The topic that I am most interested in is 3rd grade mathematics. Math has always been one of the subjects I was really good at understanding. The sampler resource that I chose can be found at http://www.doe.in.gov/sites/default/files/assessment/math-grades3-5-item-sampler.pdf. From looking at the blueprint, the purpose of my exam would be to assess the children in the 6 different standards that are listed (number sense, computation, algebra and functions, geometry, measurement, and problem solving. This assessment would allow me to know if the students are really comprehending each concept thoroughly and if not, what areas do I need to spend more time on in the classroom. I do think that the items in the sampler are reliable because they give clear instructions on what the students should do. I think that the questions are also very appropriate for the content that is being assessed. They are a good representation of what they students should/needs to know based on the blueprint. The questions also allow the students to think outside the box. The questions which are not multiple choice requires the students to "show their work," which shows the teacher the process that the students are taking to solve a problem. This also provides feedback to the teacher so he/she knows where exactly in the process she should revisit or spend a longer amount of time in the future. I think that this is a great way to kind of gauge which students are more advanced or behind so that they can have the help necessary to excel and grow. These statewide exams may also be motivation to students. If a student is wanting to do well in school because of the benefits that occur, they may be more motivated to work hard so that it pays off in the long run, such as when going to college.
Extra Credit: I am still a little confused about motivation. When it comes to a student being motivated, how exactly do you know whether or not the students' motivation is due to extrinsic or intrinsic factors. I know that the teacher can give rewards such as silent reading but how do we really actually know that they are not doing the task because of the reward at the end because some students really enjoy reading so they hurry to get done so they can read. I've tried to observe my field experience class because she give the students the option to silent read when they get done but I still can't really tell what their true motivation is.