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FSA ELA Reading Tips and Advice for 4th Grade

Students in 4th grade taking FSA ELA Reading can find the transition from 3rd to 4th grade standards difficult. Beginning a routine of good preparation for tests and good homework habits will help your child manage the exam period better.

Here is a list of small changes you can implement that will help your child improve the skills he or she will be tested on:

  • Read everything, everywhere. If you have a child that is disinterested, struggles with reading, or simply wants extra practice, then ask him or her to read aloud things that exist in everyday life. This could be the back of a cereal box or the ingredients label on a soft drink. Your child could read aloud road signs, news headlines on the TV, or blurbs from the back of books. Implement daily reads, where your child reads to you a few paragraphs from a book or newspaper. Ask him or her to tell you whether the author is writing to persuade, inform, or entertain, as well as what ideas or themes can be identified in the text.
  • Plan simple; study easy. Some students—and parents—can spend hours making the most beautiful and comprehensive study plan ever seen. The only problem is that these plans risk being impractical and inflexible. If you or your child is struggling to cope with multiple things, write a list and go week by week or even a few days at a time. Pick one topic and think about three or four activities or study sessions you can do to work on improving your child’s knowledge of that topic. Remember to keep studying sessions short; 20 minutes or so is enough.
  • Befriend the dictionary. In the 21st century, using a dictionary can seem like a dated and inefficient practice. However, there are multiple benefits to using dictionaries. Try to keep a hard copy of a dictionary in the house and make it interactive—allow your child to dog-ear and doodle on the pages. Encourage your child to find his or her favorite word each week, and have your child sign his or her initials and the date next to it. When using the dictionary becomes second nature, meeting a confusing word during an FSA ELA Reading practice session will cause fewer problems and reduce time delays. Your child will be equipped to know how to find out what the word means, and will be able to independently develop his or her vocabulary.
  • Get doodling and spread the word. Studying doesn’t need to stay neatly within a textbook or be restricted to a computer screen. Actively encourage your child to get creative. Research shows that people remember more when they doodle while listening to instructions or participating in activities. Help your child focus on reading tasks by getting him or her a doodle pad. Inform your child that he or she can be as messy and as creative as he or she likes. Giving your child freedom to fidget and doodle will prevent his or her mind from drifting and daydreaming from starting. If you are using flashcards, post-its, and whiteboards, encourage your child to create doodle keys: a cat for spelling, a shark for punctuation, or whatever works for you.

FSA Reading Practice 4th Grade

To help guide your child through his or her FSA ELA Reading assessment, use TestPrep-Online’s preparation packs. Our packs contain dozens of practice questions, set out in a format very similar to that of the test your child will take. We develop questions designed to test and improve your child’s knowledge of both the test content and test style. Use our answer explanations feature to revisit the material your child didn’t understand, and when your child is ready, he or she can take the practice test again.

Using Rubrics to Support FSA Writing Practice

As part of the FSA ELA assessments, students from grades 4 to 10 must complete writing tests. These assessments include a couple of pieces of text that are related by a theme. A writing prompt then requests students to write an informative or persuasive essay linked to the theme. As the topics are broad, there is no right answer or essay that students should memorize and try to reproduce during the exam. Instead, students should focus on the skills that the exam wants them to demonstrate. These are broken down into standards and measured with rubrics. An example of the three rubrics students in 4th and 5th grade must perform against are:

  1. Purpose, Focus, and Organization (4-point rubric)
    To the reader, the purpose, task, and audience of the essay remains clear and the focus of the essay throughout. The student has used a clear and practical structure to organize his or her work, as well as presented coherent opinions. The student has used an introduction and conclusion, with a clear progression of ideas throughout the essay.
  2. Evidence and Elaboration (4-point rubric)
    The student has presented coherent evidence in a manner that supports his or her argument and opinions. The student’s argument is convincing because of proper use of facts and details from evidential sources. The student’s elaboration upon the sources progresses smoothly from references to the sources into the student's own opinions. The student effectively communicates his or her ideas, using appropriate vocabulary and precise phraseology to relay the point. The student can demonstrate good command of the English language through varied sentence structure.
  3. Conventions of Standard English (2-point rubric)
    The student is permitted minor, but infrequent and non repetitive, errors of spellings, punctuation, and capitalization. The student demonstrates an adequate understanding and command of basic English language conventions.

Students' performances on the 4th and 5th Grade ELA Writing assessment are graded against these three rubrics. All students should aim for a 4, 4, 2—the highest score across all three rubrics.

FSA Writing Prompts for 4th Grade

To do well on these tests, students should practice multiple FSA ELA Writing tests. TestPrep-Online offers FSA ELA practice packs, full of passages, writing prompts, example answers, and explanations. Whether you have a child in 4th or 10th grade, you can help him or her achieve higher by encouraging his or her studies and investing in quality preparation packs to guide his or her learning. Check out which products are available now from TestPrep-Online and start preparing today.

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