactory scores, however, upon further examination it was revealed that too much
coding was performed. An example is too much underlining. This was the case with focus
student number two. He only gave one reason for his answer in each question. The use of too
much underlining prohibits discernment of key data and a robust analysis. Facts are easily
picked from the text but analysis and argument building tend to fall short with this incorrect
application of coding. This may have served to focus students on reading with more intention
but not comprehension and analysis. Three of the four developing students performed little or
no coding. If they used the techniques with more focus, they would have clearly increased their
scores into the highest ranges. Their score was lowered because they did not interact and
analyze the text with enough discernment. Often students will highlight an entire page or
paragraph and remark that everything seemed important. These types of students performed
competently on the two questions. With more attention paid to finding supporting reasons, they
could have been top performers on this exercise. Focus student three has a 504
accommodation for ADHD and performed no coding at all. He achieved an unsatisfactory grade
on the exercise. If this student had interacted with the text more closely, better choices may
have been made. The choice of facts and the one reason given was not emphasized in the text.
Evidence given was only tangentially related; in fact, it was decontextualized from the passage
and notes. This student and the other student with an unsatisfactory performance received
remediation. This consisted of a review of the techniques to dissect a passage to pick out key
information and look for reasons and evidence in the passage and in their lesson notes.
Additionally, an overall observation is that students can pick out facts. When it comes to
agreeing or disagreeing, students have some difficulty supporting their opinions with valid
evidence. Close interaction with text through coding and annotation will allow students to stake
a claim to each passage they read, leading to better inquiries, and result in a more methodical
approach to the discourse skills required for studying social studies.]
d. If a video or audio work sample occurs in a group context (e.g., discussion), provide the
name of the clip and clearly describe how the scorer can identify the focus student(s)
(e.g., position, physical description) whose work is portrayed.
[ ]
2. Feedback to Guide Further Learning
Refer to specific evidence of submitted feedback to support your explanations.
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Secondary History/Social Studies


Task 3: Assessment Commentary

a. Identify the format in which you submitted your evidence of feedback for the 3 focus
students. (Delete choices that do not apply.)

Written directly on work samples or in separate documents that were provided to the
focus students.
[Each student received a completed three-category rubric with specific comments on how to
improve their score. There are four categories with the last category being a section for
comments specific to achieving an additional point on the three point grading scale.
This way, students are well aware of the gaps they need to close for better performance. In
those cases where feedback needed to be instructional and remedial, there are notations on the
students worksheets.]
b. Explain how feedback provided to the 3 focus students addresses their individual
strengths and needs relative to the learning objectives measured.
[The three focus students are students 6, 11, and 16, highlighted in the table from prompt 1. The
student work examples denoted student one as a high achieving student, student two as an
average achieving student, and student three as a low achieving student; a student in need of
remediation. In the case of student three, comments on the rubric noted that coding and
annotation needed to be used to improve the answers to questions 1 and 2. However, this is
meaningless unless additional, explicit remediation was given. An example of coding and
annotation was provided on the actual assignment where I demonstrated these techniques and
went over them with the student. From there, we discussed and modeled again what the student
would do to interact with the text and take that skill to achieve all the points available for the
exercise. It became clear to the student that the answers and valid reasons were available for
him to use right there in the text. This makes explicit the question-answer relationships (QARs)
that can be found in any text (Raphael, 1986). This approach would completely fulfill the
objectives for the lesson. Following up on this, I plan to verify that these techniques are being
used on the next, similar assignment.
Student two received a score of 6 with specific details on how to achieve the perfect core
of 9. This student received two pieces of feedback. Since he made an attempt but neither coded
nor annotated, the feedback pointed this out. Underlining was extensive, blurring the distinctions
between important information and supporting evidence. The feedback to this student indicated
that he needed to give more reasons to support his opinion and more details that support the
named Egyptian contribution to achieve the learning objectives. Student one achieved the best
score. Extensive coding and annotation informed her inquiry and analysis which was specifically
praised in the comments assessing that performance. She missed one point because she wrote
about two contributions giving one reason for the impact of each as opposed to what the
question asked for. The feedback pointed out that to achieve that additional point for a
maximum score, two reasons would need to be given for one Egyptian contribution. In every
case, the feedback directly showed how each focus student could achieve an incremental point
to close the gaps to better performance on the lesson objectives.]
c. Describe how you will support each focus student to understand and use this feedback
to further their learning related to learning objectives, either within the learning segment
or at a later time.
[The high achieving student will be placed with other students less adept at coding and
annotation. This would drive improvement in others and facilitate inquiry skills in group work
(Vygotsky, 1978). Comprehending information from textually rich sources is a foundational skill
that students need to possess. The average achiever will benefit from the same treatment that
the low achieving student received--one on one modeling of the coding/annotation process.
There are laminated cards and posters throughout the room that students can look at or use at
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Secondary History/Social Studies


Task 3: Assessment Commentary

their desks to remind them of the codes that are available during reading and writing activities.
In fact, it is being considered that students will be required to actively engage with the cards and
use them. In this assessment, it is part of the rubric point structure. In the future, students will
need to be reminded of this. The student in need of remediation (student three with a 504
accommodation for ADHD) received more detailed feedback and one on one remediation. This
support will need verification of continued use. It will also need to be reinforced prior to and
during the next assessment. This will aid this learner in refocusing and increasing these skills.]
3. Evidence of Language Understanding and Use
When responding to the prompt below, use concrete examples from the video clips and/or
student work samples as evidence. Evidence from the clips may focus on one or more
students.

You may provide evidence of students language use from ONE, TWO, OR ALL
THREE of the following sources:
1. Use video clips from Instruction Task 2 and provide time-stamp references for
evidence of language use.
2. Submit an additional video file named Language Use of no more than 5
minutes in length and cite language use (this can be footage of one or more
students language use). Submit the clip in Assessment Task 3, Part B.
3. Use the student work samples analyzed in Assessment Task 3 and cite
language use.
a. Explain and provide concrete examples for the extent to which your students were able
to use or struggled to use the

selected language function,


vocabulary/symbols, AND
discourse or syntax
to develop content understandings.
[All students engaged in a reading comprehension and writing exercise that used background
knowledge and a given excerpt about Ancient Egyptian contributions. The student was to
provide two opinions and challenged to support them with evidence. The purpose here is for
students to use their knowledge to foster a deeper analysis of the content and not simply
recollect facts. To facilitate their analysis, students were instructed to closely interact with the
text by using the previously learned skills of coding and annotation. The language function used
was analyze. Students were instructed to use their graphic organizers, vocabulary sheets, and
coding/annotation knowledge to complete the assessment. All the information to answer the
question completely is available to students. Students performed satisfactorily overall, but
engaging in written discourse has proved to be much more challenging to students than spoken
discourse, as students have demonstrated they understand the content. This was borne out in
pre-test results and needs to be addressed.
Focus student number one was able to use the language function as extensive coding
and annotation informed her inquiry and analysis which was specifically praised in the
comments assessing that performance. She used the vocabulary that was present in the
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Secondary History/Social Studies


Task 3: Assessment Commentary

previous lessonspharaoh, beliefs, and pyramid. She missed one point because she wrote
about two contributions giving one reason for the impact of each as opposed to what the
question asked for. The written responses had the potential to be stronger if the link between
the coding and writing had an intermediate link (i.e.,informal, brief outline). Instruction in the
social studies skill of approaching written discourse in this way could benefit the entire class.
Focus student number two struggled to analyze the passage, use effective vocabulary, and
write argumentatively. His use of underlining was extensive, blurring the distinctions between
important information and supporting evidence. Focus student three struggled to use the
vocabulary, analyze the document and questions, and engage in written discourse. Students
can give their opinion but it is often difficult to understand their reasoning because the evidence
is not persuasively presented, and in many cases, partial evidence is offered. This stems from
not using their graphic organizer notes and inadequate coding/annotation or picking out signal
words in the passage. In short, backing up facts with evidence and the linkages needed for
historical analysis and reasoning are lacking markedly in focus student three and to a lesser
extent in focus students two and one.]
4. Using Assessment to Inform Instruction
a. Based on your analysis of student learning presented in prompts 1bc, describe next
steps for instruction to impact student learning:

For the whole class


For the 3 focus students and other individuals/groups with specific needs
Consider the variety of learners in your class who may require different
strategies/support (e.g., students with IEPs or 504 plans, English language learners,
struggling readers, underperforming students or those with gaps in academic
knowledge, and/or gifted students needing greater support or challenge).
[Additional and ongoing instruction is planned for text coding and annotation. Additionally, a
structured writing for social studies lesson is planned. This workshop will extend and build on
the analysis and written discourse skills measured by this assessment. Students will receive
instruction in three distinct essay componentsintroduction, body, and conclusion. The
instruction concerning the body portion of the essay improves upon and extends the skills
gained during this assessment. The workshop will start off with an explanation of a box outline
that breaks down the question into a graphical format. This outline will have all the components
that answer the writing task completely. For example, for the body paragraph, the box outline
would have four boxes on a horizontal row: (1) name of ancient civilization, (2) description of
achievements, (3) how they impacted other civilizations, and (4) other supporting information. In
the second and third boxes, there will be corresponding numbers that represent how many
achievements and reasons are required to exceed the requirements of the writing task. The
criteria in the accompanying rubric will clearly show this. For NYS Regents essay writing
practice, students will be given specific modeling on reading essay questions to discern the
question of how many. Also, strategic coding of the box outline will be performed. Students
will be reminded that their class notes, consisting specifically of graphic organizers, are
invaluable for these exercises, if coded and annotated properly. An additional writing exercise
that uses a passage of text will be used and students will deconstruct the paragraph within the
passage and reconstruct its component parts, recognizing signal words to decipher evidence,
on the box outline (Monte-Sano, 2012).
The three focus students will be afforded additional supports and opportunities. Every
student will be given rubrics with similar assignments, allowing them self-regulation to perform
to their best. The students with 504 accommodations for ADHD will be provided with exemplary
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Secondary History/Social Studies


Task 3: Assessment Commentary

graphic organizer and box outlines (that are coded) to emphasize organization skills in recording
content and launching an analysis. Following that, exemplary writing pieces with similar
questions from previous content areas will serve as models. This also aids content review for
midterm and final examinations. Additionally, explicit definitions of discuss, justify, identify,
support, disagree, and other historical discourse words will be provided. This whole process will
need to be modeled and made explicit as it unfolds. Particular students will need to have
frequent checkpoints for understanding.]
b. Explain how these next steps follow from your analysis of the student learning. Support
your explanation with principles from research and/or theory.
[My key overall observation is that students can pick out facts. When it comes to agreeing or
disagreeing, students have difficulty supporting their opinions with valid evidence, especially in
writing. Close interaction with text through coding and annotation will allow students to stake a
claim to each passage they read, leading to better inquiries and a more methodical approach to
the discourse skills required for engaging in social studies. It is clear that what I encountered
was a misunderstanding of the genre of argument. Once students learn text structures related to
argumentative writing, they would be able to apply that understanding to writing their own body
paragraphs (Montelongo, Herter, Ansaldo, & Hatter, 2010). Of course, this skill will need to be
honed through practice and repetition. Struggling students will be allowed multiple opportunities
for this, to preempt remediation. Students should be shown what good writing looks like (MonteSano, 2012). This includes all the preparatory elementscomplete and detailed box outline,
coding, signal words on the box outline and the passage, if applicable. The exemplary
performance will be reviewed with emphasis on the ground up process of writing for the social
studies. This process itself will facilitate students learning of content but, more importantly, it will
engage students in higher levels of thinking for the historical issue at hand. It is recognized that
writing is an essential element in developing historical reasoning. Student efficacy in recognizing
and reconciling historical perspectives improved greatly when writing tasks focused on causal
analysis (Monte-Sano & De La Paz, 2012). It is critical that instruction for the writing process be
represented in multiple ways (UDL). Providing exemplars (and mock non-exemplars) and
continued explicit modeling is paramount. It is recognized that using this approach requires
ongoing analysis of active teaching instruction as well as focus on improving tasks and
materials to reach all learners. This is the charter for twenty-first century teaching. It is my
intention that the students will not only learn to write but will write to learn.]

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