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Conforme a la Ley
Departamento de Educación de Puerto Rico

NOTIFICACIÓN DE POLÍTICA PÚBLICA

El Departamento de Educación no discrimina por razón de raza, color, género,


nacimiento, origen nacional, condición social, ideas políticas o religiosas, edad o
impedimento en sus actividades, servicios educativos y oportunidades de empleo.

NOTA ACLARATORIA

Para propósitos de carácter legal en relación con la Ley de Derechos Civiles de 1964,
el uso de los términos maestro, director, supervisor, estudiante y cualquier otro que
pueda hacer referencia a ambos géneros, incluye tanto al masculino como al femenino.
NOTA ACLARATORIA

La información contenida en este folleto se publica en acuerdo con el Departamento de


Educación de Puerto Rico como apoyo a las labores que se realizan en el salón de clase
cuya intención es el éxito académico de los estudiantes. Los ejemplos presentados son
sólo una muestra que ejemplifica la forma y el estilo de las Pruebas Puertorriqueñas de
Aprovechamiento Académico. En ningún momento se intenta cubrir la totalidad de las
expectativas que forman parte de la evaluación ni de algún modo sustituir o limitar la
enseñanza con lo que aquí se presenta. Reiteramos que este folleto informativo es sólo una
muestra y que pudiera no incluir todos los tipos de pregunta utilizados en las PPAA.

EXPLANATORY NOTE

The content of this Information Booklet is published in agreement with the Puerto Rico
Department of Education to support classroom instruction and the academic success of all
students. The examples presented are only a sample that illustrates the form and the style
of the Pruebas Puertorriqueñas de Aprovechamiento Académico (PPAA). These
Information Booklets do not attempt to cover the totality of the expectations that should
be taught in the classroom and will be measured by the PPAA. We reiterate that this
Information Booklet is only a sample and does not include all the types of questions
utilized in the PPAA.
INTRODUCTION

The Pruebas Puertorriqueñas de Aprovechamiento Académico (PPAA) are totally new items
that evaluate the expectations specific to each grade level and the demands of global education.
The revised Content Standards and Grade-Level Expectations are part of a transformation of the
education system.

Purpose

The purpose of this Information Booklet is to familiarize educators, parents, and students in
Puerto Rico with the new PPAA English tests that will be administered beginning April 2009.
The booklet provides helpful explanations and sample test material that will enable
educators, parents, and students to get a comprehensive grasp of the exam (PPAA). This
information will be helpful to school personnel as they work together to integrate the content
standards and grade-level expectations into their daily lesson plans and classroom teaching. Most
importantly, this information booklet will provide educators, parents, and students with
additional insight into the fundamental framework of what is to be taught and learned in the
Puerto Rico school system.

New Content Standards and Expectations

During 2007-2008, the content standards and grade-level expectations established in 2000
were revised through an instructional process in which Puerto Rican teachers and evaluation
specialists worked arduously.
The resulting content standards, as well as the grade-level expectations are an improved
guide to teaching Puerto Rican students in the 21st century and preparing them to be successful
in a competitive global world community. Learning expectations are now defined clearly for
each grade and with rigor. The content standards and grade-level expectations of learning
establish measurable and clear criteria that constitute goals for all students. In brief, the content
standards and grade-level expectations describe what each student should know and be able to
do. It is expected that upon completing the school year, each student will possess the knowledge
and skills identified as important for the grade in which he or she is enrolled.

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© 2008 All Rights Reserved Grade 3 English PPAA Information Booklet
The content standards and grade-level expectations are delineated in such a way that they
encourage interrelationships among the curriculum, textbooks and other materials, classroom
instruction, and academic tests that measure progress.

Pruebas Puertorriqueñas de Aprovechamiento Académico (PPAA)

The new PPAA meets the requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB).
These new tests provide educators with a better measure of overall student achievement.
Each test is composed of multiple-choice and constructed-response items. In the past, PPAA
tests were composed exclusively of multiple-choice items.
The new document (Content Standards and Grade-Level Expectations) and test blueprints
are expected to result in an improved alignment, the degree to which assessments of what
students know and can do are in agreement with content standards and grade-level expectations.
Test blueprints (describing what the tests measure) were created to reflect the new document.
Constructed-response test items have been added to the multiple-choice format to better measure
some expectations and student performance.
Puerto Rico is using a model of alignment developed by Norman Webb of the University of
Wisconsin. Test content is being written using three Depth-of-Knowledge (DOK) levels that are
defined by Webb¹:

DOK 1- Recall and Reproduction


DOK 2 - Skills and Concepts/Basic Reasoning
DOK 3 - Strategic Thinking/Complex Reasoning

Consistency between the cognitive demands of content standards and grade-level


expectations and the cognitive demands of the PPAA assessments is emphasized.

¹ Webb, Norman L. Web Alignment Tool (WAT) Training Manual


(Washington, DC: Council of Chief State School Officers, 2005).

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© 2008 All Rights Reserved Grade 3 English PPAA Information Booklet
ORGANIZATION OF THE INFORMATION BOOKLETS
Each grade within the subject area is presented as a separate Information Booklet to provide
helpful general information, as well as show enough specific sample items and passages in
listening, reading, and writing to give educators a good sense of the English assessment. The
booklet for each grade level contains some information that is unique to the required
expectations of the subject. However, all booklets include the following information, which is
considered critical for all subject-area PPAA tests:

 an overview of the subject within the context of the PPAA


 the reasons the content standards and grade-level expectations are critical to student
learning and success
 the content standards and grade-level expectations that are measured by the PPAA
 sample items that show some of the ways expectations are assessed
 sample constructed-response test items (short-answer) and the scoring rubrics
 additional information to help educators understand how content standards and grade-
level expectations are assessed on the PPAA

It is recommended that you read and study the booklets for a grade above and a grade below
the grade you are teaching. For example, seventh-grade English teachers should review the sixth-
grade Information Booklet as well as the eighth-grade Information Booklet. You will be able to
develop a broader perspective of the English assessment than if you study only the seventh-grade
Information Booklet.

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© 2008 All Rights Reserved Grade 3 English PPAA Information Booklet
Overview of the English as a Second Language PPAA

Objective of the English PPAA Information Booklet

The objective of this Information Booklet is to assist educators in understanding the new
English Prueba Puertorriqueña de Approbechamiento Académico (PPAA) designed to measure
Puerto Rico’s revised content standards and grade-level expectations for English language
learners (ELLs) in grades 3-8 and 11. The booklet describes the layout of the listening, reading,
and writing sections of the English PPAA for grade 3 and provides sample test selections and
items.

General Information Regarding the English PPAA

The Puerto Rico Department of Education (PRDE) developed the PPAA to fulfill the
requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB). NCLB mandates that the
academic progress of ELLs in grades 3-8 and one high school grade be evaluated through a state-
administered measure of English language proficiency in listening, reading, and writing. The
English PPAA developed to measure Puerto Rico’s new content standards and grade-level
expectations will be administered beginning in April 2009.
The English PPAA is comprised of the following:
• ELLs in grades 3-8 and 11 are assessed in the areas of listening, reading, and writing
using a multiple-choice format. The reading section of the test also includes new
constructed-response items that require students to answer open-ended questions in their
own words.
The goal of the English PPAA is to assist schools in helping ELLs to acquire English language
proficiency.
Facets of the listening/speaking expectations that are concerned with speaking English
are not measured by the written PPAA. Speaking can only be assessed by evaluating the actual
oral communication of the individual student.

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© 2008 All Rights Reserved Grade 3 English PPAA Information Booklet
The Test Development Process

The PRDE directly involved educators and test experts throughout the English PPAA
development process. Committees of Puerto Rican educators help create listening, reading, and
writing selections and test items. In addition, large-scale field tests are conducted.
Committees of educators review new items before field testing.
In order to replenish the PPAA item banks, committees of Puerto Rican educators
annually hold review sessions before field-testing to provide feedback on newly created items.

Test Results

The English PPAA results include individual proficiency-level ratings for each of the
listening, reading, and writing domains assessed. These results are used to determine if the
NCLB annual measurable achievement objectives have been met.

Test Layout

Grades 3-8, 11

Section 1: Multiple-choice 15 points


Listening
Section 2: Multiple-choice 25 points
Reading Constructed response
Section 3: Multiple-choice 20 points
Writing

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© 2008 All Rights Reserved Grade 3 English PPAA Information Booklet
English PPAA Assessment Model

The English PPAA is designed to measure student performance at the grade level
assessed. For example, an English PPAA grade 3 reading selection is written at a difficulty level
appropriate for ELLs who are in the spring of their third-grade year. Student performance is
linked to the grade-level expectations outlined in the English content standards.

Test Administration

The English PPAA test administration manual includes information to help test
administrators and students understand the structure and purpose of the test. Students are
informed that they will encounter questions with varying levels of difficulty depending on how
much English they know. They are encouraged to do their best and choose the answers they
think are correct.

Test Content

This section contains sample listening, reading, and writing test selections and items
aligned with the content standard and grade-level expectations they are designed to measure.
Multiple-choice and constructed response items are written at various Depth-of-Knowledge
(DOK) levels.

DOK 1 DOK 2 DOK 3


Recall and Reproduction Skills and Concepts Strategic Thinking

recall information such as a engagement of mental reasoning, planning, using


fact, definition, or simple processing beyond recall or evidence, and a higher level of
procedure; or performance of reproduction; more than one thinking than previous levels;
a simple process or procedure step more complex, abstract

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© 2008 All Rights Reserved Grade 3 English PPAA Information Booklet
• The test includes a variety of narrative and informational selections related to listening,
reading, and writing.
• Test selections span a variety of purposes such as literary appreciation, subject-area
instruction, as well as everyday, practical themes.
• The test is designed to be both age and grade-level appropriate.

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© 2008 All Rights Reserved Grade 3 English PPAA Information Booklet
Grade 3 English PPAA Listening/Speaking Information
Grade 3 English PPAA Listening/Speaking Content Standard
The grade 3 English PPAA listening section measures the following content standard and grade-
level expectations:

The student uses the English language to interpret oral input, construct meaning, interact
with confidence both verbally and nonverbally, and express ideas effectively in a variety of
personal, social, and academic contexts.

Content Standard: Listening/Speaking

Listens carefully during a read aloud from a variety of narrative texts to


L/S.3.1
comprehend and identify the main character and setting.

Applies phonemic awareness and auditory discrimination and distinguishes


L/S.3.2
between singular/plural forms as well as past/present tense of regular verbs.

Listens and responds to, gives commands, provides both instructions and
Expectation

L/S.3.3 directions; shares answers and formulates the 5-W Questions (who, what, when,
where, and why).

Uses and applies appropriate language structure with formal and informal
L/S.3.4 expressions to identify, describe, and classify familiar concepts in relation to
personal experiences, preferences, interests, and environment.

Identifies and states the main idea or topic of an oral message or class reading
from a variety of simple informational texts and uses transitions to tell and retell
L/S.3.5
a story using acquired vocabulary and appropriate language structure to personal
experiences.

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© 2008 All Rights Reserved Grade 3 English PPAA Information Booklet
For the grade 3 Listening section:

• students will listen to scripts of recorded English text and then respond to comprehension
questions presented in a multiple-choice format

• students will be assessed on their understanding of spoken English

• items for this grade level will consist of three answer choices

• texts may include the following: sentences, short paragraphs, or passages

• longer selections may include up to approximately 100 words

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© 2008 All Rights Reserved Grade 3 English PPAA Information Booklet
Sample Grade 3 English PPAA Listening Passages and Items.

(Narrator): In this part of the test, you (Narrator): In this part of the test, you
will listen to a question or a sentence will listen to a short paragraph. Then,
followed by three answer choices. listen to and answer the question. Mark
your answer on your answer sheet.
(Girl): Is the library open today?

(Man):
1 Choose the sentence that correctly
Before we start today’s lesson, let’s
answers the question.
review what we learned yesterday in
math. After the review, we will solve
A* It will be open all day.
some problems. Be sure to pay close
B There are a lot of books inside.
attention.
C Remember to open the door.

3 When will the students solve some


L/S.3.2
math problems?

(Boy): Have you seen my shoes?


A they solved them yesterday
B* after the review
2 Choose the sentence that correctly
C before they start the lesson
answers the question.

L/S.3.3
A He has several pair.
B I cleaned them today.
C* They are in the closet.

L/S.3.4
(Narrator): In this part of the test, you will listen to a short paragraph. Then, listen to and
answer the questions.
(Woman):
A turtle is a reptile. Most of its body is covered by a special shell. Many turtles live
around water. Some turtles like to go underwater. However, turtles cannot breathe in the
water. When a turtle stays underwater, it has to hold its breath. Turtles are one of the
oldest reptile groups on Earth. Today, many turtles are in danger of disappearing.

4 What is this paragraph MAINLY about?

A* some interesting facts about turtles


B what different turtles like to eat
C how long turtles live

L/S.3.5

5 What question does this paragraph answer?

A How big is a turtle?


B* Are turtles reptiles?
C Are turtles disappearing?

L/S.3.3
(Narrator): In this part of the test, you will hear a story. When the story is finished, you
will hear some questions. For each question, choose the correct answer.
For questions 6 to 8, listen to a story about Alejandro and Susana.

Susana, her mom, and her dog were spending Saturday afternoon at the beach.
They had traveled one hour in the car to get there. Mom was sitting on a blanket reading.
The dog was playing in the water. Susana had brought a bucket and shovel. She was
going to build a sand castle on the beach.
First, Susana decided to gather some shells to decorate the sand castle walls.
Then, she filled up a bucket with water from the sea to mix with the sand. Susana piled up
the wet sand and began forming the walls. Building a sand castle would be a fun way to
spend the day.
6 Where does this story take place? 8 Why does Susana gather seashells?

A on a blanket A She wants to take them home to


B* at the beach decorate her room.
C inside the car B* She wants to decorate the walls of
the castle.
L/S.3.1 C She wants to give them to her
mom.

7 Who is the main character in the L/S.3.5


story?

A Susana’s dog
B Susana’s mom
C* Susana

L/S.3.1
Grade 3 English PPAA Reading Information
Grade 3 English PPAA Reading Content Standard
The grade 3 English PPAA reading section measures the following content standard and

grade-level expectations:

The student uses reading strategies, literary analysis, and critical thinking skills to
construct meaning and develop an understanding as well as an appreciation of a variety of
genres of both fiction and nonfiction.

Content Standard: Reading

R.3.1 Decodes words and phrases to read fluently.

Applies phonemic awareness strategies to identify syllables and word family


R.3.2
patterns.

Uses context clues and resources to build vocabulary, verify meaning, determine
R.3.3 the meaning of unfamiliar words, and to transfer meaning into a variety of
Expectation

narrative and informational texts.

Identifies and states the main character(s), identifies character traits, establishes
R.3.4 similarities and differences between characters, and identifies setting within
narrative text.

Uses story organization of beginning, middle, and end within narrative text to
R.3.5
state and organize events; makes predictions and connections.

Recognizes differences between fiction and nonfiction; identifies fact and


R.3.6
opinion; recognizes main idea in simple informational text.
For the grade 3 reading section:
• students will read a variety of narrative and informative selections accompanied by
comprehension questions presented in a multiple-choice format

• test items for this grade level will consist of three answer choices

• artwork or photos may be included to enhance comprehension

• reading selections for third grade will be approximately 100-120 words

Each reading selection may also include a constructed response item in which students will
answer an open ended question in their own words. Student responses will be holistically scored
using the following rubric:

SHORT-ANSWER READING RUBRIC


Responses can be written in Spanish, English, or a combination of languages. Language and
writing conventions are not considered when assigning a score to a short-answer item measuring
English reading comprehension.

SCORE CRITERIA

Full Reading Comprehension – A thorough understanding of the reading concept


has been demonstrated. The student’s response is correct and complete and
2 provides evidence of higher-order thinking related to the question/task. Details in
the response are clear, accurate, and text-based.

Partial Reading Comprehension – Partial understanding of the reading concept has


been demonstrated. The student’s response provides some information that is text-
1 based and accurate. However, the response is not complete and may not provide
clear evidence of higher-order thinking related to the question/task.

Little or No Reading Comprehension – The student’s response demonstrates very


little or no understanding of the reading concept being assessed. The response is
0 inaccurate or unrelated to the question/task.
Sample Grade 3 English PPAA Reading Passages and Items

Museum Fun

1 María Isabel and her cousin Jon are at the Museo del Niño today. Their Tía Luisa
brought them. There are many interesting things to see in the museum. The museum
also has a lot of fun activities.

2 Jon goes into a room where there are insects. He wants to look at them.

3 María is not interested in insects. She finds the costume room instead. She puts on a
beautiful cape. Then she runs and pretends that she is a butterfly!

4 Jon enters the costume room. He tells María that butterflies are insects too. She says
that’s okay because butterflies are beautiful.

5 Tía Luisa tells them it’s time to leave. Jon and María Isabel thank her for a great day.

9 What does pretends mean? 10 Which word has the same number
of syllables as beautiful?
A always thinks
B guesses A* butterfly
C* makes believe B costume
C brought
R.3.3
R.3.2
11 Where does this story take place? 13 Why does María Isabel go to the
costume room?
A in a pet shop
B* in a museum A She likes butterflies.
C in a clothing store B Her tía tells her to go there.
C* She is not interested in insects.
R.3.4
R.3.5

12 Which word BEST describes 14 Which of the following sentences


María Isabel? from the story is an OPINION?

A* imaginative A* She puts on a beautiful cape.


B frightened B He wants to look at them.
C friendly C Jon enters the costume room.

R.3.4 R.3.6
Sample Constructed-Response Item

15 What is this story MAINLY about?

Use ideas from the passage to explain your answer.

R.3.6

Full credit Response is a complete, well-developed statement of what the passage is mainly
about. The response is supported by relevant, text-based information.

Partial credit Response is a vague statement of what the story is about and may not be supported by
information from the passage.

No credit Response is inaccurate or unrelated to the question/task.


How Tall is That Door?

1 Do you know someone who has to bend down to walk through a doorway? Some tall
people do. Who decides how high to make a doorway?

2 Doorways could be made very high. Then, no one would have to bend down.
However, that would cost a lot of extra money for just a few people.

3 The people who build doors have found another way to work it out. They look at all
the adults in the country. How tall are they? Then, they make doorways high enough so
that only one person out of twenty has to bend down. Very tall people know they should
always look at the height of a door. They want to make sure that they won’t hit their
heads.

16 How many SYLLABLES are in the


word doorway? A one
B* two 18 Which word below BEST matches
C three the meaning of build in paragraph 3?

R.3.2 A see
B work
C* make
17 In paragraph 2 of the passage, the
word cost means — R.3.3

A tall
B answer
C* price

R.3.3
Use the chart of events to answer the question below.

Make doors 
Look at all 
tall enough 
the adults in 
so only 1 
the country
out of 20 
people will 
need to 

19 Which of the following belongs in the empty box?

A* Learn how tall people are


B Spend a lot of money for a few people
C Tall people know to look at the door

R.3.5

20 What is this passage MOSTLY about?

A why some doors are too short for tall people


B how much it costs to build a doorway
C* how the height of a doorway is decided

R.3.6
Sample Constructed-Response Item

21 Explain why this passage is nonfiction.


Use examples from the passage to support your answer.

R.3.6

Full credit Response is a complete, well-developed statement that this is a


nonfiction passage and a specific example of why. The response
is supported by relevant, text-based information.

Partial credit Response is a vague statement that this is a nonfiction passage, but
may not be supported by information from the passage.

No credit Response is inaccurate or unrelated to the question/task.


Grade 3 English PPAA Writing Information
Grade 3 English PPAA Writing Content Standard
The grade 3 English PPAA writing section measures the following content standard and grade-
level expectations:

The student effectively communicates to a variety of audiences in all forms of writing


through the use of the writing process, proper grammar, and age-appropriate expressive
vocabulary.

Content Standard: Writing

W.3.1 Arranges words in alphabetical order using first and second letter criteria.

Applies phonemic awareness and phonics strategies to correctly spell words that
W.3.2 have two letter clusters, common spelling patterns, and uncommon consonant
patterns.
Expectation

Applies basic grammar and mechanics to write complete declarative and


interrogative sentences of three to five words in length; identifies declarative,
W.3.3
interrogative, exclamatory, and imperative types of sentences; identifies the parts
of speech.

Recognizes descriptive and narrative writing forms; writes words, phrases, and
W.3.4
simple sentences to develop descriptive and narrative three sentence paragraphs.

Applies the dictionary as an aid in the writing process; uses simple prewriting
W.3.5
techniques to generate ideas.

For the grade 3 writing section:


• students will respond to a variety of questions presented in a multiple-choice format

• some writing items require students to fill in blanks in the text with appropriate language
to demonstrate comprehension

• test items for this grade level will consist of three answer choices
Sample Grade 3 English PPAA Writing Items

22 Which of the following sets of 24 Choose the word that belongs in


words is in alphabetical order? the blank.
My grandmother put _______
A frog, book, swim around the tree.
B swim, frog, book
C* book, frog, swim A* rocks
B roks
W.3.1 C rocs
W.3.2

23 Choose the word that belongs in


25 Choose the sentence that is correct.
the blank.
We used a ruler to _______ the door.
A What time is the concert!
B* What time is the concert?
A meshur
C What time is the concert.
B* measure
C mesher
W.3.3

W.3.2
26 Choose the sentence that is correct.

A* My sister is in second grade.


B Second grade my sister is in.
C Is in second grade my sister.

W.3.3
For questions 27 and 28, choose the word or words that belong in each blank.

My mother and I 27 to the store to buy fruit. My grandparents are


coming to dinner. We 28 are making a fruit salad for dessert.

27 A picked
B* went
C decided

W.3.4

28 A she
B them
C* we

W.3.4

Consuelo is writing a story about her parrot. She wants to look up how to spell
“feather.”

29 Where in the dictionary can she find the word “feather”?

A* between the words “farm” and “first”


B between the words “fine” and “fresh”
C between the words “forest” and “funny”

W.3.5
Aníbal is writing a story about a field trip his class took to the zoo. Before he began
writing, he made the following outline.

I. Studied zoo animals
II. The bus ride to the zoo
III.

30 Choose the phrase that best completes his outline.

A Packing for the zoo trip


B* My favorite animal at the zoo
C Leaving school for the zoo

W.3.5