- Course type: Self-paced
- Available Lessons: 330
- Average Lesson Length: 8 min
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Watch a preview:chapter 1 / lesson 1What Are Nouns? - Definition, Types & Examples
Course SummaryUse this study guide as a companion to your current classroom English and literature instruction. Make sure your students are up to speed for the SBA ELA assessment for grades 6-8 with the help of these engaging videos and practice quizzes and tests.
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38 chapters in Smarter Balanced Assessments - ELA Grades 6-8: Test Prep & Practice
Course Practice TestCheck your knowledge of this course with a 50-question practice test.
- Comprehensive test covering all topics
- Detailed video explanations for wrong answers
About This Course
The purpose of this course is to prepare 6th-8th-grade students for the Smarter Balanced Assessment (SBA) English Language Arts (ELA) summative assessments. All chapters in this guide feed content in the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) ELA reading and writing standards for grades 6-8. Parents and teachers can have their students complete these courses in class or at home to enhance classroom instruction. The videos are entertaining and short, but full of great lectures from our expert ELA educators. There are assessments in the lessons, tests in each chapter, and a course exam, all to give you opportunities to assess your student's progress throughout the course and for them to get valuable practice in taking tests. This course covers a wide range of reading, writing, and literacy topics, including:
- Parts of speech and sentences
- Types of sentences, phrases, and clauses
- Climax, plot, and themes in literary works
- Analysis of works in nonfiction, fiction, and drama
- Writing clear, precise, and effective copy
- Writing strategies and the writing process
- Research strategies and citation
- Effective speaking and listening
About the Exam
Several states and education departments are incorporating the SBA into the assessment process at the end of the school year in an effort to develop a holistic, contextualized view of each student's achievement of the CCSS standards for their grade. The assessments are completed via computer-adaptive testing (CAT), which is a traditional style test with multiple-choice and extended-response questions that increase in difficulty as the student answers correctly; via performance tasks (PT), which are also administered by computer but present the student with a complex question they must use several research, reasoning, and writing skills to answer; and via classroom activities wherein the students are assessed by their teachers as they perform certain tasks. There is a strong focus toward real-world application throughout the assessment. None of the assessments are timed in order to give the student room to demonstrate their skills without the stress of a time limit.
Preparing & Registering for the SBA Grades 6-8 ELA Assessment
As you provide ELA instruction to your students and prepare them for the end-of-year assessments, use this course to put an interesting multimedia spin on their regular classroom instruction and get several teachers' perspectives on key concepts. The lessons can be assigned as homework by teachers, or parents can assign them on their own to make sure their student's computer time is at least partially spent deepening their understanding of ELA principles. The assessments will be an invaluable tool in measuring student progress and achievements throughout the year. The SBA 6th-8th grade ELA assessment will have approximately 42 CAT items, 5-6 PT items, and one class activity item. The total time commitment for all portions is estimated at four hours, but it depends entirely on the student.
Schools are responsible for the administration of the assessments and scheduling student completion of them. There is no requirement of the student or parent to register or pay for the assessments.
Scoring the SBA Grades 6-8 ELA Assessment
Most of the computer-tested items are scored by the computer, though there will be at least one long-response question in each assessment which is graded by a person. There isn't a pass/fail system with cutoff scores in the SBA; rather, the items are scored based on the difficulty of the question and the grade level of the student assessed, with three threshold lines (varying by state) creating four achievement levels. The levels can be equated to a scale that ranges from novice to advanced, with the bulk of students expected to be somewhere in the middle two levels. As far as it concerns the students, the point value of the score is essentially irrelevant: for them, the assessment is intended to simply gain a broad understanding of their academic growth. The numbers are principally used in aggregate to assess teachers, schools, and districts.
SBA Grades 6-8 ELA Assessment Claim 1: Reading
Estimated questions: 13-17 CAT
Exam topics covered: Central ideas, reasoning and evaluation, key details, word meanings, analysis of texts, text structures/features, and language use are covered topics. Each topic is measured in both literary and informational texts.
What you'll study: The chapters which cover reading cover topics including understanding inference; identifying word meaning and literary elements; organization in writing, recognizing literary elements; identifying climax, plot, and themes; literary genres and types of poetry; analyzing literature; interpreting prose; point of view in literature; persuasive texts; and reading informational texts.
SBA Grades 6-8 ELA Assessment Claim 2: Writing
Estimated questions: 24-25 CAT, 3 PT
Exam topics covered: Writing brief texts, compose full texts, language and vocabulary use, and editing/clarifying
What you'll study: There are several chapters which feed the writing process. They include topics covering: parts of speech, sentence structure, verbs and adverbs, grammar and punctuation, types of phrases and clauses, spelling rules, the writing process, writing effective compositions, clear and precise writing, and narrative/descriptive/expository/persuasive writing strategies.
SBA Grades 6-8 ELA Assessment Claim 3: Speaking/Listening
Estimated questions: 8-9 CAT
Exam topics covered: Listen and interpret
What you'll study: Because speaking is a form of expression similar to writing, many of the writing topics lend themselves toward good speaking strategies. Chapters focused on these topics specifically include strategies for effective speaking and being an effective listener.
SBA Grades 6-8 ELA Assessment Claim 4: Research
Estimated questions: 6 CAT, 2-3 PT
Exam topics covered: Analyze/integrate data, evaluate sources and information, and use evidence
What you'll study: The chapters in this course on research include discussions of research strategies, using supporting evidence, and citing sources.
The Smarter Balanced Assessment is developed by the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, which is not affiliated with Study.com
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