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After teaching students a new concept it's time to assess their overall understanding and comprehension when this includes a heavy dose of new vocabulary utilizing a closed strategy with a Z is one of my favorites at first glance a closed passage may appear to be a simple fill in the blank however if you follow particular parameters you can develop a powerful vocabulary assessment tool first let me be clear as to when I propose using a closed passage I'd use it after learning as a vocabulary assessment otherwise you're gonna just have kids arbitrarily plucking words and filling in blanks guessing as to what you want so let's assume you've studied a concept for example organisms in science and you're ready to wrap up the unit of study and give some kind of assessment and one of the things you really want to measure is students understanding of essential vocabulary so you want to try a closed passage the first step is to make a list of the key terms that you expect students would have mastered during this unit on organisms then generate a summary of the content covered and use those words those domain-specific terms within the summary such a summary might look and sound like this and that leads to step 3 where you then strike through the terms you expect students to be able to fill in so the whole concept of a closed strategy is that students can insert the missing words within the context of that paragraph however don't think that after these three simple steps you're good to go this is a pretty common mistake that teachers sometimes make you have to plan to revise that first draft you see the secret to a well-written closed passage is the use of context clues with this being the first draft what you're going to want to do is insert information before and after each of those blanks to provide students some helpful hints remember you wrote a simple summary of content but you didn't really embellish elaborate and develop each of the ideas you were just talking globally well if we want students to really think through what fits in the context of this passage then you have to provide them some context otherwise they're just playing guess what the teacher wants and fill in the blank so step four of creating a close passage assessment is to go back and insert in synonyms and examples and other helpful clues so for example using our organisms passage here my original sentence was organisms compete for the resources they need to survive when living in the same ecosystem okay wait a minute it's really hard when you put two blanks in one sentence so you might break that up and hey if resources is what we're trying to get kids to infer then let's give some examples of resources in the adjacent sentence organisms compete for the blank they need to survive
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