ThinkCERCA prepares students for new state assessments, such as PARCC, Smarter Balanced, and ACT, as well as the new SAT by providing a scaffolded process that supports assessment practice, including constructed response for reading assessments. With ThinkCERCA, students learn to read analytically, make Claims, support them with Evidence from a text, explain their Reasoning clearly, address Counterarguments, and use Audience-appropriate, discipline-specific language across content areas. In other words, what we like to call a CERCA. Here's how:
Reading Across Content Areas
Why This Matters
In order for students to write effective arguments, they must practice selecting and evaluating supporting evidence from complex texts across content areas. ThinkCERCA goes beyond highlighting and annotation tools by also providing students with differentiated, discipline-specific prompts that develop their close reading skills in four content areas and support evidence-based reading and higher-order thinking. Audio support, in-text vocabulary, and other scaffolds support growth for students at all levels of readiness.
Automated assessments help gauge overall comprehension. Example shown: Grade 8 ELA lesson from the Role of Machines differentiated text set.
Built-in audio and vocabulary tools support the growth of all learners. Example shown: Grade 8 ELA lesson from the Role of Machines differentiated text set.
ThinkCERCA's color-coded highlighting tools contain discipline-specific prompts for developing close reading and higher-order thinking skills. Example shown: Grade 8 ELA lesson from the Role of Machines differentiated text set.
Constructing a Response
Why This Matters
As students construct responses to text-based questions across content areas, they must draft a claim, cite supporting evidence, and clearly explain their reasoning using terms specific to the discipline. Using ThinkCERCA’s built-in, interactive Argument Builder and critical thinking processes, students can practice online interactions found on new assessments by dragging and dropping various arrangements of their argument as they draft and revise their responses. In addition, academic language stems, vocabulary support, and collaboration routines support English language development for English language learners.
Built-in sentence stems help students summarize what they've read into a short constructed response. Example shown: Grade 4 ELA lesson from the Conflict and Dominance differentiated text set.
Students answer the key CERCA question using ThinkCERCA's scaffolded Argument Builder. Example shown: Grade 4 ELA lesson from the Conflict and Dominance differentiated text set.
Students bring their thoughts together in a final evidence-based essay that mirrors what they will encounter on new state assessments. Example shown: Grade 4 ELA lesson from the Conflict and Dominance differentiated text set.
Comparing and Analyzing Multiple Texts
Why This Matters
ThinkCERCA provides opportunities for students to analyze and synthesize multiple texts, including primary source documents, scientific articles containing graphs and charts, and visual, audio, and video texts, in order to mirror both the standards and what is expected of them for success in college and career. Topics are aligned to new content standards to support seamless integration into curriculum.
Differentiated applied writing lesson within ThinkCERCA (The Constitution of the United States; Grades 6-8) that asks students to construct an argument using evidence from multiple informational texts.