School Improvement in Maryland
Public Release Items: Public release items have appeared on MSA forms and then are released for public viewing and use. Releasing items is one step to ensuring that schools, districts, and other stakeholders understand how the content standards are assessed on the MSA. Return

Standard 3.0 Comprehension of Literary Text

Indicator 6. Analyze important ideas and messages in literary texts

Objective a. Analyze main ideas and universal themes

Brief Constructed Response (BCR) Item

Read this story titled "Nathan's Choice." Then answer the question below.

Explain why Nathan decides to stay at the blacksmith shop. In your response, use details from the story that support your explanation. Write your answer in the box below.

Sample Student Response #1

image of student response

Score for Sample Student Response #1: Rubric Score 0

Annotation, Using the Rubric: This response is completely incorrect.


Sample Student Response #2

image of student response

Score for Sample Student Response #2: Rubric Score 0

Annotation, Using the Rubric: This response is completely incorrect.


Sample Student Response #3

image of student response

Score for Sample Student Response #3: Rubric Score 1

Annotation, Using the Rubric: This response demonstrates a minimal understanding of the text. The student uses minimal information to explain why Nathan might want to stay, "he would miss everything, …"

Instructional Annotation: (While the Annotation, Using the Rubric describes the scorerís explanation for the rubric score, the Instructional Annotation describes how the response might be improved.)
The reader answers by citing the items (paragraph 42) that Nathan observes as he is leaving the blacksmith shop; this answer does show an interaction with the text. However, the conclusion drawn by the reader is incorrect; the observed items cause Nathan not to ponder missing the shop but to elicit thoughts that in time he could be a good blacksmith like his uncle. To improve this response, the student should reread that small portion of the text and reframe the response. For example, what Nathan realizes he could miss is an opportunity to better learn how to use the equipment in the shop and that while his uncle is a taskmaster, he is also a resource.


Sample Student Response #4

image of student response

Score for Sample Student Response #4: Rubric Score 1

Annotation, Using the Rubric: This response demonstrates a minimal understanding of the text. The student uses minimal information to explain why Nathan stays, "he needed the skills that uncle orrin could teach him."


Sample Student Response #5

image of student response

Score for Sample Student Response #5: Rubric Score 2

Annotation, Using the Rubric: This response demonstrates a general understanding of the text. The student identifies why Nathan stays, "he realizes that it's what he wants and it's worth working for." The student uses text-relevant information to explain this reason: "I need the skills he can teach me."

Instructional Annotation: (While the Annotation, Using the Rubric describes the scorerís explanation for the rubric score, the Instructional Annotation describes how the response might be improved.)
The reader answers the question by stating an important element of Nathan’s development and then supporting that element with dialogue cited from the text. The last sentence of the response is unnecessary. To improve this response, the reader might draw the conclusion that the path Nathan has selected is not an easy one but is a necessary one to secure his future.


Sample Student Response #6

image of student response

Score for Sample Student Response #6: Rubric Score 2

Annotation, Using the Rubric: This response demonstrates a general understanding of the text. The student identifies why Nathan stays, "so that he could reach his goal of becoming a frontiersman." The student uses text-relevant information to explain this reason: "I'm here to learn enough ironworking to make repairs. I aim to be a frontiersman."


Sample Student Response #7

image of student response

Score for Sample Student Response #7: Rubric Score 3

Annotation, Using the Rubric: This response demonstrates an understanding of the complexities of the text. The student synthesizes information from the text to identify why Nathan stays, "he should follow his dream rather than his friend's dream." The student effectively uses text-relevant information to clarify the explanation of this reason: "…it was always his dream to be a frontiersman…he realizes that his uncle had the skills to teach him what he needed."

Instructional Annotation: (While the Annotation, Using the Rubric describes the scorerís explanation for the rubric score, the Instructional Annotation describes how the response might be improved.)
The reader answers that Nathan’s decision to stay at the blacksmith shop is based upon “his dream to be a frontiersman” and that either job, blacksmithing or work at sea, would be difficult. The reader concludes that since work will be hard regardless of the job, Nathan would prefer to “follow his dream rather than his friend’s dream” and that his uncle is necessary for his success. To improve this response, the reader could extend the conclusion to note that it is clear that Nathan is not afraid of working hard and that he considers himself a capable person (paragraph 42).


Sample Student Response #8

image of student response

Score for Sample Student Response #8: Rubric Score 3

Annotation, Using the Rubric: This response demonstrates an understanding of the complexities of the text. The student synthesizes information from the text to identify why Nathan stays, "he wants to follow his dream of being a frontierman." The student effectively uses text-relevant information to clarify the explanation of this reason: "…needed the skill Uncle Orrin can teach him…with training he could do as well…mother sent you to follow your dream."


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

/share/rubrics/msa/reading/xml/bcr.xml
/toolkit/vsc/assessment_items/msa_ela_7_056.xml