Below is our mission statement for the new ELA webpage.
The Mission of English Language Arts and Literacy Education: English Language Arts and Literacy in History/ Social Studies, Science and Technical Subjects education in Kansas prepares students to become accomplished in reading, writing, speaking and listening, and language across all content areas.
To Accomplish this Mission:
The complete English Language Arts and Literacy education program will:
- Employ high quality classroom instruction.
- Develop students’ ability to access and communicate effectively through reading, writing, speaking and listening .
- Prepare students to be confident participants in educational and career settings.
We aspire for excellence as we recruit, prepare and encourage individuals to participate in our English Language Arts initiatives throughout the state.
We serve schools and communities by offering young people opportunities to actively engage in learning through authentic reading, writing, speaking and listening tasks.
Language Arts and Literacy Education should prepare students to participate as competent leaders in educational and career settings.
Areas of Emphasis for English Language Arts Standards
1. Building knowledge through content rich nonfiction
Building knowledge through content rich non-‐fiction plays an essential role in literacy and in the Standards. In K-5, fulfilling the standards requires a 50-50 balance between informational and literary reading. Informational reading primarily includes content rich non-fiction in history/social studies, science and the arts; the K-‐5 Standards strongly recommend that students build coherent general knowledge both within each year and across years. In 6-12, ELA classes place much greater attention to a specific category of informational text—literary nonfiction—than has been traditional. In grades 6-12, the Standards for literacy in history/social studies, science and technical subjects ensure that students can independently build knowledge in these disciplines through reading and writing.
To be clear, the Standards do require substantial attention to literature throughout K-12, as half of the required work in K-5 and the core of the work of 6-12 ELA teachers.
2. Reading, writing and speaking grounded in evidence from text, both literary and informational
The Standards place a premium on students writing to sources, i.e., using evidence from texts to present careful analyses, well-‐defended claims, and clear information. Rather than asking students questions they can answer solely from their prior knowledge or experience, the Standards expect students to answer questions that depend on their having read the text or texts with care. The Standards also require the cultivation of narrative writing throughout the grades, and in later grades a command of sequence and detail will be essential for effective argumentative and informational writing.
Likewise, the reading standards focus on students’ ability to read carefully and grasp information, arguments, ideas and details based on text evidence. Students should be able to answer a range of text-‐dependent questions, questions in which the answers require inferences based on careful attention to the text.
3. Regular practice with complex text and its academic language
Rather than focusing solely on the skills of reading and writing, the Standards highlight the growing complexity of the texts students must read to be ready for the demands of college and careers. The Standards build a staircase of text complexity so that all students are ready for the demands of college-‐ and career-‐level reading no later than the end of high school.
Closely related to text complexity—and inextricably connected to reading comprehension—is a focus on academic vocabulary: words that appear in a variety of content areas (such as ignite and commit).
Introduction to Learning Resource Sets
"Introduction to Resource Sets", a two day presentation by Kris Shaw and Suzy Oertel, Kansas State Department of Education, was hosted by the ESU School of Library & Information Management on the campus of Emporia State University in Emporia, Kansas. Resource Sets expand on the idea of developing text sets for curriculum units in the classroom. Resource Sets focus on the process of building a set of materials, texts, audio and video clips, art, science hypotheses, or social studies essential questions into a unit. The step-by-step process is clarified by the use of an easy-to-read game board. You can access this introduction on You Tube at http://youtu.be/imxlJA8AXPk
The Kansas Assessment for English Language Arts will eventually address all four strands of the ELA standards – Reading, Writing, Speaking, and Listening. For information about each portion of what will contribute to the ELA Assessment scores, please refer to the resources below.
Machine-Scored Items for ELA Assessment
The Kansas Assessment for English Language Arts includes some machine-scored items. Please refer to the 2014-15 Assessment Overview Document for more specifics on the ELA Assessment.
Multidisciplinary Performance Task (MDPT)
The Kansas Assessment for English Language Arts includes a performance task. Please see this FAQ document for more information.
Multidisciplinary Performance Task Rubrics
Rubrics for the scoring of the MDPT have been developed, reviewed both internally and externally, revised, edited, and redesigned over the past several months. Educators can now find the rubrics for each grade band here:
Multidisciplinary Performance Task Explanation
A recorded presentation and accompanying PowerPoint slides about the MDPT task and rubrics are available at the links below.
Sample Multidisciplinary Performance Tasks and Accompanying Guide
Throughout this past fall, a group of Kansas educators who are experts in writing instruction worked to develop sample Multidisciplinary Performance Tasks for use by Kansas educators. The samples provided below are intended for use by Kansas educators wishing to gain greater insight into what students will experience during the MDPT. They may be used with students, or used as examples for educators to create similar performance tasks for students using existing course curriculum.
We recommend first accessing the "MDPT Sample GUIDE", which will explain how the samples are organized, and possibly answer questions you may have about them. As additional samples become available, they will be posted below.
MDPT Sample GUIDE
3-5 Grade Band MDPT Samples
MDPT Sample Grade 3
MDPT Sample Grade 4
MDPT Sample Grade 5
6-8 Grade Band MDPT Samples
MDPT Sample Grade 6
MDPT Sample Grade 7
Resource 2 for Grade 7 Sample
MDPT Sample 1 Grade 8
Resource 1 for Grade 8 Sample 1
Resource 2 for Grade 8 Sample 1
Resource 3 for Grade 8 Sample 1
Resource 4 for Grade 8 Sample 1
MDPT Sample 2 Grade 8
High School MDPT Sample
MDPT Sample High School
MDPT Sample 2 High School
Writing On Demand
Many teachers have had questions about how to adequately prepare students for writing in an "on demand" environment. These questions are not unique to Kansas teachers. The Plymouth Writing Project, a National Writing Project site in New Hampshire, engaged in a careful study to define specific skills required for successfully completing on demand writing tasks. The group, comprised of teachers from elementary through college settings, then worked to create a set of lessons designed to help students develop those skills.
Thank you to the Director of the Plymouth Writing Project, as well as the teachers involved in this work, for granting us permission to post it on our site. An explanation of their work, including their lesson plans, can be found HERE.
Achieve the Core Resources
Achieve the Core is a nonprofit group working to support teachers across the country by creating materials that will assist with preparing standards-based instruction, evaluating lessons and materials, designing classroom assessments, and more. Their English Language Arts resources can be found HERE