Using PARCC Performance Tasks to Design Curriculum

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Using PARCC's Assessment Blueprints, Dr. Dea has designed a one-page matrix for each grade detailing the tasks topics and associated standards assessed.

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Regardless of Your State, Common Core ELA/Literacy Standards Goals are the Same!

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PARCC’s Task Topics can be Used by Everyone to Meet All Standards

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Above is a summary of the Grade 3 Performance Tasks as framed by PARCC. Dr. Dea has organized all Performance Tasks (grades 3-11) in a way that can be used by any teacher to build curriculum and assessments.

Moreover, if a teacher feels the performance task needs a third standard…for instance in any of the third grade performance task referenced above—there is no reason not to add a standard to the performance task. In grade 3, RL 9 could easily be incorporated into a student task: “compare and contrast the themes, settings, and plots of stories written by the same author about the same or similar characters (e.g., in books from a series). By adding standard 9, teachers open the opportunity to teach and reinforce analysis, a topic I’ve written about often on this blog…here, here, here, and for science…here

Also provided are performance tasks for what PARCC labels research simulation tasks. These tasks are grounded in the writing standards, specifically standards W.7, W.8, and W.9.

CCRA.7. Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects based on focused questions, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.

CCRA.8. Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources, assess the credibility and accuracy of each source, and integrate the information while avoiding plagiarism.

CCRA.9. Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.

As with the literary analysis task, the research simulation task indicates which of the reading standards are the supporting standards and act as the basis for the selected response items on the PARCC assessment. However, as suggested with the literary analysis task, in curriculum design and by extension, in classroom instruction, these standards can become the basis for development in reading comprehension and building content knowledge.

Note that although the standards assessed in each grade are similar if not identical, the performance task has language and focus tied to the language of the grade level standard.

Note that although the standards assessed in each grade are similar if not identical, the performance task has language and focus tied to the language of the grade level standard.

To demonstrate the similarities among the grades and simultaneously demonstrate the differences between them, compare the performance task matrix for the grade four to that of grade Although all grades develop a performance task around literature standards 1 and 7, the nature of the task changes with each grade. In grade three, what was “Analysis of contributions of illustrations” becomes in fourth grade “connecting a text and companion visual or oral presentation of that text” and in grade five becomes “analysis of visual and multimedia elements.”

Interested in seeing all the performance task planers? Contact me and I will send you the one-page grade level charts or click here to view my performance-task planners interactive tools that support teachers in designing units around each of the performance task topics. Wondering how to design a curriculum that builds on the structure of performance tasks to strengthen literacy skills while building content knowledge and skills? Next blog!

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4 Responses to “Using PARCC Performance Tasks to Design Curriculum”

  1. Michelle Helmer February 27, 2015 at 8:31 am #

    Great thinking! I am excited to see the other matrices. Is there similar thinking with Math by any chance? Thank you for taking the time to share your wisdom and experience. I know how hard it is to find the space and time.

    • Dr. Dea Conrad-Curry March 2, 2015 at 12:24 pm #

      Thank you for your comment, Michelle. I have had others ask me about a math matrix or chart of sorts. And, I have consulted with some math specialists who believe it can be done. Unfortunately, up until now, I haven’t had the time, but it is on the list! I hope to post the follow-up blog to this in the coming days and there, post the remainder of the grade level charts. Stay tuned!

  2. Susan Richmond July 5, 2015 at 10:01 am #

    Do you have any ideas about standard 2 in RL and RI? The terms are so confusing!

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