Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

2011 MCAS
Grade 4 English Language Arts Composition
Topic/Idea Development - Score Point 6

There is a sense of reflective analysis in this richly detailed composition reliving the memory of an important time and important teacher in the writer’s life. Effective and rich use of language take the reader into the frightening world of fourth-grade division, and give a glimpse into the writer’s inner feelings: “It felt like a bowl of confusing symbols were dropped on to my paper that weren’t meant to be there!”, “…it was like teaching a doorknob to breathe!”, “It’s like all I learned sprouted legs and walked away!”. Through careful and subtle organization, the writer describes how the teacher leads the writer to success in division. Strong word choice such as “I calmed myself down and thought of those face to face times with the teacher,” “the disappointing feeling inside fluttered away as if it were never even there,” and “She taught the long division to me again, as if it were the first time” provide a glimpse into this relationship between the writer and the teacher.
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Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education