SAWS


Contact Information

Jessica Steinbrenner
Assessment Supervisor
(307) 777-8568
Jessica.Steinbrenner@wyo.gov

Student Assessment of Writing Skills (SAWS)

About the Program

The Student Assessment of Writing Skills (SAWS) was established through legislation passed during the 2011 and 2012 Wyoming legislative session. The full assessment design will be phased in over three consecutive years, beginning in the spring of 2013, consistent with statutory requirements.

The SAWS will follow the schedule below:

2014: Grades 3, 5, and 7 will participate in the SAWS. Students in these grades will see the following prompt types on the SAWS:

Grade 3

Three prompts total:

  • Two operational prompts:
    • Informational Essay AND
    • Narrative Essay AND
  • One field test item – Opinion Response to Text

Grade 5

Three prompts total:

  • Two operational prompts:
    • Opinion or Informational or Narrative Essay AND
    • One Response to Text AND
  • One field test prompt

Grade 7

three prompts total:

  • Two operational prompts:
    • Argument or Informational or Narrative Essay AND
    • One Response to Text AND
  • One field test prompt

2015

Grades 3, 5, and 7 will participate in the SAWS. Students in these grades will see the following prompt types on the SAWS:

Grade 3

Three prompts total:

  • Two operational prompts:
    • Opinion or Informational or Narrative Essay AND
    • Response to Text AND
  • One field test prompt

Grade 5

Three prompts total:

  • Two operational prompts:
    • Opinion or Informational or Narrative Essay AND
    • Response to Text AND
  • One field test prompt

Grade 7

Three prompts total:

  • Two operational prompts:
    • Argument or Informational or Narrative Essay AND
    • Response to Text AND
  • One field test prompt

For 2014 and 2015, operational prompts will be selected annually by WDE assessment staff. To ensure that all prompt types are integrated into classroom instruction, WDE will not reveal the operational prompts used on each year’s assessment. Beginning in 2014 for grades 5 and 7, and 2015 for grade3, the operational prompts will be any two of the four types listed. Pursuant to statute, each year one of the two operational prompts will be a response to text at all grades. Students should be prepared to write to any of the four item types described below:

Standard 1: Opinion/Argument Essay: Grades 3 and 5 students will write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and information. Grade 7 students will write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence. This prompt will require students to write an essay which will be scored using a 12 point analytic scoring guide. Scoring guides for each grade can be found at the links below.

Standard 2: Informative/Explanatory Essay: Students in grade 3, 5, and 7 will write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly. Please see each grade level standard for a more detailed description of the writing skills measured. This prompt will require students to write an essay which will be scored using a 12 point analytic scoring guide. Scoring guides for each grade can be found at the links below.

Standard 3: Narrative Essay: Students in grade 3, 5, and 7 will write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, descriptive details, and clear event sequences. Please see each grade level standard for a more detailed description of the writing skills measured. This prompt will require students to write an essay which will be scored using a 12 point analytic scoring guide. Scoring guides for each grade can be found at the links below.

Standard 9: Students in grades 5 and 7 will address a pair of prompts which require they read one passage and write two responses, each of which draws evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research. Please see grade level standards for a more detailed description of the writing skills measured. This prompt type requires a short 4 point response and a longer 8 point response; each response will be scored using a holistic scoring guide. There will be a total of 12 points possible for the prompts addressing Standard 9. Scoring guides for each grade can be found at the links below.

Released items for Standards 2 and 3 can be found at the Grade Level Resources link below. WDE will post released items for Standards 1 and 9 in the summer of 2013, following a review of field test results by WDE and classroom teachers.


Grade Specific Resources

These resources include: Rubrics, Assessment Descriptions, Released Items, Draft Writing paper and Traffic Signal suggestions.


SAWS Grade Level Scoring Guides

Grade 3

Grade 5

Grade 7


Administration Resources