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Constructed Response

Last Updated: 1/17/2020 6:54 PM

In 2009, Kentucky legislators passed Senate Bill 1, which brought many changes to education. One of those changes was to overhaul the state assessment system, including the types of questions to be used to assess students. Beginning with the 2011-2012 school year, constructed response questions will be part of the state assessment. 

Helping students answer constructed response questions:

Look for the WHY in math constructed response explanations! 

When students use the ACE strategy to Answer—Compute– Explain, there shouldn’t be a need to explain HOW they solved a problem, if students show all of their computation steps, with labels.  The computation demonstrates HOW they solved the problem.  Encourage students to explain WHY they chose the operation they chose, what their numbers mean and WHY the math works.   When using addition, subtraction, multiplication and division to solve a problem, students can use the following sentence frame to help them tell what the numbers mean and why they added, subtracted, multiplied or divided.  When they use the words “to find” they will explain WHY

I (+,-,x,÷)   (what the number represents)    to/from/by  (what the number represents)     TO FIND (what the answer tells you), which was (# answer and unit).

If students do not use computation to solve a problem, they still need to explain the WHY behind their thinking. 

In math class, always ask your students to explain the WHY behind their thinking.  Having students explain WHY will help you “see their thinking” and it will guide them to a deeper understanding of the mathematics.   Always ask, “Why do you think so?” or “Why does that work?” when you are having math discussions. Ask students to construct those viable arguments and to critique the reasoning of others. (SMP3)


The Law:

KRS 158.6453
(1) (b)    "Constructed response or performance based items" means individual test items that require the student to create an answer rather than select a response and may include fill-in the blank, short-answer, extended answer, open-response, and writing on demand formats;
(5)    The state student assessments to be implemented in the 2011-2012 academic year shall include the following components: 
     (d)  The criterion-referenced components required in this subsection shall be composed of constructed  response items and multiple choice items and the national norm-referenced components shall be composed of multiple choice items;

On the K-PREP assessment, students will be asked to answer constructed response questions.  Students in grades K-2 practice constructed response regularly using the RACE strategy for reading and the ACE strategy for math. Students in third grade will have short answer constructed response questions on their assessment and will continue to use and practice the ACE and RACE strategies.  Students in grades four and five will have both short answer and extended response questions to answer and they will respond using the same strategies.  RACE is a strategy used for responding to reading questions (R-Restate the question, A-Answer all parts of the question, C-Cite Evidence, E-Explain evidence).  ACE is a strategy used for responding to math questions (A-Answer all parts of the question, C-Compute, E-Explain).