Connecticut Mastery TestEnglish Language Arts
Jean M. Evans DavilaK-12 English Language Arts Instructional SpecialistNorwalk Public Schoolsdavilaj@norwalkps.org
CMT in English Language Arts4 Subtests
Degrees of Reading Power (DRP)
Editing and Revising
Direct Assessment of Writing
CMT Reading ComprehensionAn Overview 2 testing sessions45 minutes per testing session2 reading passages per sessionApprox. 22 multiple choice and 10 open-ended questions (both sessions combined)Authentic literatureTypes of reading: literary experience; information; and performance of taskPassage lengths:Grade 6 550-750 wordsGrade 7 700-900 wordsGrade 8 800-1000 words
CMT Reading ComprehensionMultiple Choice QuestionsIn paragraph 1 the author used a question toa. Introduce the topic of the articleb. State the main idea of the articlec. Present the facts about Twaind. Compare Twain and Clemens
From the information in paragraphs 5 and 6, you can tell that a. Twains wife persuaded him to move to Connecticut b. Both Twain and his wife planned their house. c. Twain enjoyed warming himself near the fireplace. d. Twain liked reading his work out loud as much as writing it,
CMT Reading ComprehensionOpen-ended QuestionsThe title of this article is Mark Twain. What could another title for it be? Support your answer with information from the article.Write a brief paragraph summarizing the text.Think about a person you know or have heard about who has had many different experiences. Using information from the article, explain how this person is or is not like Twain.
CMT Reading Comprehension Four Strands
Forming a General Understanding (theme, main idea, story elements, summarizing, predicting)
Developing an Interpretation (authors structure, authors purpose, draw and support a conclusion)
Making Reader/text Connections (text to text, text to world, text to reader)
Examining the Content and Structure (literary devices)
CMT Reading ComprehensionPracticing at Home
What is the article/story mainly about?What important lesson does the main character learn?What is the main characters problem, and how is the problem solved?How does the character change in the story?What prediction do you have for the next event in the story?What is the authors purpose?Which character in the story would you like to know and why?Which part of the story was the most interesting and why?Imagine that you were going to give a talk to your class about______. Using information from the story, write two important ideas that you would include in your speech.
CMT Degrees of Reading Power (DRP)An Overview
1 testing session45 minute session7 reading passagesNonfiction texts on range of topics49 multiple choice questionsMeasures the surface-level understanding of sentences and paragraphs in textLevel of text difficulty rapidly increases with each passageResults help teachers choose books for students at their appropriate reading level
CMT DRPPassage with Multiple Choice QuestionsMedieval craft guild were associations of men practicing the same trade. Guilds cared for members needs. They nursed sick members, buried dead ones, and found homes for the homeless. Sometimes business was bad or supplies were cut off. Many people were in danger of starving. But guild members were the last to___1___. The guild sustained them during hard times.
Guilds also set prices and monitored the distribution of raw materials. They governed the number of apprentices and workers that members could have. These controls prevented any member from becoming rich at anothers expense. So ____2_____were limited. In return, members were protected against ruinous competition.
1. O voteO suffer
O uniteO advanceO finish
O sourcesO profits
O travelersO machines
CMT DRPPracticing at Home
Choose a word to white out in a news article.Ask your child to make a list of all the possible words that can fit in the blank space without changing the meaning of the article.Discuss each word your child included on the listHow do you know this word is a good choice?Can you prove your word fits by showing me other parts of the sentence or the paragraph that support it?Can you tell me why this word is not a good choice now that we have looked at the other sentences or paragraph?Show your child the word that was removed from the text, and ask him/her to use other parts of the text to explain how it fits.
CMT Editing & RevisingAn Overview 1 testing session60 minute session4 passagesNonfiction texts on range of topics36-40 multiple choice questionsSkills and objectives tested:Content, Organization and Tone (topic sentence, supporting details, chronological order, tone)Revising: Syntax (fragments, run-on, awkward construction)Revision: Word Choice (transition words, misplaced modifiers, redundancy of words)CapitalizationPunctuation
CMT Editing & RevisingMultiple Choice Questions:Read sentence 3. It is poorly written.Josh jumped up he grabbed the broom from the closet.What is the best way to rewrite this sentence?O Josh jumped up. He grabbed the broom from the closet.O Josh jumped up, he grabbed the broom from the closet.O Josh jumped. Up he grabbed the broom from the closet.O Josh jumped up he grabbed. The broom from the closet.
Choose the word or phrase that BEST fits at the beginning of sentence 4.
O Even though,
O In other words,
CMT Editing & RevisingPracticing at Home
Review your childs writing assignments at home:
Ask questions about meaning and wordingCall attention to specific areas where you see strengthsAsk questions about parts that are not clear to youIdentify areas where you need more information or explanationAsk your child to read his/her writing aloud, so s/he can pay attention to fluency and word choiceAsk your child to explain the way s/he organized the writingBe alert to the basics-- spelling, capitalization, and punctuation rules
CMT Direct Assessment of Writing (DAW)An Overview
1 testing session45 minute session1 writing on demand taskMaximum length of student response3 pagesTypes of writing tested: Grade 6ExpositoryGrade 7PersuasiveGrade 8PersuasiveEvaluated on overall strength of writing (elaboration, fluency, and organization)Errors in spelling, punctuation, grammar, and usage do not count
CMT DAWExpository Writing Prompt Sample What do you usually do on a weekend in the summer? What do you usually do on a weekend in the winter? Write a comparison of your weekend activities in the summer and winter.
CMT DAWPersuasive Writing Prompt Sample
Your local school board has decided to lengthen the school day by one hour. What is your opinion on the best way to use this additional hour? Write a letter to your principal expressing your opinion on the best way to use the additional hour and presenting reasons that will convince the principal to agree with your position.
CMT DAWPracticing at Home
Parents of Grade 6 Students:In speaking and writing, ask your child to provide details to support his/her ideasEncourage your child to express him/herself in writing to others (e.g., writing thank you notes for gifts, etc)Ask your child to write accounts of his/her experiences in emails or letters to family members (even a postcard will do fine)Set the microwave timer for 3 minutes and challenge your child to list or web all the details s/he could include to explain a given task or topicParents of Grade 7-8 Students:In speaking and writing, encourage your child to choose words and ideas that are appropriate for a particular audience when expressing a messageEncourage your child to support his/her opinions with facts or examplesFind opportunities to help your child argue a controversial issue from television, news, or a magazine articleSet the microwave timer for 3 minutes, and challenge your child to make a list or web of his or her reasons for supporting a given issue
The School and the District are Supporting Your Childs Success
Focus in all classroomsSummarizing texts using school-wide strategiesLearning vocabulary terms using school-wide strategiesReading and writing about nonfictionData teams with pre- and post-test to target instruction on specific skillsSIOP strategies to support teaching and learning
Focus in ELA classrooms4 District Writing Prompts that are similar to CMT DAW2 District DRP tests that are professionally scoredCMT open-ended questions woven into classroom lessonsUsing evidence from text to support ideas
All PRMS Teachers are Supporting Your Childs SuccessAll Subject Area Teachers Are. . .Using summarizing strategiesTeaching vocabulary using school-wide strategiesIncreasing nonfiction reading and writingUsing Pre- and Post-tests to target skills for instructionLearning SIOP strategies for instruction
All ELA Teachers Are. . .Administering 4 Norwalk Writing Prompts and 2 Norwalk DRP tests Including open-ended questions in lessonsRequiring text evidence to support ideas
Tips for Enrichment at HomeEncourage 30 minutes of reading daily. Model your own enjoyment of reading Bring your child to the library or bookstore to get fiction and nonfiction.Discuss read assignments with open-ended questions.Collect and explore new words together as a family. Make a reward system for using the words correctly.Read an article together and discuss your views on it.Encourage the use of writing at home (letters, emails, notes on the kitchen table, diaries, journals, family histories, letters to the editor of the local paper, e