5th Grade Science MSP Prep Kit: Washington State

Tom Hathorn of the Bethel School District (here in Washington state) has created a brilliant resource for 5th grade teachers: the 5th Grade Science MSP Practice Kit. This toolkit assembles and modifies many science assessment resources from OSPI into an organized and useable form that pushes beyond “drill and kill” test prep.

Clarification: The intent of this toolkit is NOT to promote abandoning authentic science instruction for test prep. The purpose of the kit is to provide:

  • 5th grade students some familiarity with a scenario-based test structure
  • a structure for teachers to engage students with science assessment items
  • students with an opportunity to talk about their science ideas and to revise their thinking
  • teachers and students with formative opportunities focused on science standards

The 5th Grade Science MSP toolkit contains:

  • An overview of the 5th grade Science MSP
  • A lesson structure for students to take a set of test items and then engage in discourse and revised thinking
  • Teacher tracking tools and suggested calendars for planning
  • Student-friendly scoring rubrics and student work samples- These are intentionally NOT identical to the OSPI rubrics. For example- the Writing a Conclusion rubric is based on Claims, Evidence, and Reasoning rather than Conclusive Statement, High/Low Data, and Explanatory Language.
  • Survey tools for checking student confidence during the course of the practice

Download a copy of the MSP Practice Kit Gr 5 (2012)  and feel free to share. I’m hoping this will be a useful tool for several districts, schools, and teachers. Please SHARE BACK any improvements, modification, etc that you make to these materials.


4 responses to “5th Grade Science MSP Prep Kit: Washington State

  1. how can I download a copy for the MSP science WA state?

  2. Hi,
    Thanks for this great resource! I am wondering why Claim, Evidence, Reasoning is used instead of Conclusive Statement, High/Low Data, and Explanatory Language, as you pointed out above. Are these terms just more student friendly, or is it frowned upon to give students the exact scoring rubric?

    • Multiple reasons:
      1. Conclusive Statement, high/low, explanatory language is from a rubric for a high stakes test and also a formula for writing a conclusion which is a very discreet thing.
      2. Claim, Evidence, Reasoning (CER) is a well accepted instructional model in science education for constructing evidence based explanations and arguments
      3. The authors (Tom Hathorn and myself) wanted to get CER thinking into the system and move away from the Conclusion Rubric
      4. CER is a better match for the practices in the Next Generation Science Standards and the Common Core State Standards
      5. CER is applicable outside of a science context.
      6. CER gives a framework for discourse as well as writing
      7. CER can be used for multiple types of investigations/observations/etc… whereas Conclusions tend to be for controlled experiments

      Hope this helps

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