Teachers must continue to teach writing standards at all grade levels, not those that are tested (5th and 8th)). Multiple choice items are tied to the extended response rubric. Teaching formulaic writing negatively affects Extended Response scores and provides limited compositional experience, which negatively affects multiple choice scores.
So what do you do? Here are some ideas/links I hope will help you!
*Teach writing through reading-examine sentence structure, explore
author’s craft, paraphrase text
*Encourage authentic writing (some links disabled)
*Base minilessons on student writing
*Have students do plenty of responding to texts
*Voice is a statewide weakness, so encourage sentence complexity
*Show students how multiple choice items relate to the 4 domains
*Do a Read Aloud daily, pull passages from the text and have students determine the author based on sentence type, word choice, etc.
*Students need to work on writing conclusions
*Sentence combining is still difficult for students
*Students are using inappropriate transitions-need to use logical transitions