Commonwealth of Virginia

Standards of Learning Assessment Program

Blueprints for Grade Five

English: Reading/Literature and Research

©1997 by the Commonwealth of Virginia Department of Education, James Monroe Building,

101 N. 14th Street, Richmond, Virginia, 23219. All rights reserved. Except as permitted by law, this material may not be reproduced or used in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying or recording, or by any information storage or retrieval system, without written permission from the copyright owner. Please contact the Commonwealth of Virginia Department of Education at (804) 225-2102, Division of Assessment and Reporting, to request written permission.

Standards of Learning (SOL) Test Blueprint

Introduction

What is a test blueprint?

A test blueprint is a guide for test construction and use. The Standards of Learning (SOL) test blueprints serve a number of purposes. One, they serve as a guide to test developers as they write test questions and construct the SOL tests. Two, they serve as a guide to educators, parents and students in that they show (a) the SOLs covered by the test and which, if any, have been excluded; (b) which SOLs are assigned to each reporting category; (c) the number of test items in each reporting category and on the total test; (d) general information about how the test questions were constructed; and (e) the materials that students are allowed to use while taking the test.

How is the test blueprint organized?

There is a blueprint for each test (e.g., grade 3 English, grade 5 mathematics, grade 8 science, U.S. History). Each blueprint contains the following information:

1. Test Development Guidelines: guidelines used by Harcourt Brace Educational Measurement and the members of the Content Review Committees in developing the SOL tests. This section contains three parts:

A. General Considerations — lists general considerations that were used in developing the test as well as considerations specific to a particular content area.

B. Item Format — lists information on how items for the test are constructed.

C. Ancillary Materials — lists any materials (e.g., calculators, rulers, protractors, compasses, dictionaries) that students are allowed to use while taking each test.

2. Blueprint Summary Table: a summary of the blueprint which displays the following information:

• reporting categories for each test;

• number of test items in each reporting category;

• Standards of Learning (SOLs) included in each reporting category. SOLs are identified by numbers and letters that correspond to the original SOL document (letters are assigned to the "bullets" in the original document);

• SOLs which are excluded from the SOL test;

• number of operational items on the test;

• number of field-test items on the test; and

• total number of items (operational and field-test items) on the test.

3. Expanded Blueprint: provides the same information as the Blueprint Summary Table except that the full text of each SOL is included. In addition, SOLs that are excluded from the test are categorized by the reason they were not included.

What is a reporting category?

Each test covers a number of SOLs. In the test blueprint, SOLs are grouped into categories that address related content or skills. These categories are labeled Reporting Categories. For example, a Reporting Category for the Grade 5 Mathematics test is "Computation and Estimation." Each of the SOLs in this reporting category addresses computation using addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division or require the student to estimate the answer to a problem. When the results of the SOL tests are reported, the scores will be presented in terms of scores for each Reporting Category and a total test score.

Are some SOLs assigned to more than one reporting category?

"Bullets" under a particular SOL are sometimes coded to different reporting categories. For example, the Science SOL 2.7a which deals with the effects that weather and seasonal changes have on the growth and behavior of living things is assigned to the reporting category "Life Processes and Living Systems" in the Grade 3 Science test. However, SOL 2.7b which deals with the effects of weather and seasonal changes on weathering and erosion of the land surface is assigned to the reporting category "Earth/Space Systems and Cycles." Each "bullet" is assigned to only one reporting category.

Why are some SOLs not tested on the SOL tests?

In some content areas, there are SOLs that do not lend themselves to multiple-choice testing. For example, in English, the oral language SOLs cannot be appropriately assessed in a multiple-choice format. In other cases, an SOL listed in one content area is covered by a similar SOL in another content area. For example, English SOL 4.9 which addresses the use of available technology to research a topic is covered by a similar SOL at grade 5 (Computer/Technology SOL C/T 5.3).

At the end of the blueprint for each test, the SOLs not tested are listed in "SOLs Excluded from Testing." In the expanded blueprint the SOLs excluded from testing are categorized by the reason they are not being tested.

Will all SOLs listed in the blueprint be assessed each time the SOL tests are given?

Due to the large number of SOLs in a content area for a grade span, every SOL will not be assessed on every SOL test form. By necessity, to keep the length of a test reasonable, each test will sample from the SOLs within a reporting category. However, every SOL is eligible for inclusion on each form of an SOL test.

Grade 5: English

Reading/Literature and Research

Test Development Guidelines

A. General Considerations

1. All items included in this test will address the knowledge and skills specified in the reading/literature and research strands of the 1995 Virginia Standards of Learning in English for grades 4-5.

2. The items will be free of stereotyping or bias directed at a particular age, gender, economic status, racial, ethnic or religious group, or geographic region.

3. The test will be untimed. The reading/literature and research test should be administered in a single day.

4. There is no penalty for guessing. Students will be scored on the number of correct answers out of the total number of operational items on the test.

5. A variety of types of reading selections will be included in the test. Fiction, nonfiction, and poetry may be used at the fifth grade. Fiction selections may be contemporary fiction, historical fiction, folklore, science fiction, or mysteries. Nonfiction selections may be biographies, autobiographies, history-related articles, or science-related articles.

6. Selections will be appropriate for fifth-grade students in terms of interest, experiences, length and reading level, as determined by the Content Review Committee. Selections will be similar in format to excerpts from trade books, content textbooks, or children’s magazines.

7. Whenever possible, reading selections and corresponding test items will appear on facing pages.

8. Students may not use a dictionary or thesaurus for any portion of this test.

B. Item Format

1. Each item will be a multiple-choice item containing four choices. Choices such as "None of the above," "All of the above," and "Not here" will not be used.

2. Each item will be linked to a reading selection and will be written at a level appropriate for fifth-grade students.

C. Ancillary Materials

None

Grade 5: English

Reading/Literature and Research

Blueprint Summary Table

Reporting Categories

No. of Items

Grade Four SOLs

Grade Five SOLs

Use word analysis strategies.

6

4.3a

5.4a

Understand a variety of printed materials/resource materials.

20

4.3b

4.5a-d

4.9a-c

5.4b

5.6a-d

5.8a-c

Understand elements of literature.

16

4.4a-c

4.6a, b

5.5a-c

SOLs Excluded from This Test


4.1a-d

4.2a-c

4.4d

4.5e, f

4.6c

4.9d

5.1a-c

5.2a-d

5.3a-d

5.5d

5.6e

5.8d, e


Total Number of Operational Items

42

Field-Test Items*

10

Total Number of Items

52

These field-test items will not be used to compute students' scores on the test.

Reporting Category: Use word analysis strategies.

Number of Items: 6

Grade Four SOLs in This Reporting Category:

4.3 The student will read and learn the meanings of unfamiliar words.

a) Use knowledge of word origins; synonyms, antonyms, and homonyms; and multiple meanings of words.

Grade Five SOLs in This Reporting Category:

5.4 The student will read and learn the meanings of unfamiliar words.

a) Use knowledge of root words, prefixes, and suffixes.

Reporting Category: Understand a variety of printed materials/resource materials.

Number of Items: 20

Grade Four SOLs in This Reporting Category:

4.3 The student will read and learn the meanings of unfamiliar words.

b) Use word-reference materials including the glossary, dictionary, and thesaurus.

4.5 The student will demonstrate comprehension of a variety of literary forms.

a) Use text organizers such as type, headings, and graphics to predict and categorize information.

b) Formulate questions that might be answered in the selection.

c) Make inferences using information from texts.

d) Paraphrase content of selection, identifying important ideas and providing details for each important idea.

4.9 The student will use information resources to research a topic.

a) Construct questions about a topic.

b) Collect information, using the resources of the media center.

c) Evaluate and synthesize information for use in writing.

Reporting Category: Understand a variety of printed materials/resource materials.

Number of Items: 20

Grade Five SOLs in This Reporting Category:

5.4 The student will read and learn the meanings of unfamiliar words.

b) Use dictionary, glossary, thesaurus, and other word-reference materials.

5.6 The student will demonstrate comprehension of a variety of literary forms.

a) Use text organizers such as type, headings, and graphics to predict and categorize information in informational texts.

b) Locate information to support opinions, predictions, and conclusions.

c) Identify cause-and-effect relationships.

d) Prioritize information according to purpose of reading.

5.8 The student will synthesize information from a variety of resources.

a) Skim materials to develop a general overview of content or to locate specific information.

b) Develop notes that include important concepts, paraphrases, summaries, and identification of information sources.

c) Organize and record information on charts, maps, and graphs.

Reporting Category: Understand elements of literature.

Number of Items: 16

Grade Four SOLs in This Reporting Category:

4.4 The student will read fiction and nonfiction, including biographies and historical fiction.

a) Explain the author’s purpose.

b) Describe how the choice of language, setting, and information contributes to the author’s purpose.

c) Compare the use of fact and fantasy in historical fiction with other forms of literature.

4.6 The student will read a variety of poetry.

a) Describe the rhyme scheme (approximate, end, and internal).

b) Identify the sensory words used and their effect on the reader.

Reporting Category: Understand elements of literature

Number of Items: 16

Grade Five SOLs in This Reporting Category:

5.5 The student will read a variety of literary forms, including fiction, nonfiction, and poetry.

a) Describe character development in fiction and poetry selections.

b) Describe the development of plot, and explain how conflicts are resolved.

c) Describe the characteristics of free verse, rhymed, and patterned poetry.

Grade Four SOLs Excluded from This Test

The following SOLs are not measurable in a multiple-choice format.

4.1 The student will use effective oral communication skills in a variety of settings.

a) Present accurate directions to individuals and small groups.

b) Contribute to group discussions.

c) Seek the ideas and opinions of others.

d) Begin to use evidence to support opinions.

4.2 The student will make and listen to oral presentations and reports.

a) Use subject-related information and vocabulary.

b) Listen to and record information.

c) Organize information for clarity.

4.4 The student will read fiction and nonfiction, including biographies and historical fiction.

d) Explain how knowledge of the lives and experiences of individuals in history can relate to individuals who have similar goals or face similar challenges.

4.5 The student will demonstrate comprehension of a variety of literary forms.

e) Describe relationship between content and previously learned concepts or skills.

a) Write about what is read.

4.6 The student will read a variety of poetry.

c) Write rhymed, unrhymed, and patterned poetry.

The following SOL is covered by a similar SOL tested on the Grade Five Computer/Technology Test.

4.9 The student will use information resources to research a topic.

d) Use available technology.

Grade Five SOLs Excluded from This Test

The following SOLs are not measurable in a multiple-choice format.

5.1 The student will listen, draw conclusions, and share responses in subject-related group learning activities.

a) Participate in and contribute to discussions across content areas.

b) Organize information to present reports of group activities.

c) Summarize information gathered in group activities.

5.2 The student will use effective nonverbal communication skills.

a) Maintain eye contact with listeners.

b) Use gestures to support, accentuate, or dramatize verbal message.

c) Use facial expressions to support or dramatize verbal message.

d) Use posture appropriate for communication setting.

5.3 The student will make planned oral presentations.

a) Determine appropriate content for audience.

b) Organize content sequentially or around major ideas.

c) Summarize main points before or after presentation.

d) Incorporate visual aids to support the presentation.

5.5 The student will read a variety of literary forms, including fiction, nonfiction, and poetry.

d) Describe how author’s choice of vocabulary and style contribute to the quality and enjoyment of selections.

5.6 The student will demonstrate comprehension of a variety of literary forms.

e) Write about what is read.

5.8 The student will synthesize information from a variety of resources.

e) Credit secondary reference sources.

The following SOL is covered by a similar SOL tested on the Grade 5 Computer/Technology Test.

5.8 The student will synthesize information from a variety of resources.

d) Use available electronic databases to access information.