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Next Generation ELA: MCAS 2.0, Testing Strategies and Review [WEBINAR]

Preparation for English Language Arts in the Next Gen ELA MCAS

This recorded webinar will provide specific strategies for students to use during online testing, including a review of the technology enhanced format used by the English/Language Arts MCAS test and an explanation on how to make the best use of tools available when answering questions. Strategies are provided to prepare students for the specific types of questions featured on the upcoming English/Language Arts MCAS test.

Understand the Changes in the ELA Next-Gen MCAS 2.0 [WEBINAR]

Preparation for the 2020 ELA Test

This prerecorded webinar will help teachers, parents and students understand the changes in the ELA Next-Gen MCAS 2.0 and prepare for the 2020 ELA test, addressing 2019 content changes, format and question distribution changes, and technology-enhanced Items. Information about JFYNet Online Solutions and Program Support is also included.

Math MCAS 2.0, Next-Gen

Preparation for the 2020 Math Test

This prerecorded webinar will help teachers, parents and students understand the changes in the Math Next-Gen MCAS 2.0 and prepare for the 2020 math test, addressing 2019 content changes, format and question distribution changes, and technology-enhanced Items. Information about JFYNet Online Solutions and Program Support is also included.

Strategies for MCAS Next Gen ELA
MCAS Next Gen 2.0 ELA – Expect greater emphasis on text comparison.

by Joan Reissman, MCAS Maven

The biggest change in the MCAS Next Gen 2.0 ELA test, coming to 10th grade next month, is a greater emphasis on text comparison. Although people read every day, much of the reading students do on the phone or computer is recreational. Nobody is going to quiz you on detailed comprehension after you read something on social media. There is ongoing debate over whether students comprehend better on paper or screen. But it’s academic to us, because Next Gen MCAS is coming on a screen.

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    Inside MCAS 2.0, Strategic Coaching Tips for Students

    JFY offers comprehensive curricula for MCAS 2.0 in ELA and math. We stress the principle that the best preparation for MCAS is to build basic academic skills, because MCAS is directly based on the state curriculum standards.

    However, there are also some structural quirks in MCAS that can throw you a curveball even if your math and language skills are strong. We have developed a series of strategic coaching units to help students master the inside game of MCAS. Here is a list of blog posts and webinars that teachers and students can find on our website.

    MCAS 2.0 Posts, 10th Grade

    10th Grade MCAS 2.0 blog posts

    Resources for Extra Study

    Resources for Extra Study

    On-Demand Webinars (Video)

    MCAS On-Demand Webinar Videos

    10th Grad MCAS 2.0 Blog Posts

    MCAS 2.0 – 10th Grade Math: Helping Students Prepare, Part 2


    This post offers some general suggestions for preparing for the MCAS 2.0 mathematics test.  We suggest starting with an online practice test  in a lower grade. Students should also make sure that they understand all elements of the online test. We discuss how to navigate through the test and how to familiarize yourself with the technology-enhanced questions. There are specific references for students to practice different types of technology-enhanced questions. This post also covers using the online test tools, such as the reference sheet and the equation editor.

    Poetry and the MCAS: Last Minute Tips


    This post covers some general tips for the poetry section of the ELA MCAS.  We teach you some general tips for analyzing a poem and identify the important elements for understanding the poem’s meaning.  We also provide two graphic organizers that you can use for poems that will help you focus your analysis. The last section provides tips for planning and implementing your test preparation.

    Strategies for MCAS Next Gen ELA – Part 2


    This post provides advice on how to tackle one of the trickiest aspects of MCAS 2.0- text comparison.  We give general strategies on how to compare and contrast excerpts. You will see that answering questions on two or more texts isn’t that much harder if you practice before the test.

    Preparing for MCAS 2.0 Reading Comprehension


    This post focuses on general tips for doing your best on the MCAS ELA test. We provide a general overview of the test and describe the features of the MCAS ELA.  Preparation is the key. If you know what to expect, you will have an advantage. Even if you took MCAS 2.0 in 8th grade, this blog will help you get ready for the 10th grade test. MCAS 2.0 is not like the tests you have taken before, so be sure to take the time to learn how to navigate the test and make efficient use of the online tools.

    The Formula Page is Your Friend – Improving Performance on MCAS Math

    This post gives advice on how to use the formula page to answer math questions.  We show how this handy tool can provide valuable information for answering questions. The formula page is particularly useful for geometry questions. There was a big increase in geometry questions last year, so make sure you know how to use the formula page.

    Last-Minute Quick Tips For MCAS ELA Open Response

    “Constructed response” items seem to give students the most trouble on MCAS.  This post examines an overlooked tool that is very helpful on constructed response questions. The post is geared for classroom instruction, but we give a step-by step guide to using the website with student responses. Practicing constructed response questions is very important.  We show you how to use the student samples so that you will understand how the scoring works.  You can do the exercise remotely with a friend and grade each other’s essays, or discuss the scored essays with a study pal. Don’t ignore this valuable tool: it will show you how to get some points for almost any answer to a constructed response question.

    Resources for Extra Study

    Summertime Studytime. Rising Freshmen and Sophomores: Make the Most of Your Summer

    This article on summertime study has many useful resources for studying math and English. The listed resources are free and many of them are available as phone apps. The article identifies extra study resources in math, vocabulary, grammar, reading and poetry. There are tips on building a study program and choosing the resources that work best for you.

    Mathematics in the Summer? How to Succeed in College by Really Trying (Part 2)

    We don’t know how long schools will be closed. Even though it’s still chilly outside, as far as school is concerned summertime is now. This post gives you some general advice on developing a study plan by beginning with a self-assessment. We list resources that will help you implement your study plan and help you continue to build your math skills.

    On-Demand Webinars (Video)

    Preparation for English Language Arts in the Next Gen ELA MCAS

    This webinar covers strategies for online testing, review of technology-enhanced questions, test tools, and preparation for specific types of ELA questions. We also show you how you can take practice exams to prepare for the test.

    Test Mechanics and Prep Tips

    This webinar gives general tips on how to navigate the test. It will help you understand the test and the types of questions you will see. The webinar goes over the main points of the DESE MCAS tutorial, including test navigation, test tools and technology-enhanced questions. You will also learn how to use the reference sheet to answer questions. We show you how MCAS 2.0 challenges students with more difficult questions.

    Understand the Changes in the Math Next-Gen MCAS 2.0

    This webinar will help you understand what’s different about MCAS 2.0 Mathematics. It contains sample questions, technology-enhanced items, and test tools. We show you how to use JFY’s online solutions to develop skills and improve MCAS performance. It stresses the point that building skills equals MCAS success.

    Understand the Changes in the ELA Next-Gen MCAS 2.0

    This webinar discusses what to expect on the ELA test and how you can prepare for it. We show you how to handle the new types of questions and demonstrate how JFY’s online coaching can help you do your best on MCAS by building your skills.


    Proven Results

    JFYNet proven results

    Student Support: How to Guides

    Student Support: How to guides

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    How to Prepare for the 10th Grade ELA MCAS

    Spring MCAS tests just around the corner.

    by Joan Reissman, MCAS Maven

    Mid-Winter Spring ELA MCAS
    We’ve hardly had a winter, but Spring MCAS tests will be here before you know it. It’s time to start preparing.

    There will be two ELA test administrations in March, first the retest and then the regular Spring test. The ELA retests (Composition and Reading Comprehension) start March 2 and go to March 5. They will be the traditional paper version based on the structure of the old Legacy test. That means separate Composition and Reading Comprehension sessions. The Reading Comp sections include multiple choice and constructed response items. Three weeks later, March 24 and 25, students will be taking the new ELA test. This test will be computer based and follow the guidelines for Next-Generation MCAS 2.0.

    February Biology MCAS

    If eligible, don’t wait till June

    by Joan Reissman, MCAS Maven

    If you are eligible to take the Biology MCAS in February, you should definitely consider doing it. As with any test required for graduation, you want to give yourself as many chances as possible to pass. The February test (Feb. 5 and 6) will be a legacy test—the old MCAS. That means the questions will be based on the 2006 standards (which overlap with the 2016 standards) and it will be paper based, not online. If you don’t take this test now, you will have to wait until June. Then you’ll be running into finals and all the distractions of the end of the school year. Why not take it now if you are eligible?

    MCAS 2.0 - 10th Grade Math-Student Prep Pt2

    Helping Students Prepare, Part 2

    By Joan Reissman, MCAS Maven

    Last month I discussed preparing students for the new MCAS 2.0 ELA. In this post I want to offer some suggestions for the mathematics test, coming right up on May 21. As with ELA, the biggest difference is that the test will no longer be paper-based, it will be online. As a student, a teacher or a parent, your first job is to make sure that students get familiar with the mechanics of the online test.

    Poetry and the MCAS: Last Minute Tips

    Have a strategy for answering the questions.

    By Joan Reissman, MCAS Maven

    Poetry questions on MCAS can be very difficult for students. Past years’ results for poetry are varied. Students seem to do better with a contemporary poem. For example, in 2018 students were tested on a contemporary poem about a young man who had been jailed and how he used that experience to move his life in a positive direction. Students responded well to this poem and their success in answering the questions verified that: the average score was 89%. In 2017, however, students had to compare T.S. Eliot’s “The Love Song of Alfred J. Prufrock” to an excerpt from the novel “The Fault in Our Stars.” The average on these questions was 67% If the poetry excerpt on the practice test is any indication, students will be answering questions on a challenging poem this year. The practice test features the only selection without a comparison between two texts. The poem is an excerpt from “The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam,” a medieval poem interpreted and translated in the 19th century. The poem is generally considered a meditation on carpe diem (seize the day), a theme that might seem irrelevant to some students.