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«FSA ELA Writing Training Test Questions The purpose of these training test materials is to orient teachers and students to the types of questions on ...»

Grades 4–5

FSA ELA Writing

Training Test Questions

The purpose of these training test materials is to orient teachers and

students to the types of questions on FSA tests. By using these materials,

students will become familiar with the types of items and response formats

they will see on the actual test. The training questions and answers are not

intended to demonstrate the length of the actual test, nor should student

responses be used as an indicator of student performance on the actual test.

The training test is not intended to guide classroom instruction.

To offer students a variety of texts on the FSA ELA Writing tests, authentic and copyrighted stories, poems, and articles appear as they were originally published, as requested by the publisher and/or author. While these real-world examples do not always adhere to strict style conventions and/or grammar rules, inconsistencies among passages should not detract from students’ ability to understand and answer questions about the texts.

All trademarks and trade names found in this publication are the property of their respective owners and are not associated with the publishers of this publication.

Every effort has been made to trace the ownership of all copyrighted material and to secure the necessary permissions to reprint selections.

Some items are reproduced with permission from the American Institutes for Research as copyright holder or under license from third parties.

Page 2 FSA ELA Writing Training Test Questions Read the “Neat Is Nice, But Clutter Is Cool?” passage set.

Neat Is Nice, But Clutter Is Cool?

Too Much Stuff!

1 Pictures from vacation, spelling tests, a plumber’s business card, a postcard from a relative, a dentist appointment reminder. What do all these things have in common? You might find all of them on your refrigerator door. Your refrigerator door can tell you more about your family than you might think.

2 In 2012, scientists studied 32 families in Los Angeles. They found that most of these families had too much stuff. One easy way to tell if a family had too many things was to look at their refrigerator door. If there was a lot of clutter on the door, there was likely to be a lot of clutter in the house.

3 The scientists studied the families for four years. Here are a few

more things they found out:

• Many families filled their garages with anything but a car. Furniture, boxes of clothes, toys, and appliances filled the space. Three out of four garages were too full to even hold cars.

• The families collected games and sports equipment but never played with them.

• One picture from the study showed a bookcase with 24 shelves.

On each shelf were dolls and stuffed animals. Each shelf had between 5 and 12 items on it. There were almost 200 toys on that one bookshelf.

4 Jeanne E. Arnold, a professor who did the study, said, “What we have is a time capsule of America. No other study has been done like this.

Imagine how exciting it would be if we could go back to 1912 and see how people were living in their homes. That’s the core of any society.” 5 People collect things for a number of reasons. Maybe they will use them later. The things might be meaningful to them. They may have cost a lot of money to buy. But really, if you have not used something in the past year, you probably will not. It is just more clutter.

“Too Much Stuff!” written for educational purposes.

–  –  –

Clutter Brings Out Creative Side Many people like a little mess. Some people say they think better in a mess. Some even claim they find things better in a mess. If you are one of those people, there is good news for you. Your mess may help your creative side.

Scientists around the world wanted to find out if people who were neater were better at things than people who had a lot of clutter. What they found out surprised them.

They found out that tidy places cause people to stick to what they know. That was not such a surprise. But they also discovered that messy spaces cause creative thinking.

In the studies people were given tasks in a room where things were neat and orderly. Others were given tasks in a room where papers and books were on the floor.

In a study in Denmark, college students filled out paperwork in each room. When they were done, they were asked to give money to a good cause. Most of the students from the neat room said yes. But, more than half of the students in the messy room said no.

When the students left the rooms they were offered either an apple or a piece of chocolate. The students leaving the neat room picked the apple three times more often than the students leaving the messy room.

In a second study, U.S. college students were told to invent new uses for ping-pong balls. Students in each room came up with about the same amount of ideas. However, this time, the students in the messy room came up with more creative ideas than the ones in the neat room.

In the final study, 188 American adults were placed into either a messy room, or a tidy room. Then they were given a choice between a smoothie that had “classic” ingredients or one that had “new” ingredients. Participants from the neat room picked the “classic” smoothie more often than people from a cluttered room.





In each study, scientists found that what we have around us matters. When things are neat and clean we behave one way. When things are cluttered and messy we seem to behave another.

“Clutter Brings Out Creative Side” written for educational purposes.

Page 4 FSA ELA Writing Training Test Questions

–  –  –

Does this sound like you?

• I can never find anything after I put it away.

• My bedroom, closet, and backpack are full of junk.

• I want to be more organized.

If you said “yes” to any of these, then this site is for you!

Cleaning up can be hard to do. It’s even harder when you are cleaning up things that you don’t want or need anymore. It can be hard to decide what you want, what you need, and what you can let go.

Get started!

You will need 3 containers. They can be bags, boxes, or even a laundry basket! Label the boxes: one “keep,” one “give away,” and one “toss.” You might need a fourth box: “?” for things that you can’t decide what to do with.

Keep: In here go items that you use all the time. Keep things that you need every day. Keep things that you have used in the past year.

Give away: In here, place items that can be given to someone else.

Maybe to a younger brother or sister, or a friend. Maybe even to someone who has less than you do. There are many places that take items that are good but are not wanted by you anymore. They take these things and give them to others who need them.

Toss: In here, put things that need to be thrown away. Things that are broken or not fixable. Old papers, broken toys, etc.

What if I can’t decide?

That is what the “?” box is for. You can put things that you just aren’t sure you need, but you want to keep. There are things that we find hard to part with and that’s okay.

There are some questions you can ask yourself about items:

• Do I love this item?

• Have I got another one that is better?

• Does this item make me smile?

–  –  –

24 The “?” box should be closed up when you finish. Put a future date on it, like six months from now. If that date comes, and you have not opened the box, you should give it away. Why? Because you really didn’t need anything in there.

“Dealing with Clutter” written for educational purposes.

Page 6 FSA ELA Writing Training Test Questions Writing Prompt The readings talked about clutter and being tidy. Write an essay in which you give your opinion: Is clutter sometimes okay, or should you always try to be neat? Use the information from the passages in your essay.

Manage your time carefully so that you can

–  –  –

Your writing should be in the form of a well-organized, multiparagraph essay. Write your answer in the space provided.

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Page 11 Office of Assessment Florida Department of Education, Tallahassee, Florida



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