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Study Guide

Field 074: Library Media Specialist

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Sample Constructed-Response Item

Competency 0009 
Analysis, Synthesis, and Application

 start bold Use the information below to complete the assignment that follows. end bold 

Mr. Walcomb is an elementary school librarian who is collaborating with Ms. Trina, a second-grade teacher, on a student research assignment. Ms. Trina is implementing a unit about insects and wants to introduce students to the research process. Ms. Trina's class consists of 23 students from diverse linguistic backgrounds. Most students have achieved a moderate level of proficiency in spoken English, and are reading near grade level. However, a few students are emergent readers.

Mr. Walcomb has taught the students several lessons about the information resources in the library. They have explored the differences between fiction and nonfiction, and have learned to use the library computers to access bookmarked Web sites about various topics. As a part of the introduction to the unit on insects, Mr. Walcomb visited Ms. Trina's classroom to read aloud to students two short books about insects.

Mr. Walcomb is preparing for Ms. Trina's class to visit the library to begin their research assignment. Mr. Walcomb's goal for this visit is to help students initiate the information-gathering process. He is reviewing the outline of the research assignment and is considering strategies for helping all students develop relevant information literacy skills.

 start bold Topic: end bold  Insects
 start bold Learning Standard(s) Addressed: end bold 
 start bold 2R1: end bold  Develop and answer questions to demonstrate an understanding of key ideas and details in a text. ( R I and R L ) Acknowledgments 1 
 start bold Information Literacy Standard(s) Addressed: end bold 
 start bold 1.1.4 end bold  Find, evaluate, and select appropriate sources to answer questions.
 start bold Assignment Requirements: end bold 
Students will choose an insect to research.
Students will read about the insect they choose in two different resources.
Students will fill in a chart with facts about the insect.
Students will use the information in the data chart to write a paragraph about the insect and include basic citations.
Students will draw a picture or make a model of the insect.
Students will read the paragraph to the class and share the picture or model of the insect.
Assignment Assessment(s): 
Teacher-developed rubric; student self-assessment

Using your knowledge of information, technology, and literacy skills instruction, analyze the information provided and write a response of approximately  400 to 600  words in which you:

Sample Strong Response to the Constructed-Response Item

One information literacy skill for this second-grade class is asking questions to guide inquiry about a topic.

One instructional strategy Mr. Walcomb could use in teaching this skill would be to model the use of a question and answer chart. He could do this after students have selected their insect, but before they have started their research. Mr. Walcomb could model for students how to create the  Q and A chart,  using an insect that had not been chosen by any of the children. He could start with a blank T-chart, announce his topic, and have the students brainstorm some "I wonder" questions about the insect as he writes them down on a large (or projected) chart. Some questions might be: What does a cricket look like? Where do crickets live? How long do they live? What do crickets eat? Why are crickets so loud sometimes?

After Mr. Walcomb had recorded several questions, he could distribute copies of a grade-appropriate short passage about crickets and ask students to work in teacher-assigned pairs to read the passage to each other, looking for answers. Possible sources for this handout and subsequent research include the magazines "Ranger Rick" (R) and "Zoobooks" (R),, the Globio Glossopedia (R), and the Smithsonian Education Web site. After giving students time to read and discuss, Mr. Walcomb would refer to the chart and, taking the questions in order, call on students to provide information they found to answer the questions. Mr. Walcomb would use this information to fill in the chart and note any questions that had not been answered. Students would then realize that they might need to consult additional sources to attain the missing information.

This instructional strategy would be effective in promoting the skill of asking questions to guide inquiry because asking questions stimulates students' interest and gives them a purpose for doing research. Students would learn how to follow a specific procedure for conducting inquiry (i.e.,  Q and A chart,  read, answer). Following the demonstration with pair-reading for information and then filling in the T-chart gives students immediate practice in the procedure just modeled. Leading students to the understanding that a single source may not answer all their questions will help students persevere in their research task.

A modification to this strategy that would address the needs of emergent readers would be to review the questions on the T-chart more than once. Mr. Walcomb could then distribute different passages to be read by the student pairs, some at an easier level, some with pictures. Mr. Walcomb could read the passage aloud with the emergent readers, make the passage available on a computer with text-to-speech capability, or pair the emergent reader with a suitable reader at grade level. This modification would be effective because it would make the information accessible to the emergent readers, who would then be able to participate more fully in answering the questions and completing the chart with their classmates.

One technique for assessing students' application of the literacy skill would be for Mr. Walcomb to review the charts that are part of the assignment. If students use the charts, ask good questions, and later answer them, they will be successfully applying the skill of asking questions to guide their inquiry.

Performance Characteristics for Constructed-Response Item

The following characteristics guide the scoring of responses to the constructed-response item.

Completeness The degree to which the response addresses all parts of the assignment
Accuracy The degree to which the response demonstrates the relevant knowledge and skills accurately and effectively
Depth of Support The degree to which the response provides appropriate examples and details that demonstrate sound reasoning

Score Scale for Constructed-Response Item

A score will be assigned to the response to the constructed-response item according to the following score scale.

Score Point Score Point Description
4 The "4" response reflects a thorough command of the relevant knowledge and skills:
  • The response thoroughly addresses all parts of the assignment.
  • The response demonstrates the relevant knowledge and skills with thorough accuracy and effectiveness.
  • The response is well supported by relevant examples and details and thoroughly demonstrates sound reasoning.
3 The "3" response reflects a general command of the relevant knowledge and skills:
  • The response generally addresses all parts of the assignment.
  • The response demonstrates the relevant knowledge and skills with general accuracy and effectiveness.
  • The response is generally supported by some examples and/or details and generally demonstrates sound reasoning.
2 The "2" response reflects a partial command of the relevant knowledge and skills:
  • The response addresses all parts of the assignment, but most only partially; or some parts are not addressed at all.
  • The response demonstrates the relevant knowledge and skills with partial accuracy and effectiveness.
  • The response is partially supported by some examples and/or details or demonstrates flawed reasoning.
1 The "1" response reflects little or no command of the relevant knowledge and skills:
  • The response minimally addresses the assignment.
  • The response demonstrates the relevant knowledge and skills with minimum accuracy and effectiveness.
  • The response is minimally supported or demonstrates significantly flawed reasoning.
U The response is unscorable because it is unrelated to the assigned topic or off task, unreadable, written in a language other than English or contains an insufficient amount of original work to score.
B No response.


  1. From the New York State Education Department. New York State Next Generation English Language Arts Learning Standards. Internet. Available from; accessed 10/15/2018.