Announcing the Grade 3 English Language Arts/Reading Comprehension Mastery Assesslet

In addition to the new Grade 5 Mathematics Mastery Assesslet, the Georgia Center for Assessment is also excited to announce our new Grade 3 English Language Arts/Reading Comprehension Mastery Assesslet.

Background

In the spring of 2017 the Georgia Legislature passed a comprehensive assessment bill, Senate Bill 211, (SB 211) which was designed to address assessment standards from kindergarten through high school. SB211 provided significant opportunities for how local school districts assess student performance.

Specifically, this bill tasked districts with assessing mastery in third-grade reading and fifth-grade mathematics, to ensure students have mastered the skills necessary to be successful at the next grade level. Districts are given latitude in identifying their own solutions.

These changes offer new opportunities to improve student learning and achievement and the Georgia Center for Assessment (GCA) is here to help! To support our teacher and administrator colleagues in Georgia, we have developed the Grade 3 English Language Arts/Reading Comprehension Mastery Assesslet, a mastery solution for Georgia schools and districts.

The Grade 3 English Language Arts/Reading Comprehension Mastery Assesslet was created with the input of Georgia educators and will be piloted within Georgia school districts in May. This new assessment will be available to Georgia educators to use in fall of 2018.

How was the Grade 3 English Language Arts/Reading Comprehension Mastery Assesslet developed?

The Georgia Center for Assessment brought together a representative sample of Georgia elementary teachers and partnered with them to identify specific Georgia Standards of Excellence (GSE) in grades 1, 2, and 3 that are the most critical for a student to master in order to be successful in Grade 4. The Grade 3 English Language Arts/Reading Comprehension Mastery Assesslet is built on those key Georgia Standards of Excellence.

What is the Grade 3 English Language Arts/Reading Comprehension Mastery Assesslet?

The Grade 3 English Language Arts/Reading Comprehension Mastery Assesslet is a 30-item, all multiple-choice assessment, featuring a range of Depth of Knowledge (DOK) levels 1, 2, and 3. All the items in the Grade 3 English Language Arts/Reading Comprehension Mastery Assesslet are aligned to the Georgia Standards of Excellence. This mastery assessment has three performance levels: Approaching Expectations, Meets Expectations, or Beyond Expectations. The three levels of performance demonstrate the level of proficiency in the knowledge and skills necessary at this grade level of learning, as specified in the GSE.

This assessment is available online through our assessment and instruction platforms, District and School Connect (DS Connect) or DS Connect Lite. Detailed results and reports on student performance are available to teachers, schools, and the district immediately after a student completes the assessment.

How would I use the Grade 3 English Language Arts/Reading Comprehension Mastery Assesslet with my students?

This assessment can be a useful tool for both 3rd and 4th grade teachers for assessing the level of mastery of their students, at different times of the year.

For 3rd grade teachers, the assessment can be used near the end of the school year to assess how prepared their students are for 4th grade. Where Milestones scores may not be reported early enough before the end of the year, results on the Grade 3 English Language Arts/Reading Comprehension Mastery Assesslet can provide instant valuable instructional information and allow for additional teaching and learning opportunities in areas of challenge for students.

4th grade teachers can implement this assessment as an effective pre-test to benchmark where their students are at the beginning of the school year. Students often do not retain information or need to sharpen skills they may have lost over the summer. The Grade 3 English Language Arts/Reading Comprehension Mastery Assesslet can identify opportunities where incoming 4th grade students may require specific instruction to improve or enhance their understanding and mastery of key standards. With this assessment, 4th grade teachers can identify those areas early and provide additional support.

What is the difference between the Grade 3 English Language Arts/Reading Comprehension Mastery Assesslet and Grade 3 Assesslets?

GCA also offers grade 3 English Language Arts genre-based Assesslets. The difference between the Grade 3 English Language Arts/Reading Comprehension Mastery Assesslet and GCA’s English Language Arts genre-based Assesslets is distinct, and both serve different purposes in shaping teaching and learning. While Assesslets from GCA are formative tools, the Grade 3 English Language Arts/Reading Comprehension Mastery Assesslet is summative in nature, but can also be used formatively. The Grade 3 Assesslets are genre-based and consist of 5 items that include both a constructed response and extended response task. The Assesslets take 6-10 days to score and report results. The Grade 3 English Language Arts/Reading Comprehension assessment provides immediate results and assesses reading comprehension. A combination of both the Assesslets and the Mastery Assessment represents a well-balanced assessment system that assesses reading and writing and provides a wealth of instructional information that supports student learning and achievement.

Although the Grade 3 English Language Arts/Reading Comprehension Mastery Assesslet cannot predict performance on the Milestones, it does provide valuable instructional information. The items used in the Grade 3 English Language Arts/Reading Comprehension Mastery Assesslet are newly developed assessment items and passages based upon the mastery expectations and are not used in the Assesslets.