2016-2017 FINAL EVALUATION Kelly Lerdahl

Student Growth Goal Submission

All students will show growth in their ability to respond to a written prompt based on an informational text using a prescribed argumentative structure. 75% of my 6th grade students will earn a score of at least 75% on their argumentative response to text writing by spring of 2017. Results will be measured using a rubric focused on structure, elaboration, format, and conventions.


In order to be college and career ready as well as prepared for the requirements of middle school, high school, and college, students need to be able to state a claim and elaborate on it with appropriate and detailed evidence and reasoning.

Student Demographics

Of my 44 6th-grade students

  • 2 English Language Learners
  • 1 special education (Asperger's Syndrome)
  • 4 students monitored as at-risk (OR on classroom intervention plan)
  • 1 student with a 504 Plan

Common Course Rubric

For my baseline CER assessment, I used a basic CER rubric that focused on the elements necessary for success in writing a Claim-Evidence-Reasoning argumentative response. This rubric was used for the pre and post assessment.

Data Outcomes

The Excel spreadsheet below demonstrates my student CER assessment scores from their Fall Baseline to their Spring Baseline. In addition, I have included the average percent on quarter 2 and quarter 3 CER writing assignments.

3rd Hour Language Arts

Student Growth Data Fall to Spring (Total Score)
Student Growth Data-Breakdown by Skill
1st Hour Fall to Spring
1st Hour CER Breakdown by Skill

Teaching Methods

In the beginning of the year, I established a bi-weekly routine to read and analyze argumentative articles (i.e. should junk food be banned from school/cell phones in school) and asked students to brainstorm sides of the argument using a Visible Thinking Routine such as Compass Points or Tug of War. By using these strategies, students were able to clearly visualize and understand the multiple perspectives of an argument before formulating their own claim.

Highlighted annotations: Agree/Disagree/Interesting

As the year moved forward, students then read multiple articles (2-4) in support of those perspectives. Students highlighted each article based on information they agreed with, disagreed with, or found interesting. They also annotated with additional questions or connections. After gathering research, students created their own claim for a CER and supported it with evidence from the text.

Tug of War Visible Thinking Routine: "Would you want to live forever?" Tuck Everlasting CER

In addition to these isolated topics, students wrote regular CER (3 per novel unit) focused on their narrative text. These CER topics focused on character development, conflicts, and authors craft.

"Would you climb Mount Everest?" Peak CER Response

In the future, I also would like to use thinking routines such as Peel the Fruit and See-Think-Wonder to help students be able to differentiate between "evidence" and "reasoning"-each layer being a deeper level of explanation related to their claim.

This bi-weekly routine helped students build their skills for CER writing, as evidenced by the students data pre & post assessment results. All students made gains in their performance from fall to spring, and 75% of my students met the expectation of achieving 75% or better on the post assessment.


Tier 1 Interventions

Overall, students struggled with writing a cohesive, one-sided claim and elaborating in their reasoning to support their textual evidence. To assist students in overcoming this struggle, we completed several Wagon Wheel activities where students identified the differences in student writing between Good-Better-Best. This Wagon Wheel Activity became a tool for students to use for future writing assignments.

In addition, students used a variety of graphic organizers and Visible Thinking Routines to assist in the planning, critical thinking, and execution for their CER writing.

Tier 2 Interventions

Students who continued to struggle with CER writing were pulled in for small-group or one-on-one revision sessions. During these lunch sessions, students worked on revising their CER writing with teacher assistance. Some students required whole-essay rewrites, while others only required minor tweaks.

Tier 3 Intervention

I have 1 student who I believe qualifies for additional intensive writing support. He has worked with an ELL Tutor during class to assist with both his reading and writing skills. I have also recommended to his parents that he receive tutoring support outside of the school day.

Sample student work

Low: made improvements with transitions and use of textual evidence
Low: made improvements with transitions, organization, and use of textual evidence
MID-improvements in organization, use of textual evidence, and elaboration of reasoning.
HIGH-improvements in organization, use of textual evidence, and elaboration of reasoning.

Student Self-Assessment

Students monitored their progress on their CER assignments in a writing folder. Monthly, students reviewed their writing assignments and recorded areas of success and notes for improvement. Ideally, this was a means for students to see the development of their writing from fall to spring as well as focus on areas of improvement from one writing piece to the next.

Collaboration with Colleagues

This year was the second year pilot for our 6th Grade ELA CAT units. As a team, we were responsible for completing two full CAT units this school year. As these were new units, I worked closely with Anne Drogosch, Meg Zastrow, and Sue Baran to implement a variety of common formative and summative assessments. We met regularly to identify what aspects of the curriculum worked well and areas to improve or eliminate next year.


As a result of this work, I feel that my students made great improvements in the areas of developing a clear claim, identifying and using textual evidence, and organizing an argumentative essay using a clear introductory sentence or paragraph, transitions, and concluding sentence.

In the future, I plan to focus more on helping students find textual evidence that best supports their claim. In addition, students need continued practice in writing reasoning that explains and elaborates the connection to their claim instead of re-stating what is said in the textual evidence.

Created By
Kelly Lerdahl

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