School Improvement in Maryland

This Week’s MSA Item

MSA Items of the week can be used in a variety of ways by teachers, students, parents, tutors and other interested parties. They may be used as warm-up activity at the beginning of the class or as a review at the end of instruction. Students and parents can use them as an ongoing review to ensure that students have mastered and retained the content they are expected to learn.

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Use your mouse to select a grade from the subject categories below. This week’s MSA Item for that category will appear at right.




Student Handout with Answer Key, and Objective Information.

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Monitoring Reports

Students can keep a record of their progress on these assessment items by using the Monitoring Report, a tool that lists of of the grade level objectives assessed on MSA. The Monitoring Report contains space for entering multiple assessment results and diagnostic comments.

Monitoring Report for Reading Grade 8

MSA Item of the Week

This item is one of the many resources available in the Reading State Curriculum Toolkit.

Reading Grade 8

Read the article titled 'Deliverance' and answer the following questions. Circle the letter of the correct answer.

Read this sentence from paragraph 2.

I turned and forgot about it, pulling upward, kneeing and toeing into the cliff, kicking steps into the shaly rock wherever I could, trying to position both hands and one foot before moving to a new position.

Which of these is the best paraphrase for the sentence?

  1. I focused on moving upward, pressing into the cliff, moving loose rock, placing hands, and one foot before continuing.
  2. I moved around, punching knees and toes into the wall, forcing loose rock aside before holding on with hands and one foot until I moved to another location.
  3. I wanted to move upward so I did by pushing my knees and toes into loose rock when I could and putting my hands and one foot on the cliff and lifting my other foot to a safe spot.
  4. I did not think about the overhang but concentrated on going up by putting my knees and toes into available rock and laying my hands and one foot on the cliff before moving the other foot.

View answer and objective assessed