Wednesday, February 4, 2015

OMG! The FSA is a DBQ! SMH...

When I started teaching, in my New Teacher packet,  I got an awesome list of education-industry acronyms. This was a super helpful list as I tried to sort through the VE, EBD, ESE, and/or ELL kids who did or did not have ABC or ABS or OSS at the MS or HS or even the ES. I knew what PE was and who TAs were but not STEM or PMAC or SWBAT.  I was confused by DWT, IPDP, NCLB, IDEA, but knew I didn’t want to go to OPS. I wondered about the NAEP, FCAT, SRI, SAT, AP results of my students. I joined PCSS, FCSS, NCSS and PCTA. At least I could ask for things ASAP and learned to CYA and MYOB.

All that was before text messages and twitter further shortened our world of acronyms.

Isn’t it funny how we can write entire sentences where we use more acronyms than words?

So here’s my acronym speak for the week.

FYI, the FSA is a big DBQ.

Ok, so that isn't’ nearly enough acronyms in one sentence to go in my acronym hall of fame, but seriously, here’s how it works.

The kids read a couple of documents (generally of social studies and/or science topics) and then write either an informative or argumentative essay about a big overarching question.

Sound familiar?

Sure, there’s no hook activity or buckets, but that is the basic gist of a DBQ: Read multiple texts, connect common themes, answer question in written essay form.

So -- do me a favor. W8...don’t do me the favor, do a favor for your students -- ESE, ELL, AP, EBD, or whoever --

Do one more DBQ in the next month to help prepare your kids for that Writing FSA.

OMG, it will be so helpful!

Seriously, your ELA (English/Language Arts) and Reading colleagues are teaching their butts off to make sure the kids are familiar with the format, the computer program, the standards and the essay planning before the FSA writing test next month.  Preventing as many IDKs as possible ... SMH ...

We, as social studies teachers can be super huge helps to our students -- and to our school grades -- if we do one more DBQ this month before Writing FSA.

If you’re wondering if this is really a part of your job, BTW, when you have your own EOC coming up, go  to CPALMS (SRSLY -- go there, pull up your course, and click on the standards. The beginning ones that say LAFS...RH or LAFS ... WHST -- those are for you.

LAFS stands for Language Arts Florida Standards and RH means Reading History while WHST stands for Writing History, Science, Technical subjects.

Those are the ELA standards that go with your NGSSS. They are in your course directory from the FLDOE and they are an important part of your course.

Here’s a reminder of the alignment between the DBQ, the LAFS and the FSA.

The DBQ, LAFS, and FSA Match-up!
*Ellipses (…) are used in place of grade level band for Florida Standards. For grades 6-8 LAFS, the ellipses mean 68 in the traditional coding. For grades 9-10 the ellipses stand for 910. For grades 11-12, they stand for 1112. For example LAFS.1112.RH.1.2 or LAFS.68.WHST.2.2
Parts of a DBQ
Corresponding Florida Standards
Corresponding FSA
The Hook Exercise
Where the DBQ introduces the main concept in the DBQ and hooks the students’ interest
·         The Hook Exercise does not explicitly address the Florida Standards in reading and writing, but it does address the Florida Standards in Speaking and Listening. It is also an essential part of setting purpose and engaging the students.
·         Not explicitly FSA but the Hook is a great part of setting purpose and engaging the students.
The Background Essay
The students and teacher read a background essay to “even the playing field” and put everyone literally on the same page. This is a textbook-style secondary source to give students context for the documents ahead.
·         Introduces the academic vocabulary  
·         Helps students practice finding the main idea (LAFS…RH.1.2)
·         The background essay is like one of the informational texts in the FSA test. Working through the background essay helps kids practice reading strategies
Understanding the Question/Pre-bucketing
The students make sure they completely understand the over-arching question of the DBQ and all terms within the question.
·         Produce clear and coherent writing …appropriate to the task, purpose, and audience
·         On the FSA, students will need to thoroughly understand the question before they respond to it in writing.
Document Analysis
The students deeply read and analyze several primary and secondary non-fiction documents on the same topic, showing various viewpoints, types of text, and
·         Analyze primary and secondary source text
·         Determine main idea of primary and secondary texts (LAFS…RH.1.2)
·         Analyze in detail a series of events in a text/text structure  (LAFS…RH.1.3)
·         Analyze how a text uses structure to make a point (LAFS…RH.2.5)
·         Integrate visual information and charts and data with print text (LAFS…RH.3.7)
·         Assess whether the reasoning and evidence support the author’s claims (LAFS…RH.3.8)
·         Compare and contrast the treatment of the same topic over multiple primary and secondary sources (LAFS…RH.3.9)
·         Read complex text (LAFS…RH.4.10)
·         On the FSA test, students will read and analyze several varied sources on the same topic and will need to understand them well enough to respond in writing.
Argument and Thesis
Students argue or “thrash-out” the topic, as a pre-writing strategy. They then write a thesis statement and a “roadmap” for their argument paper.
·         Compare the points of view of multiple authors (LAFS…RH.2.6)
·         Compare and assess whether the reasoning and evidence support the author’s claims (LAFS…RH.3.8)
·         Compare and contrast the treatment of the same topic over multiple primary and secondary sources (LAFS…RH.3.9)
·         Introduce a claim (LAFS…WHST.1.1a)
·         Support a claim with evidence (LAFS…WHST.1.1b)
·         Gather and use relevant evidence from multiple sources (LAFS…WHST.3.8)
·         On the FSA test, students will need to construct clear and coherent arguments based on the multiple sources they have read and analyzed. Four out of ten points are based on organization and focus.
Writing the Argumentative Essay
Students write formal, argumentative essays from their thesis statements based on evidence from the documents and on reasoned historical and political arguments.
·         Write arguments focused on discipline-specific content (LAFS…WHST.1.1)
·         Introduce claims and thesis (LAFS…WHST.1.1a)
·         Support your claim with evidence (LAFS…WHST.1.1b)
·         Write clearly, make appropriate transitions, and use formal style (LAFS…WHST.1.1c and 1d)
·         Write a thoughtful conclusion (LAFS…WHST.1.1e)
·         Produce clear and coherent writing that is appropriate to the task and audience (LAFS…WHST.2.4)
·         Gather relevant information from multiple sources and assess the usefulness of each source (LAFS…WHST.3.8)
·         Draw evidence from informational texts to support analysis and reflection (LAFS…WHST.3.9)
·         On the FSA, students will have to write a strong, argumentative or informative essay using the multiple sources they have read and examined. Four out of the ten points are based on student use of evidence and elaboration

PLZ -- do a DBQ. ASAP. DYI. The Writing FSA is next month. The Reading FSA is in April. Give your kids another great opportunity to hone their skills and prepare!

What DBQ are you doing in February? Email and let me know!

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