Prepare Your Students for Success on PSSA TDAs

As we've been spending more time with our amazing teachers and students in Pennsylvania, we're hearing that strong preparation for the PSSAs is on everyone's mind. With ThinkCERCA's Applied Reading & Writing lessons across content areas, you can prepare your students for success on PSSA text-dependent analysis questions.

Pennsylvania Core Standards (PCS) identifies text-dependent analysis as the ability to “draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.” A text-dependent analysis question does not rely on any particular background information extraneous to the text nor depend on students having other experiences or knowledge; instead it privileges the text itself and what students can extract from what is before them. These questions move beyond general reading comprehension to specific questions that require the use of text-dependent evidence.

ThinkCERCA includes Applied Reading & Writing lessons in all subject areas covered by the PSSAs: English Language Arts, math, and science. These lessons give students practice in analyzing complex texts, including data sets and visual texts, and clearly communicating that analysis in writing. Let's take a look:

English Language Arts

In English Language Arts, ThinkCERCA provides opportunities for students to write response to both informational and literary texts, just like the TDAs they will see on the PSSA. 


An informational text TDA question from a Grade 8 ELA PSSA:

PSSA_TDA_ELA_grade8infotextquestion

An informational text TDA question from a Grade 8 ThinkCERCA ELA lesson:

TC_ELA_IT_Grade8


A literature TDA question from a Grade 8 ELA PSSA:

PSSA_TDA_ELA_grade8litquestion

A literature TDA from a Grade 8 ThinkCERCA ELA lesson:

TC_ELA_Lit_Grade8

Science

In science, students will analyze and evaluate data from text and visual sources.


A visual- and text-based TDA from a Grade 8 science PSSA:

PSSA_TDA_Sci

A visual- and text-based TDA from a Grade 8 ThinkCERCA science lesson:

TC_Science_Grade8

Math

And in math, students are presented with real-world situations and asked to explain their mathematical reasoning with numbers and words.

A TDA from a Grade 8 math PSSA:

PSSA_TDA_math_grade8question

 

A TDA from a Grade 8 ThinkCERCA math lesson:

TC_Math_Grade8

 

The best test prep is great instruction every day, and ThinkCERCA helps provide the resources and tools to support that great instruction! Use ThinkCERCA's applied writing lessons in conjunction with our Minilessons to brush up on key literacy skills such as citing evidence or using conventions of English and our QuickCERCAs to build more background knowledge and gain additional practice on standards-aligned assessments.

 

Claire Podulka

Claire Podulka

Claire has spent her career managing content creation of every possible sort, from print textbooks to marketing collateral to a travel blog. Having worked with major educational publishers and mobile companies, she brings project management and editorial expertise to her role at ThinkCERCA. She has a degree in journalism from Northwestern University and a PMP certificate from the Project Management Institute.