These links will take you to the State Department of Education's Test Support page:
The State's Rubric: This is how the state will grade our students' writing. Students need to be familiar with this rubric, too. Please notice that most of a student's score depends on their accomplishing Ideas/Development and Organization.
PLDs: Performance Level Descriptors
Exemplars: This link takes you to an extensive collection of items, including a sample argument prompt, the readings that go with it, the rubric, students' responses, and an explanation of their scores.
HOW TO USE THESE ITEMS:
DO...make sure students see the sample tests.
DON'T...give them the test unprepared and ask them to write the whole thing on their own.
DO...have discussions about how to analyze the prompt.
DO...discuss the rubric and performance level descriptors.
DO...ask students to use the rubric to score student samples.
DON'T...give them a whole set to score all at once.
DO...let them talk to each other about how to score the student samples.
DON'T...let them focus on grammar, usage, and mechanics.
DO...target ideas and organization in these last days before the test.
For more info on Traits-Based Writing, click here.