Releasing PARCC Aligned Curriculum & Assessment Planners

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Common Core Assessment is based on a series of performance tasks. Using Dr. Dea’s Performance Task Planners, teachers select a task from a drop-down list and the form automatically populates standards associated with each of PARCC’s grade-level performance tasks.


 Note to Readers 01.02.16

Dr. Dea’s Curriculum and Assessment Planners first published in 2013 as PDF forms have been updated with PARCC’s fall 2015 changes to the assessment blueprint and grade-level tasks. The update has been published as an interactive Word template complete with drop-down boxes and self-populating cells to customize task design. The updated Performance Task Planners are available at each grade level, 3-11. Click the link to preview a sample. For more information or to schedule a workshop on how to use the planners, contact Dr. Dea. [contact-form subject=’Performance Task Planners’][contact-field label=’Name’ type=’name’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Email’ type=’email’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Website’ type=’url’/][contact-field label=’Comment’ type=’textarea’ required=’1’/][/contact-form]

Note to Readers 11.05.13

Since this post was first written, the PARCC Aligned ELA Common Core Curriculum & Assessment Planners have been replaced by the Dr. Dea’s Common Core Unit Planners. Unit Planners are equipped with drop-down boxes for grade-level standard selection and also include space for entering instructional objectives and teaching notes.

Educators, this is your chance to decide on the texts you will teach as you prepare your students to be thinkers and doers.

Educators, this is your chance to decide on the texts you will teach as you prepare your students to be thinkers and doers.

I have been working with due diligence to help teachers make sense of the marriage between the PARCC Frameworks released first in the Fall of 2011 and updated in the Fall of 2012 and the most recent edits (August 2015) to the PARCC Assessment Blueprints (2012).

PARCC’s Assessment Blueprints, are aligned to the PARCC’s Model Content Frameworks and categories of writing students are asked to perform are in close synchronization with the Common Core. However, the writing assessments are not specifically argument, expository, and narrative. Rather, the categories of assessment for reading within the categories of writing are directed towards literary analysis, research writing, and narrative. Narrative, by the way, has been redefined since the 2011 Frameworks were released. The new definition of narrative is one that includes not only story (the conventional definition of narrative) but also the process of description. More on that later.

The result….a unit planner that integrates the guidelines of the PARCC Frameworks and the Assessment Blueprints. This two-sectioned document supplies a means by which teachers can provide direct instruction, either as whole group or in guided groups, and also allows plentiful opportunities for students to work as pairs, in small groups, or independently to practice the kind of thinking and writing the Common Core demands and that PARCC will assess. Planners are available for sale in the website Shop. Grade 3-5 year-long planners are $7.00 per grade; Grade 6-11 are available for $10.00 per planner. Completed sample planners will be available by August 1st. Professional development in the use of planners and group purchase rates are available by contacting Dr. Dea.

How to use this document

This organizer is intended to be used as a planning guide for instruction and formative assessment. If students are to meet the changing demands of new generation assessments, they must become accustomed to reading cold text, responding to two-part selected response questions, and writing cohesive textual analysis. Each grade set curriculum and assessment planner is directly aligned to PARCC Model Content Frameworks,  PARCC ELA Task Generation Model and PARCC Assessment Form Specifications.

Top Portion: Instruction

The title of each page identifies the grade and quarter for which the planning guide is intended. The top section titled “Close Reading for Instruction and Practice” shaded in green is aligned to PARCC’s Model Content Frameworks and reflects the MCF by indicating the number and types or genre of texts to be read. The form PDF provides ease in entering text titles and writing practices selected by the educator in the middle and far right columns.

Lower Portion: Formative Assessment

Curriculum planners for grades three through five are summarized as one page per quarter file PDFs.

The lower section of the document titled “Quarterly Assessment Tasks” integrates PARCC Assessment Blueprints into curricular planning. The three types of writing tasks students will complete on the PARCC assessment are represented on the planner: an analytic task (yellow), a research task (tan), and a narrative task (orange). Corresponding cells provide space for documenting educator’s decisions for specific paired passage titles as indicated by the PARCC Blueprint. The suggested number of writing tasks students should perform each quarter in order to be prepared for future assessment is aligned to the Model Content Frameworks.

The left column provides grade-level writing prompt topics and lists the specific reading standards measured by that task. The right column lists the specific standards measured by corresponding EBSR and TECR items in accordance with PARCC’s Task Generation Model. Want to learn more about EBSR and TECR? Read my blog: HELP! PARCC Testing Acronyms. The “Standards Measured” column indicates whether reading is evaluated through the prose constructed response (PC) or a two-part selected response (SR). Each text should have a two-part vocabulary item measuring one of the standards listed. The center column provides space to enter selected text titles. Educators are advised to select texts from which to develop formative assessments meeting the expectations of the specific standards. These assessments should reflect the PARCC assessments in both text length and testing style: students read two or more separate texts, answer two 2-part selected response questions and one 2-part vocabulary question following the reading of each text, and finally, students write a constructed response (essay) to the performance task.

Beginning with grade 6, the planners incorporate PARCC's assessment specifications that include reading and writing standards from history/social studies as well as science and technical subjects.

Beginning with grade 6, the planners incorporate PARCC’s assessment specifications that include reading and writing standards from history/social studies as well as science and technical subjects.

The planner takes on a different look at grade 6: Beginning at the 6th grade, the responsibilities for teaching to and assessing the research simulation task and the narrative tasks must be shared across disciplines. This adjustment is noted on the planners for grades 6-11. Teaching research and the descriptive narrative rightfully belong to disciplines outside of ELA. The front matter of the Common Core Standards document clearly state the responsibilities for teaching literacy go beyond the English classroom. To make a successful transition to the Common Core and achieve successfully on the PARCC assessment, students will have to be proficient in reading and writing within a variety of disciplines. Preparation for Common Core implementation will take collaboration time among teachers of various content areas.

For further questions or clarifications, feel free to contact me: [email protected].

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