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List of Benchmarks for Language Arts

Standard 1.Uses the general skills and strategies of the writing process
  Level Pre-K (Grade Pre-K)
   1. Knows that writing, including pictures, letters, and words, communicates meaning and information
   2. Uses drawings to express thoughts, feelings, and ideas
   3. Uses forms of emergent writing (e.g., scribble writing, random symbols, random letter-like marks) to represent ideas
   4. Dictates stories, poems, and personal narratives
   5. Uses emergent writing skills to write for a variety of purposes (e.g., to make lists, to send messages, to write stories)and to write in a variety of forms (e.g., journals, sign-in sheets, name cards, cards with words and pictures)
   6. Uses knowledge of letters to write or copy familiar words, such as own name
   7. Uses writing tools and materials (e.g., pencils, crayons, chalk, markers, rubber stamps, computers, paper, cardboard, chalkboard)
  Level I (Grade K-2)
   1. Prewriting: Uses prewriting strategies to plan written work (e.g., discusses ideas with peers, draws pictures to generate ideas, writes key thoughts and questions, rehearses ideas, records reactions and observations)
   2. Drafting and Revising: Uses strategies to draft and revise written work (e.g., rereads; rearranges words, sentences, and paragraphs to improve or clarify meaning; varies sentence type; adds descriptive words and details; deletes extraneous information; incorporates suggestions from peers and teachers; sharpens the focus)
   3. Editing and Publishing: Uses strategies to edit and publish written work (e.g., proofreads using a dictionary and other resources; edits for grammar, punctuation, capitalization, and spelling at a developmentally appropriate level; incorporates illustrations or photos; uses available, appropriate technology to publish work; use legible handwriting, shares finished product)
   4. Evaluates own and others’ writing (e.g., asks questions and makes comments about writing, helps classmates apply grammatical and mechanical conventions)
   5. Uses strategies to organize written work (e.g., includes a beginning, middle, and ending; uses a sequence of events)
   6. Uses writing and other methods (e.g., using letters or phonetically spelled words, telling, dictating, making lists) to describe familiar persons, places, objects, or experiences
   7. Writes in a variety of forms or genres (e.g., picture books, friendly letters, stories, poems, information pieces, invitations, personal experience narratives, messages, responses to literature, opinion pieces)
   8. Writes for different purposes (e.g., to entertain, inform, learn, communicate ideas)
  Level II (Grade 3-5)
   1. Prewriting: Uses prewriting strategies to plan written work (e.g., uses graphic organizers, story maps, and webs; groups related ideas; takes notes; brainstorms ideas; organizes information according to type and purpose of writing)
   2. Drafting and Revising: Uses strategies to draft and revise written work (e.g., elaborates on a central idea; writes with attention to audience, word choice, sentence variation; uses paragraphs to develop separate ideas; produces multiple drafts; selects punctuation for effect)
   3. Editing and Publishing: Uses strategies to edit and publish written work (e.g., edits for grammar, punctuation, capitalization, and spelling at a developmentally appropriate level; uses reference materials; excludes extraneous details and inconsistencies; selects presentation format according to purpose; uses available technology to publish work)
   4. Evaluates own and others’ writing (e.g., determines the best features of a piece of writing, determines how own writing achieves its purposes, asks for feedback, responds to classmates’ writing)
   5. Uses strategies (e.g., adapts focus, organization, point of view; determines knowledge and interests of audience) to write for different audiences (e.g., self, peers, teachers, adults)
   6. Uses strategies (e.g., adapts focus, point of view, organization, form) to write for a variety of purposes (e.g., to inform, entertain, explain, describe, record ideas)
   7. Writes expository compositions (e.g., identifies and stays on the topic; develops the topic with simple facts, concrete details, examples, definitions, quotations, and explanations; uses domain-specific or content area vocabulary; excludes extraneous and inappropriate information; uses logical organizing structures such as cause-and-effect, chronology, similarities and differences; uses several sources of information; provides a concluding statement)
   8. Writes narrative accounts, such as poems and stories (e.g., establishes a context that enables the reader to imagine the event or experience; develops characters, setting, and plot; creates an organizing structure; uses transitions to sequence events; uses concrete sensory details; uses strategies such as dialogue, tension, and suspense; uses an identifiable voice)  A 
   9. Writes autobiographical compositions (e.g., provides a context within which the incident occurs, uses simple narrative strategies, and provides some insight into why this incident is memorable)
   10. Writes expressive compositions (e.g., expresses ideas, reflections, and observations; uses an individual, authentic voice; uses narrative strategies, relevant details, and ideas that enable the reader to imagine the world of the event or experience)
   11. Writes in response to literature (e.g., summarizes main ideas and significant details; relates own ideas to supporting details; advances judgments; supports judgments with references to the text, other works, other authors, nonprint media, and personal knowledge)  A 
   12. Writes personal letters (e.g., includes the date, address, greeting, body and closing)  A 
   13. Writes opinion compositions (e.g., includes a topic, states an opinion, uses structures such as cause-and-effect, chronology, similarities, differences; develops the topic with facts, details, examples, explanations, and reasons from a text; provides a concluding statement)
  Level III (Grade 6-8)
   1. Prewriting: Uses a variety of prewriting strategies (e.g., makes outlines, uses published pieces as writing models, constructs critical standards, brainstorms, builds background knowledge)
   2. Drafting and Revising: Uses a variety of strategies to draft and revise written work (e.g., analyzes and clarifies meaning, makes structural and syntactical changes, uses an organizational scheme, uses sensory words and figurative language, rethinks and rewrites for different audiences and purposes, checks for a consistent point of view and for transitions between paragraphs, uses direct feedback to revise compositions, eliminates redundancy in writing)
   3. Editing and Publishing: Uses a variety of strategies to edit and publish written work (e.g., eliminates slang; edits for grammar, punctuation, capitalization, and spelling at a developmentally appropriate level; proofreads using reference materials, word processor, and other resources; edits for clarity, word choice, and language usage; uses a word processor or other technology to publish written work)
   4. Evaluates own and others’ writing (e.g., applies criteria generated by self and others, uses self-assessment to set and achieve goals as a writer, participates in peer response groups)
   5. Uses content, style, and structure (e.g., formal or informal language, genre, organization) appropriate for specific audiences (e.g., public, private) and purposes (e.g., to entertain, to influence, to inform)  A 
   6. Writes expository compositions (e.g., states a thesis or purpose; presents information that reflects knowledge about the topic of the report; organizes and presents information in a logical manner, including an introduction and conclusion; uses own words to develop ideas; uses common expository structures and features, such as compare-contrast or problem-solution)  A 
   7. Writes narrative accounts, such as short stories (e.g., engages the reader by establishing a context and otherwise developing reader interest; establishes a situation, plot, persona, point of view, setting, conflict, and resolution; develops complex characters; creates an organizational structure that uses appropriate pacing, transitions to sequence events, and balances and unifies all narrative aspects of the story; uses a range of strategies and literary devices such as dialogue, tension, suspense, figurative language, and specific narrative action such as movement, gestures, and expressions; reveals a specific theme)  A 
   8. Writes compositions about autobiographical incidents (e.g., explores the significance and personal importance of the incident; uses details to provide a context for the incident; reveals personal attitude towards the incident; presents details in a logical manner)
   9. Writes biographical sketches (e.g., illustrates the subject’s character using narrative and descriptive strategies such as relevant dialogue, specific action, physical description, background description, and comparison or contrast to other people; reveals the significance of the subject to the writer; presents details in a logical manner)
   10. Writes persuasive compositions (e.g., engages the reader by establishing a context, creating a persona, and otherwise developing reader interest; develops a controlling idea that conveys a judgment; creates and organizes a structure appropriate to the needs and interests of a specific audience; arranges details, reasons, examples, and/or anecdotes persuasively; excludes information and arguments that are irrelevant; anticipates and addresses reader concerns and counter arguments; supports arguments with detailed evidence, citing sources of information as appropriate)  A 
   11. Writes compositions that address problems/solutions (e.g., identifies and defines a problem in a way appropriate to the intended audience, describes at least one solution, presents logical and well-supported reasons)
   12. Writes in response to literature (e.g., responds to significant issues in a log or journal, answers discussion questions, anticipates and answers a reader’s questions, writes a summary of a book, describes an initial impression of a text, connects knowledge from a text with personal knowledge, states an interpretive, evaluative, or reflective position; draws inferences about the effects of the work on an audience)  A 
   13. Writes business letters and letters of request and response (e.g., uses business letter format; states purpose of the letter; relates opinions, problems, requests, or compliments; uses precise vocabulary)  A 
   14. Writes technical text, such as bylaws for an organization (e.g., identifies essential steps in a logical sequence; lists materials or equipment needed; describes all factors and variables that need to be considered; uses appropriate formatting)
  Level IV (Grade 9-12)
   1. Prewriting: Uses a variety of prewriting strategies (e.g., develops a focus, plans a sequence of ideas, uses structured overviews, uses speed writing, creates diagrams)
   2. Drafting and Revising: Uses a variety of strategies to draft and revise written work (e.g., highlights individual voice; rethinks content, organization, and style; checks accuracy and depth of information; redrafts for readability and needs of readers; reviews writing to ensure that content and linguistic structures are consistent with purpose)
   3. Editing and Publishing: Uses a variety of strategies to edit and publish written work (e.g., uses a checklist to guide proofreading; edits for grammar, punctuation, capitalization, and spelling at a developmentally appropriate level; uses resources to resolve issues of complex or contested usage; refines selected pieces to publish for general and specific audiences; uses available technology, such as publishing software or graphics programs, to publish written work)
   4. Evaluates own and others’ writing (e.g., accumulates a body of written work to determine strengths and weaknesses as a writer, makes suggestions to improve writing, responds productively to reviews of own work)
   5. Uses strategies to address writing to different audiences (e.g., includes explanations and definitions according to the audience’s background, age, or knowledge of the topic, adjusts formality of style, considers interests of potential readers)
   6. Uses strategies to adapt writing for different purposes (e.g., to explain, inform, analyze, entertain, reflect, persuade)
   7. Writes expository compositions (e.g., synthesizes and organizes information from first- and second-hand sources, including books, magazines, computer data banks, and the community; uses a variety of techniques to develop the main idea [names, describes, or differentiates parts; compares or contrasts; uses cause-and-effect reasoning; examines the history of a subject; cites an anecdote to provide an example; illustrates through a scenario; provides interesting facts about the subject]; distinguishes relative importance of facts, data, and ideas; uses domain-specific vocabulary, such as appropriate technical terms and notations; provides concluding statement that articulates implications or significance of the topic)  A 
   8. Writes fictional, biographical, autobiographical, and observational narrative compositions (e.g., establishes a fluent progression of experiences or events; evaluates the significance of the incident; provides a specific setting for scenes and incidents; provides supporting descriptive detail [specific names for people, objects, and places; visual details of scenes, objects, and places; descriptions of sounds, smells, specific actions, movements, and gestures; the interior monologue or feelings of the characters]; paces the actions to accommodate time or mood changes; creates a unifying theme or tone; uses literary devices to enhance style and tone; provides a conclusion that reflects upon the progression and resolution of the narrative)  A 
   9. Writes compositions employing persuasion (e.g., uses rhetorical techniques, such as appeal to logic and emotion; relates personal anecdotes; cites commonly accepted beliefs or expert opinion; anticipates readers’ knowledge level, concerns, values, and potential biases) and argument (e.g., articulates a thesis statement or claim; establishes clear relationships among claim(s), opposing and counterclaims; reasons, and evidence; identifies strengths and limitations of own arguments and counterarguments; provides a concluding statement that follows from general argument)  A 
   10. Writes descriptive compositions (e.g., uses concrete details to provide a perspective on the subject being described; uses supporting detail [concrete images, shifting perspectives and vantage points, sensory detail, and factual descriptions of appearance])
   11. Writes reflective compositions (e.g., uses personal experience as a basis for reflection on some aspect of life, draws abstract comparisons between specific incidents and abstract concepts, maintains a balance between describing incidents and relating them to more general abstract ideas that illustrate personal beliefs, moves from specific examples to generalizations about life)
   12. Writes in response to literature (e.g., suggests an interpretation; recognizes possible ambiguities, nuances, and complexities in a text; interprets passages of a novel in terms of their significance to the novel as a whole; focuses on the theme of a literary work; explains concepts found in literary works; examines literature from several critical perspectives; understands author’s stylistic devices and effects created; analyzes use of imagery and language)
   13. Uses appropriate strategies (e.g., organizational pattern, format, language, tone) to write personal and business correspondence (e.g., informal letters, memos, job application letters, resumes)

 A  = Assessment items available