Smarter Balanced Writing Program

Overview

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Write Score fully aligns to the Smarter Balanced standards for English Language Arts K-12 for Writing and provides materials to help measure and instruct on those standards.

Our formative writing program consists of three main components:

  • hand-scored, text-based assessments for informational/explanatory and opinion/argument writing (Narrative writing is available in grades K-8.)

  • detailed, accessible writing data at the student, class, school, and district levels

  • robust instructional materials to support student writing and save teachers’ time

Students who use our hand-scored assessments have a testing experience that is very similar to the Smarter Balanced Assessment in both structure and difficulty. Each assessment includes grade-appropriate articles with annotated text features, selected response questions relayed in the scaffolding system, short constructed response question (grades 3-12), and one long performance task essay prompt in your chosen genre. Assessments are administered via our online testing platform (when paper-pencil tests are not selected) which has a look and feel similar to the online Smarter Balanced platform. Digital tools in our online platform function similarly to those on the Smarter Balanced, allowing for students to practice and become comfortable.

After essays are submitted for scoring, data results are returned quickly via an online teacher data report which breaks the scoring down into the three reporting categories: Organization/Purpose, Evidence/Elaboration and Conventions. Within those reporting categories, specific response detail information helps provide targeted data to use in monitoring specific aspects of students’ writing and in making instructional decisions. For example, teachers will receive information on students’ proficiency with writing introductions and conclusions, incorporating attributions, writing with focus, and much more.

Keeping in mind the demands on teachers’ planning time, Write Score includes a bank of instructional materials aligned to each data point in our scoring criteria. Approximately 60 lesson sets per grade level are available at the beginning of the year in each grade level for topics ranging from introductions to attributions, and transitions to development of support. Most lesson plan sets include a lesson plan that is written in the Gradual Release of Responsibility Model, a PowerPoint that is grade and age-level appropriate with relatable content, a student handout, and a teachers’ edition. Many lessons also contain an additional resource such as additional texts, a graphic organizer, or other handout.

After students’ results are released, post-assessment resources become available, including access to the actual student assessment and an annotated, high-scoring exemplar essay. Shortly after results become available, teachers will receive a customized email with links to resources that target the areas of greatest need.

Grades K-2 available genres include Opinion, Informational, and Narrative Writing. Students will be focused on developing comprehension strategies that will enable them to manipulate grade-level texts of appropriate complexity, and communicate effectively in writing.  Students will begin to anchor their responses firmly to the text, whether literary or informational, using specific and relevant evidence to support their claims and inferences.


Grades 3-12 available genres include Opinion/Argumentative or Informational/Explanatory (Narrative up to 8th grade).​

  • Opinion/Argumentative Writing – a reasoned, logical way of demonstrating that the writer’s position, belief, or conclusion is valid.  Students will make and defend claims regarding informational topics, analyze sources, and draw on text-based evidence.

  • Informational/Explanatory Writing – students will draw on text-based evidence to develop controlling ideas focused on a specific topic and work to incorporate relevant facts, information, and details effectively. Informational writing serves one or more closely related purposes: to increase readers’ knowledge of a subject, to help readers better understand a procedure or process, to provide readers with enhanced comprehension of a concept.

  • One Selected Response Question and Two Constructed Response Questions that scaffold students’ understanding of the articles and help prepare them for the culminating essay response task.

Student Testing Platform

Watch this video to understand the student's perspective.

Analytical Hand-Scoring

Each student’s essay is hand-scored analytically using data points that align directly with state assessment rubrics.

Our professional scorers go beyond just reporting analytical scores in each of the three reporting categories: Organization/Purpose, Evidence/Elaboration and Conventions. Within those reporting categories, specific response details help identify weaknesses within a student’s writing and in making instructional decisions.

Sample Assessments

Kindergarten
2nd Grade
4th Grade
7th Grade
10th Grade

Instructional Resources

Write Score’s targeted instruction to improve writing is further simplified with our one-click bank of instructional materials, directly from the Educator Portal.  Lesson plan sets are written to state standards in the gradual release of responsibility model. Our engaging and structured bank of lessons help keep students’ interest for optimal learning!

Write Score’s Instructional Resources Include:

  • Targeted Lesson Plans – lesson plan sets are aligned to each data point in our scoring criteria and are available for topics ranging from introductions to attributions, and transitions to development of support. Lesson plan sets include: a lesson plan, a PowerPoint, a student handout and a teachers’ edition.

  • Exemplar Essay Lesson Grades 3-12 – a powerful lesson that includes an annotated, high-scoring exemplar essay. This lesson will breakdown and analyze the specific writing characteristics on which students are assessed and provides guided questions for student instructional activities. Each assessment’s data is accompanied with an exemplar lesson.

Educator Portal

Administrators and teachers alike will find that Write Score’s Online Educator Portal is a valuable tool for enriching classroom instruction, personalizing learning, and tracking students’ growth. Our Educator Portal provides teachers and administrators with quick and easy access to all the Write Score testing tools, data, and resources for our reading and writing programs.

Teachers and administrators will find the information they need in their customized dashboards including:

  • step-by-step instructions, rosters, video tutorials, and testing schedules.

  • student test monitoring in real time to quickly note overall class and grade-level testing completion percentages and progress.

  • multiple detailed and accessible data reports facilitate the analysis of student performance, helping instructors identify specific weaknesses, strengths, and trends.

  • each grade level of our reading and writing programs also includes a large bank of engaging lesson plans and resources that correlate to data reports, helping simplify targeted instruction.

  • how-to resources are also included and accessible to educators.

Educator Portal

Additional Information

There are many ways to obtain more detailed information for your school. You can:​

Contact

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