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Assessment and Text Evaluation in the Content Area Classroom

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Assessment and Text Evaluation in the Content Area Classroom

My content area text book that I chose was an Algebra 1 textbook. Algebra 1 is usually taken in either the 8th or 9th grade. To get estimated grade level I used Fry's Readability Formula. To get this estimation, I randomly selected three passages from the textbook of one hundred words each. For each section of one hundred words, I counted the number of sentences and the number of syllables. For the first one hundred word sample, the number of sentences was roughly 4.9 with 180 syllables, the second sample was roughly 3 sentences with 131 syllables, and the last sample was roughly 5.3 sentences with 156 syllables. This averages out to roughly 4.4 sentences with 155.67 syllables. According to the Fry's Readability Formula, this textbook was estimated to be between the 10th and 11th grade reading level, which is a little bit higher than it should be.

After determining the reading level of the Algebra 1 textbook, I then took another passage, from the same textbook, and performed a cloze procedure. To do this, I took another random one hundred word sample and deleted a random word from the second sentence and from there after deleted every five words. The test was then given to two different students. Here is the cloze test I created:

Cloze Test: The process of designing an experiment begins with determining what type of data is needed and how it should be obtained. The best way to test a _______ would be to collect _____ on the entire population _____ interest. This is what _____ done during the census _____ is conducted by the _____ States government every ten _____. This process is very _____ and expensive. This is _____ an option when performing _____ experiment. That is why _____ is needed. A sample _____ a portion of the ______. This sample must be _____ of the population in _____ for the analysis to _____ useful.

Students Score: 60%

Comparing these two results, I would say that they do not match up. The Algebra 1 textbook that I analyzed did not test to be at the grade level that the textbook is meant to be used for. According to the results of the Fry's Readability Formula, one would think that this textbook would be a little bit too difficult for the age group of its intended use. The cloze test, on the other hand, tested to be right on instructional level at 60%. From these test results, one can assume that the text is at appropriate grade level as the material in the textbook was not too easy or too hard, but just right. Because these two tests do not align together, I would not recommend this textbook be used in the classroom. Rather, I would recommend a textbook that has similar results between both tests.

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