Study Guide

Field 009: Family and Consumer Sciences 
Sample Constructed-Response Assignment

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Test Directions for the Constructed-Response Assignment

This section of the test consists of one constructed-response assignment. You are to prepare a written response of approximately  300 to 600  words on the assigned topic. You should use your time to plan, write, review, and edit your response to the assignment.

Read the assignment carefully before you begin to write. Think about how you will organize your response.

As a whole, your response must demonstrate an understanding of the knowledge and skills of the field. In your response to the assignment, you are expected to demonstrate the depth of your understanding of the content area through your ability to apply your knowledge and skills rather than merely to recite factual information.

Your response to the assignment will be evaluated on the basis of the following criteria:

 start bold PURPOSE: end bold  the extent to which the response achieves the purpose of the assignment
 start bold SUBJECT MATTER KNOWLEDGE: end bold  accuracy and appropriateness in the application of subject matter knowledge
 start bold SUPPORT: end bold  quality and relevance of supporting details
 start bold RATIONALE: end bold  soundness of argument and degree of understanding of the subject matter

The constructed-response assignment is intended to assess subject matter knowledge and skills, not writing ability. However, your response must be communicated clearly enough to permit valid judgment of the scoring criteria. Your response should be written for an audience of educators in this field. The final version of your response should conform to the conventions of edited American English. Your written response must be your original work, written in your own words, and not copied or paraphrased from some other work.

Be sure to write about the assigned topic. You may not use any reference materials during the test. Remember to review what you have written and make any changes you think will improve your response.

Sample Constructed-Response Assignment

subarea roman numeral 8 
Pedagogical Content Knowledge

 start bold Use the data provided to complete the task that follows. end bold 

Class Context

Ms. Allen is a family and consumer sciences teacher in a rural high school setting. There are 24 students of mixed ability levels in her Food Preparation and Nutrition class. The class has completed instruction on measuring, recipe conversions, and recipe math prior to applying this knowledge in the kitchen. The students read the information in the textbook, completed two worksheets, and took a quiz. Five students performed excellently with the written work, receiving perfect scores. Three students did not understand how to begin answering the math questions on the worksheets. Ten students scored well with the math when it was whole numbers but struggled with the fractions. The remaining six students scored well enough to pass but clearly missed some vital information.

For lab experiences, Ms. Allen's classroom is equipped with six kitchen stations where four students will work together. The lab assignment for this lesson was to make muffins. The students were required to fill out a lab plan to designate jobs to individual students. The students were also required to use their previous skill knowledge of recipe conversions and recipe math to change the recipe from a yield of 4 muffins to a yield of 12 muffins. Students had to choose which equipment to use to measure most efficiently.

 start bold Lesson Plan: Lesson 4 out of 5 end bold 

 start bold Course Name: end bold  Food Preparation and Nutrition

 start bold Unit Subject: end bold  Modifying Recipes

 start bold Subject of the Lesson: end bold  Changing the Yield of Recipes

 start bold PASS Content Subject Area: end bold  Mathematics

 start bold PASS Content Standard: end bold  Process Standards: 1.2 Problem Solving; 2.1 and 2.2 Communication; 3.1 Reasoning; 4.1, 4.2, and 4.3 Connections

 start bold National Standards for Family and Consumer Sciences1: end bold  8.5.3 Utilize weights and measurement tools to demonstrate knowledge of portion control and proper scaling and measurement techniques.

 start bold Bloom's Taxonomy: end bold  Application

 start bold Teaching Methods: end bold  Cooperative Learning, Problem Solving

 start bold Materials: end bold  lab plan, including health nut blueberry muffin recipe

 start bold Learning Objective: end bold  Given the lab plan, the students will be able to work cooperatively in groups to change the yield of the recipe from 4 to 12 muffins. Students will also be able to plan for the upcoming lab to prepare the muffins.

 start bold Assessment: end bold  Students will be evaluated on using mathematics skills to correctly change the recipe to yield 12 muffins.

Lab Assignment with Assessment Results

Shown below is the lab assignment with Ms. Allen's evaluation of one group's work.

Lab Plan


Cooking Jobs


  1. Chef seperator Responsibilities:
    • Read the recipe
    • Fill out lab plan
    • Main cook for the day
    • Clean range
    • Supervise other cleaning jobs
  2. Cook seperator Responsibilities:
    • Assemble equipment
    • Assist the chef
    • Clean the table
    • Wipe the counters/walls
    • Put laundry in washer
    • Check cleanup
  3. Assistant Cook seperator Responsibilities:
    • Preheat oven
    • Get/measure supplies for recipe
    • Set table
    • Wash dishes
    • Clean the sink
    • Wipe off table
  4. Manager seperators Responsibilities:
    • Dry the dishes
    • Put dishes away
    • Sweep the floor
    • Extra duties as assigned

Group Member Assignments


  1. student 1 name: mike cooking job: cook
  2. student 2 name: junko cooking job: cook
  3. student 3 name: devon cooking job: cook
  4. student 4 name: kris cooking job: cook

 start bold Step 1: Recipe Unit Conversions end bold 


 start bold Directions: This recipe's yield is 4. Change the yield to 12. Multiply each ingredient amount by 3 Then calculate any conversions necessary to use the proper measuring equipment. end bold 


Recipe: Health Nut Blueberry Muffins


recipe conversion table.
Recipe Amount New Amount
 1 fourth cup all purpose flour  3 fourth cup
 1 fourth cup whole wheat flour  3 fourth cup
 1 fourth cup sugar  3 fourth cup
1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon oat bran 3 tab plus 3 tea teachers comment:  teacher's checkmark left paren see note right paren. 
1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon quick oats 3 tab plus 3 tea teachers comment:  teacher's checkmark left paren see note right paren. 
1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon wheat germ 3 tab plus 3 tea teachers comment:  teacher's checkmark left paren see note right paren. 
 1 fourth teaspoon baking powder  1 tea teachers comment:  teacher's checkmark. 
 1 fourth teaspoon baking soda  1 tea teachers comment:  teacher's checkmark. 
 1 eighth teaspoon salt   1 half tea  teachers comment:  teacher's checkmark. 
 1 third cup blueberries  1 cup
2 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons chopped walnuts We don't like walnuts.
teachers comment: How many walnuts?
 three eighths banana, mashed  1
 1 third cup buttermilk  1 cup
 1 third egg  1 egg
1 teaspoon vegetable oil 3 tea teachers comment:  teacher's checkmark left paren see note right paren. 
 1 fourth teaspoon vanilla  1 tea teachers comment:  teacher's checkmark. 
teacher comment:

 Note: You did not convert for easier measuring. 3 teaspoons equals question mark question mark 

 start bold Step 2: Sensory Evaluation Form end bold 


 start bold Directions: Use the form below to rate your muffins. Make a check mark in the box you feel best describes your muffins. end bold 


Appearance evaluation checklist.
APPEARANCE Extremely 
Attractive

Nice crown
Moderately 
Attractive

Crown is good
Attractive
Matches photo
Unappetizingcircled by teacher
Crown too high or too low
Unattractive
Unusual appearance
Student Evaluation:  checked  unchecked unchecked unchecked unchecked

 start bold Teacher Comment: end bold  Overmixed. The crown of these muffins is too high.


taste/flavor evaluation chart.
TASTE/ 
FLAVOR
Great
Flavors well blended
Flavorful
Tastes good
Acceptable
Off Flavor
Something is amiss
Unappealingcircled by teacher
Incorrect measuring or baking
Student Evaluation: unchecked unchecked unchecked  checked  We don't 
like walnuts
unchecked

 start bold Teacher Comment: end bold  Check your measurements. Some are incorrect.


texture evaluation chart.
TEXTURE Excellent Texture
No tunnels or dry spots
Good Texture
Few, if any, small tunnels or dry spots
Acceptable Texture
Off Texture
 circled by teacher  Large tunnels or dry spots
Inappropriate Texture
Flat/runny/many tunnels or dry spots
 start bold Student Evaluation: end bold   checked  unchecked unchecked unchecked unchecked

 start bold Teacher Comment: end bold  Overmixed. Large tunnels in the muffins.


aroma/smell evaluation chart
AROMA/ 
SMELL
Wonderful Aroma Appealing Aroma
Acceptable Aroma
circled by teacher
Aroma Not Appealing Unappetizing Aroma
 start bold Student Evaluation: end bold   checked  unchecked unchecked unchecked unchecked

 start bold Teacher Comment: end bold  Acceptable aroma.


overall evaluation chart
OVERALL Extremely Acceptable Moderately Acceptable Acceptable
Moderately Unacceptable
circled by teacher
Unacceptable
 start bold Student Evaluation: end bold   checked  unchecked unchecked unchecked unchecked

 start bold Teacher Comment: end bold  Overall moderately unacceptable. Imprecise measurements and overmixing. Muffins could be much better.

Step 3: Classroom Management Evaluation Form


Directions: Use the form below to provide your group's evaluations.


item evaluation chart
Item to Be Evaluated Points 
Possible
Group 
Evaluation 
Score
Teacher Evaluation Score
Lab sheet planned, filled out correctly, and turned in before and after the lab 20 20 15teacher comment:Spend more time and effort filling out the lab plan.
Lab work—techniques used, followed directions 10 9 6
Cooperation—working together and each doing specific responsibilities 10 10 7
Product evaluation 20 20 8
Dishes washed, dried, and put away in correct place 10 10 10
Range, table, sink, and counters clean 10 10 10
Group conduct—appropriate behavior, manners, and etiquette 10 10 10
Group cleaned up, checked, and ready to go before the bell rings 10 10 10
TOTAL POINTS 100 99 76

Write a response of approximately  300 to 600  words in which you analyze the data provided. In your response:

Sample Strong Response to the Constructed-Response Assignment

 start bold Please note: The sample response provided below is for review purposes only and should not be used in a response on an operational exam. Use of the exact words and phrases presented in this sample response will result in a score of "U" (Unscorable) due to lack of original work. end bold 

The initial instructional strategies addressing the math skills needed for recipe conversion were completed before this cooking lab. This makes application of prior learning a feature of this lab activity. There are many other skills related to the learning objectives that the students demonstrated in this activity such as cooperative learning, following recipes, and creating a baked product. All of these skills require students to be very accurate with the steps and procedures involved and we can see that this was an issue for this student group.

Ideally, groups would be composed of students with a range of abilities and skills across members so that students can help each other. If the composition of the group was an issue, the teacher could have addressed that as groups were being created. The students in this particular group clearly did not understand the importance of each ingredient in the recipe. Leaving out one ingredient could have a negative effect on the overall product. This would be an opportunity for the teacher to address the importance of understanding omissions or substitutions of ingredients in recipes, especially when baking, due to the chemical reactions that take place in the baking process. This could also be an appropriate point to have instruction on food chemistry so that students better understand the chemical reactions involved in baking. While some ingredients may be able to be omitted without changing the desired outcome, omitting other ingredients could mean the muffins wouldn't rise correctly.

When completing the lab plan, it seemed like the students rushed through the activity. They did not assign themselves the required range of job responsibilities, nor did they correctly convert the fractions in order to measure ingredients accurately. This resulted in a dry muffin that was "moderately unacceptable." This type of activity, which is multi-step in nature, also shows natural consequences of inaccuracy. When the students did not complete the correct conversions, the muffins did not turn out as planned.

The lab plan evaluation was completed by the students quickly without much thought. They gave themselves high marks in all areas, overestimating their success, rather than completing a true, objective evaluation. Focusing more on the leadership skills needed for group work and discussing what is involved in cooperative learning and self-evaluation will help these students in future lab situations. The students should take more time with planning, measuring, and reading and following recipes and the directions.

So in general, future instruction in this class should focus on understanding the role of ingredients in cooking and baking and further strengthening students' recipe math skills required, namely the skills required for conversion and understanding equivalent measurements. (E.g., three teaspoons is equivalent to one tablespoon or four tablespoons is equivalent to  1 fourth  cup) A follow-up activity focusing on any remaining weakness in recipe math prior to the next cooking lab would help students improve the accuracy of conversion measurements. In addition, the teacher could help students improve their interpersonal and leadership skills by helping them understand taking roles within a group task and how to be objective in evaluating one's own project.

One last suggestion for improving student learning would be that the teacher should be engaged and providing continual feedback to students throughout the process of this lab activity. If the teacher notices that the students are getting off track, asking probing questions would help students to slow down and evaluate their process. If the teacher checks in with groups throughout the activity, it will give students a chance to make adjustments to their performance and increase opportunities for success.

Rationale for the Sample Strong Response

Please note that the response is evaluated based upon the four performance characteristics of Purpose, Subject Matter Knowledge, Support, and Rationale. Please also note how the score point descriptions are based upon how the examinee attends to the performance characteristics. You should be very familiar with the CEOE performance characteristics and score scale and refer to them when reviewing this rationale.

The response fulfills the purpose of the assignment and reflects a thorough knowledge and understanding of the subject matter through a careful analysis of the lesson plan in relation to the content standards and learning objective. Analysis of the assessment results is accurate and appropriate, and ample support is provided in the form of specific examples ("students in this particular group clearly did not understand the importance of each ingredient"; "they did not . . . correctly convert the fractions"; "overestimating their success"). The rationale given for adjustments in future instruction ("focus on . . . role of ingredients"; "improve their interpersonal and leadership skills"; "further strengthening . . . math skills required, namely . . . conversion and . . . equivalent measurements") is sound and demonstrates a high degree of understanding.

Sample Weak Response to the Constructed-Response Assignment

This is a good lesson for students because it challenges them to make the necessary conversions in ingredient amounts to produce 12 muffins. If they understand the basic math required to make these conversions then they will be successful in their baking. However, if they are careless or ineffective at working together as a group, then they are not likely to produce edible results.

The group profiled in this example made multiple errors in their calculations, resulting in the wrong amounts of baking powder, baking soda, salt, and vanilla. Additionally, they apparently left walnuts out intentionally because they "don't like walnuts". They obviously didn't learn anything from this lesson, however, because they gave themselves consistently high marks on their evaluations. Not only did they fail to recognize how unappetizing their muffins were (probably because of the inaccurate measurements), but they also gave themselves too much credit in the areas of planning, lab work, and cooperation. Though the teacher's own assessment was appropriately critical in all these areas, the opportunity for the students to learn through practice has been lost.

In the future, I would suggest that Ms. Allen break up this lesson into smaller parts so that she can see in advance if a group has done the math wrong and is going to fail at making edible muffins. This would allow her to correct their measurements in advance of the baking, and their end result would be better, perhaps aiding in their confidence and enthusiasm for cooking. She could also encourage them to help each other out more, checking each other's measurements and making sure they know what they are doing throughout the entire process. Oftentimes, kids want to go too fast and aren't careful in their work at the critical early stages. Pointing this out as mistakes are made is a good way to show them the error of their ways.

Rationale for the Sample Weak Response

Please note that the response is evaluated based upon the four performance characteristics of Purpose, Subject Matter Knowledge, Support, and Rationale. Please also note how the score point descriptions are based upon how the examinee attends to the performance characteristics. You should be very familiar with the CEOE performance characteristics and score scale and refer to them when reviewing this rationale.

The response only partially fulfills the purpose of the assignment and reflects a limited knowledge and understanding of the subject matter through a superficial analysis of the lesson plan in relation to the content standards and learning objective. Analysis of the assessment results is slight, and though examples are given, they amount to little more than a summary of the results, and provide no additional insight. Similarly, the discussion of how the results can inform future instruction does not go beyond a cursory look at where students erred and loses sight of the larger lessons contained within the content standards.

Performance Characteristics

The following characteristics guide the scoring of responses to the constructed-response assignments.

Characteristics that guide the scoring of responses
Purpose The extent to which the response achieves the purpose of the assignment
Subject Matter Knowledge Accuracy and appropriateness in the application of subject matter knowledge
Support Quality and relevance of supporting details
Rationale Soundness of argument and degree of understanding of the subject matter

Scoring Scale

Scores will be assigned to each response to the constructed-response assignments according to the following scoring scale.

Score Scale with description for each score point.
Score Point Score Point Description
4  start bold The "4" response reflects a thorough knowledge and understanding of the subject matter. end bold 
  • The purpose of the assignment is fully achieved.
  • There is a substantial, accurate, and appropriate application of subject matter knowledge.
  • The supporting evidence is sound; there are high-quality, relevant examples.
  • The response reflects an ably reasoned, comprehensive understanding of the topic.
3  start bold The "3" response reflects a general knowledge and understanding of the subject matter. end bold 
  • The purpose of the assignment is largely achieved.
  • There is a generally accurate and appropriate application of subject matter knowledge.
  • The supporting evidence generally supports the discussion; there are some relevant examples.
  • The response reflects a general understanding of the topic.
2  start bold The "2" response reflects a partial knowledge and understanding of the subject matter. end bold 
  • The purpose of the assignment is partially achieved.
  • There is a limited, possibly inaccurate or inappropriate application of subject matter knowledge.
  • The supporting evidence is limited; there are few relevant examples.
  • The response reflects a limited, poorly reasoned understanding of the topic.
1  start bold The "1" response reflects little or no knowledge and understanding of the subject matter. end bold 
  • The purpose of the assignment is not achieved.
  • There is little or no appropriate or accurate application of subject matter knowledge.
  • The supporting evidence, if present, is weak; there are few or no relevant examples.
  • The response reflects little or no reasoning about or understanding of the topic.
U The response is unscorable because it is illegible, not written to the assigned topic, written in a language other than English, or lacking a sufficient amount of original work to score.
B There is no response to the assignment.

Acknowledgments

1Credit: Family and Consumer Sciences National Standards, 2017, LEAD FCS Education, leadfcsed.org. All rights reserved.