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Unit 1:  SAT Reading Test

Day 1:  Introduction to the SAT Reading Test  (Monday, September 11, 2017)

  1. Picked up at door:  

    1. Unit 2 (Reading) Overview

    2. Handout:  "Concepts with which I am struggling"

  2. Today's Common Mistake: whose or who's

    1. who's is ALWAYS "who is"  (if you can substititue those words in the sentence,  you get to use an apostrophe)

    2. EVERY OTHER TIME = whose 

  3. Today's Grammar Concept:  Possessive Pronouns / Possessive Nouns

    1. Examples of possessive pronouns:  their, its, our, his, hers, etc.  (a pronoun that "owns" something)

    2. Examples of possessive nouns:  Tim's, Chris', cat's, actors' (a noun that "owns" something)

      • What you need to know about where to put the apostrophe:

        • Rule #1:  If a SINGULAR noun "owns" something (and it doesn't end in an "s") = 's (example:  mother's)

        • Rule #2:  If a SINGULAR noun "owns" something and it already ends in an "s" = s' (example:  bus')

        • Rule #3:  If a PLLURAL noun "owns" something (and it already ends in an "s") = s' (example:  politicians' campaigns - if there's more than one politician)

        • Note:   On the SAT, you have to determine FROM CONTEXT if the noun is singular or plural so you know whether to add ' or 's.  (As a class, we practiced the skill of determining, from context, whether a noun was singular or plural.)

  4. Students took a 10-point quiz on possessive nouns.  (Students immediately scored their quizzes by scanning them.)

  5. Students reviewed the structure of the SAT Reading Test (center section of folder)

  6. Discussed different types of tasks students will be asked to do on the SAT Reading Test (find meaning of words in context, decide on an author's purpose, find the main idea or theme, pinpoint information on a graph)

Day 2:  Introduction to the SAT Reading Test   (Tuesday, September 12, 2017)

  1. Today's Grammar Concept:  Possessive Nouns (added the following rules to existing page)

    1. Rule #4:  JOINT possessions add 's after the LAST noun (ex:  Micah and Kim's tent - they both own the same tent

    2. Rule #5:  INDIVIDUAL possessions put 's after EACH noun (ex: Tom's and Jerry's desires amused TV audiences for decades.)

    3. Rule #6:  NAMELESS pronouns add 's (ex:  anyone's, someone's, everyone's)

  2. Took a pre-test on Possessive Determiners & Noun Agreement (to determine if Ms. Price needs to teach these concepts)  Grades only counted if the student did well.  :)

  3. Discussed how SAT reading is DIFFERENT than other types of reading that you do at home or school.

  4. Students completed a condensed practice (12-minute) SAT Reading Test to get an idea of the ways they will need to improve in order to do well on this test.  Scored test.  (Test is not counted in the gradebook.)

  5. Homework:  None

Day 3:   (Thursday, September 14, 2017)

  1. Reviewed lowest functioning questions on yesterday's grammar quiz

  2. Today's Grammar Concept:  Misplaced Modifiers

    1. Modifiers = words or phrases that DESCRIBE or give additional detail (ex: adjectives & adverbs, etc.)

    2. Misplaced Modifier = a modifier that is improperly SEPARATED from the word it modifies/describes

    3. Rule = Keep RELATED parts of a sentence together to avoid MISPLACED MODIFIERS

    4. Example:  She served sandwiches to the children on paper plates.  ("on paper plates" is misplaced because it suggests that the children are on paper plates)

    5. Did practice SAT questions together 

  3. Reviewed results from students' first SAT Reading Pre-Test and discussed.

  4. Journal:  SAT Reading Pre-Test Reflection 

  5. Homework:  None

Day 4:   Thinking Skills on the SAT Reading Test  (Friday, September 15, 2017)

  1. Discussed/Reviewed the 3 types of thinking skills on the SAT Reading Test:  1.) Reading for Information & Ideas, 2.) Reading for Rhetoric, and 3.) Reading for Synthesis

  2. Ms. Price introduced and discussed "Blooms Taxonomy" - a model created by Benjamin Bloom to promote higher levels of thinking in education.  (Handout:  Thinking Skills on the Reading Test)

  3. Discussed the specific tasks students will be asked to do when reading for information & ideas (example: make inferences, find best evidence, determine theme, etc.), rhetoric (example:  analyze how an author crafted his/her message), and synthesis (draw connections between pairs of passages or interpret meaning from informational graphics).

  4. Students determined the level of thinking required for each of the above tasks (on the pyramid).

  5. Discussed "Rhetoric" 

    1. = the study of writing or speaking

    2. = HOW an author or speaker crafts a message

      1. Instead of thinking only about WHAT an author is saying, the SAT Reading Test will ask you to think about HOW the author constructs the text to make its message clear, informative, or convincing.  (The later of these thinking skills is much higher on Blooms Taxonomy.)

    3. Students took notes on the way Rhetoric questions are used on the SAT (if absent, get these notes from a stablemate)

  6. Homework:  None

Day 5:   Synthesis on the SAT Reading Test (Monday, September 26, 2016)

  1. Based on student scores with "misplaced modifiers" Ms. Price re-taught the concept with some specific "SAT Hacks".  Students re-took a quiz on this grammar concept.

  2. Discussed:  Instead of taking the passage apart (rhetoric), synthesis is putting information/ideas together.

  3. Reviewed the 2 areas that synthesis is required on the SAT Reading Test:  1.) paired passages, and 2.) graphs/chart

  4. Completed synthesis section of Handout:  Thinking Skills on the Reading Test (if absent, get those notes from a tablemate)

  5. Students had 10 minutes to completed a practice reading test (1 passage of lower complexity with 3 questions - one rhetoric, one synthesis, and one information & ideas question)

  6. Homework:  None

Day 6:  SAT Reading Test Practice (Tuesday, September 27, 2016)

  1. Ms. Price introduced 4 "Frequently Confused Words" that students are likely to see on the SAT:

    1. Compliment vs. Complement

      1. Compliment with an i is what I can give you (praise or admiration)  Example compliment:  "Your scarf is beautiful."​

      2. Complement with an "e"means to "complete" something or make it perfect (complement(e))  Example:  "Your scarf completes that outfit!"

    2. Precede vs. Proceed

      1. PREcede contains the prefix "PRE" so it means to go BEFORE.  Example:  A lecture preceded the video demonstration.

      2. Proceed means to go forward/continue.  Example:  Proceed with your argument

    3. Elicit vs. Illicit

      1. Elicit means to evoke or draw out.  Example:  Did the debate last night elicit an online response from you?

      2. Illicit (adj.) = forbidden by laws, rules, or custom.  Example:  He had an illicit affair with his neighbor.

    4. Except vs. Accept

      1. Except with an "x" means you're eliminating, omitting, or excluding something - you're "crossing it out".  Example:  I want all of the quizzes turned in except yours."

      2. Accept means to receive.  Example:  I accept your apology.

  2. Students had 20 minutes to complete a practice reading test (2 passages of higher complexity, each with 5 questions - all questions were either "rhetoric" or "information and ideas" questions)

  3. After testing, students wrote in their journals about WHAT was difficult and WHY.  They were asked to diagnose/determine the root cause(s) of their difficulty.  (Journal title:  SAT Reading Practice Test)

Day 7:  SAT Reading Test Practice (Wednesday, September 28 - 4th hour / Thursday, September 29 - 1st & 3rd hours)

  1. Ms. Price passed back journals and students analyzed feedback provided (by Ms. Price).

  2. Ms. Price passed back Reading "Tests" (3-question & 10-question).  Students counted the number of TYPES of questions they got wrong on the 10-question test and journaled about those results beneath the teacher comments in their journal.
  3. Ms. Price shared the most common comments she saw in the journals and discussed.  She gave "tiny tips" to improve on next Reading Test.  (Tiny tips aren't testing strategies - they are small things, both mental and physical, that can give you an "edge" next time.)
  4. Students journaled about which "tiny tip" they wanted to try to implement on the next Reading test.
  5. Students took another 10-question Reading practice "test", seeking to implement their "tiny tip".

Day 8:  SAT Reading Test Practice (Thursday, September 29 - 4th hour / Friday, September 30 - 1st & 3rd hours)

  1. Today's Grammar Concept:  Items in a Series

    1. Use commas to separate 3 or more words, phrases, or clauses in a series.  (A conjunction goes between the last two items in the series.)  Incorrect Example: The street was filled with angry protestors, shouting spectators and police  (Note:  leaving out the comma before the last item in the series makes it look like the police were shouting, too) ​

  2. Ms. Price passed back Reading Practice "test" (10-question). 
  3. Journal:  MY SCORE IMPROVEMENT ANALYSIS  (If you did better on this test, analyze WHY you think you did better.) 
  4. Discussed "Factors that affect success" (those we can control and those we can't)
  5. Journal:  Which TWO of the factors discussed do you feel is MOST important to work on prior to the SAT in March?
  6. Ms. Price showed various "poses" and asked students to try them.  This was an introduction to a TED talk by Amy Cuddy about how changing our bodies for 2 minutes can actually change the outcomes of stressful situations.  Drew parallels between the rhetoric of her talk and what students are asked to do on the SAT.

Day 9:  SAT Reading Test Practice (Monday, October 3, 2016)

  1. Students set up testing desks immediately to begin a full Reading test (65 minutes)

  2. If students finished before end of hour they wrote in their journals (Title:  My approach to the Reading Test)

Day 10:  SAT Reading Test Practice (Tuesday, October 4, 2016)

  1. Students set up testing desks immediately to finish their  full Reading test (remainder of 65 minutes)

  2. When finished, students wrote in their journals (Title:  My approach to the Reading Test)
  3. Students scored tests and Ms. Price let students know which questions were Rhetoric, Synthesis, or I&I (Information & Ideas).  Students analyzed this data for their own test-taking.
  4. Discussed students' approaches to the Reading Test (What did you start with?  How did you proceed?  Do you feel you did your personal best?  In what area of the Reading Test do you feel you need more help or practice?)
  5. Discussed:  Today we will begin steps toward "lowering the hurdle" - increasing your chances on the SAT by "cracking the code" of how to approach & take the test!  :)
    1. Step #1:  Choose your passage order (You will have 1 literature passage and 2 each of science and history/social studies.  Choose the order that works best for YOU.)​
    2. Step #2:  Always read the "blurb" at the beginning of the passage (This will help you decide passage order and also give you context for the passage so you can better comprehend.)
    3. Step #3:  Go from the "blurb" straight to the questions (read all questions before passage)
    4. Step #4:  Start with SPECIFIC questions (line reference & lead word questions)
    5. Step #5:  Be sure you understand the "question" (turn the statement into a question)
  6. Looked at the above steps in the context of the reading test that students already took.

Day 11:  SAT Reading Test Practice (Wednesday, October 5 - 4th hour / Thursday, October 6 - 1st & 3rd hours)

  1. Reviewed steps to approaching the Reading Test (learned yesterday & listed above)

  2. Discussed / Learned about "line reference" questions:

    1. You should START with line reference questions​

    2. Go to the line reference & read your "window"  (approx. 5 lines above, 5 lines below)

    3. Be sure to read your window carefully, because the answer IS in that "window" - but you must answer what the AUTHOR says, not what you assume based on what you read.

    4. Predict your answer (BEFORE looking at answer options)

    5. Eliminate answer options (It's always easier to find wrong answers than right ones!)

    6. Check remaining answer choice in the context of the passage.

  3. Ms. Price modeled how to start with Line Reference Questions (including Words in Context) then move on to Lead Word questions. Then tried some "best evidence" questions (reading your window).  While doing so, Ms. Price modeled (and the students practiced) the following skills:
    1. turning SAT "questions" into actual questions​
    2. "reading the window"
    3. predicting answers
    4. eliminating wrong answers
    5. checking answers
  4. Learned about SAT "Traps"
    1. If you're down to 2 possible answers, you're probably down to the RIGHT answer and the TRAP answer.  In this case you MUST be vigilant about "what does the text say"?  You must answer based on what the AUTHOR says, NOT what you can "justify"
    2. Be careful of the words INFER, IMPLY, or SUGGEST.  The are trap words on the SAT.  The test is NOT asking for you to draw a conclusion or give an opinion.  It is asking you to infer/imply/suggest from what the AUTHORS says. ​

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