The Phenomenal Assessment site features three assessment tasks created for the Climate Science Proviso which has provided climate science education funding in Washington state. You will find an elementary task, a middle school task and a high school task.
Elementary: Comparing & Critiquing Energy Sources grade 4
Middle School: Analyzing Patterns in Wildfire Data
High School: Climate Impacts after 1492
These assessment tasks are not intended to be solely used as summative assessments. Think about how you might use these as objects of study for your own professional learning and how these might be used as assessments WHILE learning. This site provides examples of ways that these tasks might be used in equitable and rigorous ways. See below:
Reflect on Argumentation
The state of Nebraska is on a journey to develop a comprehensive state science assessment system that not only includes a state-wide summative assessment system (grades 5, 8, & 11) for science but also:
- Curriculum Embedded Science Tasks (K-12)
- Science Task Library (K-12)
- Monitoring Tasks (Grades 3, 4, 6, 7, 9, 10)
If you’d like to know more about this work, check out the overview from Achieve HERE.
Achieve just released A Framework to Evaluate Cognitive Complexity in Science Assessments. This short document features a rubric for rating scenarios and the 3 Dimensions in assessment items and item sets. The focus is on cognitive complexity that supports students sense-making during the assessment.
Below is a table showing the “3000 ft” view of the rubric. A more detailed version of the tool is also available.
Here are the 3 principles of this framework:
- Each item receives separate judgments for each of the four indicators.
- No value judgments are attached to complexity levels.
- Designed based on A Framework for K-12 Science Education, the framework is designed to work flexibly with all new three-dimensional science standards.
I know that several school districts, schools and teachers are working on designing, adapting or simply shopping for quality science assessment items. This looks like another tool to support your work. Enjoy.
Many of us science assessment nerds have been anxiously awaiting for the NGSS Test & Item Specifications for the Washington Comprehensive Assessment of Science (WCAS). The anticipated arrival of these document reminds me of an iconic clip from Steve Martin’s movie The Jerk (see below).
These documents are organized into the following grade bands:
I’m assuming that these documents might be useful to science educators outside of Washington. You will see that there is support for each NGSS Performance Expectation from Grade 3 through High School and there are some pretty cool features such as:
- information on items types and assessment design
- a variety of 2 Dimensional versions of each PE
- details and clarification that provide greater specificity to the original PE for not only assessment but also instruction
See the screen shot below for 5-PS1-1 to get a sense of some of the extra information provided by the item specs.
Overview: Achieve recently released two tools for screening and reviewing science assessment tasks- the Science Task Prescreen and the Science Task Screener. These tools will be necessary additions to your toolbox of NGSS assessment resources.
Purpose: The Science Task Prescreen (my personal favorite) is a 1-pager with 8 questions that an individual or group can use to quickly review an assessment task and make some decisions about how and if it requires modification to meet the expectations of NGSS assessment shifts. The Science Task Screener is a more substantial tool that could be used for more in-depth review and modification of assessment tasks.
Audience: Teachers, curriculum developers, assessment writers, PD providers, teacher educators, others
OVERVIEW: The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) recently released a document to support and encourage K-12 educators to provide clear and explicit language and prompts to integrate the Crosscutting Concepts into instruction and assessment practices.
PURPOSE: Using Crosscutting Concepts to Prompt Student Responses serves many purposes. For one, it continues to tell the story that the CCCs are a powerful (and underused) dimension of NGSS-based instruction. The document connects multiple existing resources on the CCCs and provides new tools and examples for how the use the CCCs to design prompts and how CCCs might be used by students in their responses.
AUDIENCE: K-12 teachers of science, administrators, PD providers, teacher educators, curriculum and assessment developers, etc
I want to make sure that all grade 5, 8, & ll teachers of science in WA State are aware of this great opportunity to be involved in the development of the Washington Comprehensive Assessment of Science (WCAS) called the Contrasting Groups Study.
Unlike most of the opportunities to work on WCAS development, you do not need to travel…it is all online. You will participate in a FREE online training, learn about WCAS and the Achievement Level Descriptors (ALDs), and then make predictions of how your students will do when engaging with the WCAS this spring. This information will be used by the Achievement Level Setting committee in August. You will also get to see the results of your predictions. The window to participate ends soon on April 14th, 2018!
Here is an excerpt of the overview of the Contrasting Groups Study from OSPI. See the complete announcement HERE.
What’s the timeline?
The CGS training will be available online on the Moodle training site from March 1 through April 14, 2018. Educators will learn about the CGS study, about the structure and contents of the ALDs, and how to participate in the study. The training will take approximately 3 hours and can be completed at your own pace. Free clock hours will be available to participants.
After training, teachers will use the ALDs and observations of student work to make predictions about student achievement on the WCAS. These observations can be completed as part of regular classroom instruction and assessment.
From March 19 through April 14, 2018 teachers will enter their student predictions into the CGS application in the Education Data System (EDS). This process should take approximately 5 minutes per class of 30 students.
In fall of 2018, participants can return to the CGS application in EDS and compare their predictions to actual student achievement on the WCAS.
Are you looking for more samples of 2 Dimensional and 3 Dimensional summative assessment items for NGSS? Well, Michigan just recently released online samples of NGSS science assessment items for grades 5, 8, and 11.
Check out the portal HERE. Click on the grade you want and then follow the login instructions. Enjoy!
If you are a science assessment nerd like me then you’ve been anxiously awaiting the release of several documents to support the new NGSS Science Assessment in WA State or the Washington Comprehensive Assessment of Science (WCAS).
We recently got the following items from the science team at OSPI:
A. Online sample items at grades 5, 8, and 11
B. The first set of WCAS Test & Item Specs…more will be arriving in the coming year
Grade 5 Test Design and Item Specifications
Grade 8 Test Design and Item Specifications
High School Test Design and Item Specifications
C. Webinars to support each of these items are also available- see below:
Register for the “How to Work with the WCAS Training Tests” Webinar on January 10
Register for the “Science Test and Item Specifications Release” Webinar on January 24
Click HERE to see the updated science assessment page at OSPI.
To piggyback on my last post about the impact of simple things such as NGSS Cheat Sheets– here is a simple document I created for rating the “3Dness” of assessment tasks. I often use this document with the ACESSE PD Module B on Building Assessment Tasks That Work (if you are not familiar with this PD module you should check it out).
The modification I make to the module is the following. I break the analysis of the task set into a couple of steps.
A. Participants analyze the set of assessment tasks with (blue, orange, & green) highlighters and highlight words and text features that connect with SEPs, CCCs, and DCIs.
B. Then participants use the 3D Rating Sheet to go through the tasks and score each item for evidence (or lack of evidence) for the given SEP, CCC, and DCI in the assigned PE. This really helps cue participants to parts of assessment tasks and how often the SEPs and CCCs are lacking or missing in most traditional science assessment tasks.
Click HERE to download the 3D Rating Sheet.