School Improvement in Maryland

Sample Item
Brief Constructed Response Item for Grade 3

Standard 2.0 Comprehension of Informational Text

Topic A. Comprehension of Informational Text

Indicator 1. Develop comprehension skills by reading a variety of self-selected and assigned print and non-print informational texts, including electronic media

Objective a. Read, use, and identify the characteristics of nonfiction materials such as textbooks, appropriate reference materials, personal narratives, diaries, and journals, biographies, newspapers, letters, articles, web sites and other online materials, other appropriate content-specific texts to gain information and content knowledge

Assessment limit: Grade-appropriate informational texts

Read the article about toys from the past 'Schoolyard Toys'. Then answer the following.


Explain how you know "Schoolyard Toys" is nonfiction. In your response, use information from the article that supports your explanation. Write your answer on your answer document.


Sample Student Response #1

Student Response

Annotation: The reader responds with "still kid playing with them. They are real a lot of kids". The student displays an understanding of nonfiction by noting the toys in the passage are "real" and that children still play with them. To improve this answer, the student should state the specific toys that are real and still being played with and then note how the toys are played with in the passage and, perhaps, how those same toys are played with currently.


Sample Student Response #2

Student Response

Annotation: The reader answers that the passage "is nonfictio because it's posable" and continues that someone could "play with all of theses game." Next, the reader supports the answer from text with "you can play jacks, hoops, mardles, or tops." The student shows an understanding of nonfiction by stating that it "is posable" and supports that statement with examples of real games played by real children. To improve this response, the reader could continue by noting that the author tells about real toys from the past that still exist in the present and shares real rules or standards for participating in the games played with them.


Sample Student Response #3

Student Response

Annotation: The reader states the passage is "non-fiction because it says in the late 1800's, and because now in days we still…" The reader shows knowledge of nonfiction with "means it's real it really happend in real life, and it's really true" and furthers his/her reasoning "realistic-fiction means could happened but didn't happen so non-fiction must mean happen in real life." The reader offers minimal text support with "we still keep marbles as collections…" To improve this response, the reader should supply additional text support by naming specific toys from the past which are still played with today and how explanations about the toys are offered rather than stories about the toys.


Brief Constructed Response (BCR) Rubric

Print: Scoring Rubric

Score 3

The response demonstrates an understanding of the complexities of the text.

  • Addresses the demands of the question
  • Effectively uses text-relevant1 information to clarify or extend understanding

Score 2

The response demonstrates a general understanding of the text.

  • Partially addresses the demands of the question
  • Uses text-relevant1 information to show understanding

Score 1

The response demonstrates a minimal understanding of the text.

  • Minimally addresses the demands of the question
  • Uses minimal information to show some understanding of the text in relation to the question

Score 0

The response is completely incorrect, irrelevant to the question, or missing.2

Note 1:

Text-relevant: This information may or may not be an exact copy (quote) of the text but is clearly related to the text and often shows an analysis and/or interpretation of important ideas. Students may incorporate information to show connections to relevant prior experience as appropriate.

Note 2:

An exact copy (quote) or paraphrase of the question that provides no new relevant information will receive a score of "0".

Rubric Document Date: June 2003

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