Category Archives: Assessment

NGSS Assessment Task 3D Rating Sheet

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.

Enjoy!

Seeing Students Learn Science: Integrating Assessment and Instruction in the Classroom

seeing students learn scienceOVERVIEW: Seeing Students Learn Science is a new FREE document from The National Academies Press. This publication in meant to help us improve our understanding of how students actually learn science and to provide guidance as we modify and adapt our instruction and assessment practices.

The document contains 6 sections:

  1. Front Matter
  2. What’s Really Different?
  3. What Does This Kind of Assessment Look Like?
  4. What Can I Learn from My Students’ Work?
  5. Building New Kinds of Assessments into the Flow of Your Instruction
  6. You and Your School, District, and State

You can read the document FREE in your browser or download the pdf. Enjoy!

PURPOSE: Provide support to educational systems as we continue to implement the vision of A Framework for K-12 Science Education and the Next Generation Science Standards

AUDIENCE: Teachers, administrators, PD providers, assessment developers, etc

LINK: https://www.nap.edu/catalog/23548/seeing-students-learn-science-integrating-assessment-and-instruction-in-the

 

Next Generation Science Assessment Tasks: Bethel School District

OVERVIEW: Tom HathornK-12 Science Specialist for the Bethel School District in Washington State, has worked with his science team to create a spectacular set of grade 6-12 science formative assessment tasks for understanding the Next Generation Science Standards. These assessments are designed to be “objects of study” as we all continue to learn about 2 Dimensional and 3 Dimensional assessment. The assessment tasks meet the following criteria:

  • Items are based on a stimulus with an anchoring phenomena
  • Each item assesses at least 2 of the 3 Dimensions of NGSS
  • Tasks are based on bundles of NGSS performance expectations
  • Individual items are connected to specific evidence statements

There are currently 17 assessment tasks and I can just about guarantee that any grade 6-12 teacher of science will find at least one task that matches NGSS Performance Expectations in your course/grade. You will find tasks targeting life science, physical science, Earth/Space science and Engineering Design.

PURPOSE: These NGSS assessment tasks are intended to be used as professional learning objects so that we can all move forward in our understanding of how 3 Dimensional Assessment will be different than typical classroom assessments. In Bethel, they have created modified lessons and units that match these assessment tasks. Here is how Tom describes the use of these assessment tasks with his teachers:

Purpose & Expectations:  Become More Proficient at 3-D Learning & Assessment

  • Primary Purpose:  These lessons and assessments afford teachers the chance to understand, implement, and discuss “3-dimensional” lessons and assessments.
  • All teachers should:
    • Use the NGSS lesson modifications.
    • Give the NGSS assessment.
    • Use the assessment as fodder for student-student conversation.
    • Discuss their lesson observations & student work with colleagues.
  • The results will be used to “optimize” the lesson plans.

AUDIENCE: K-12 teachers of science, district leaders, Curriculum and Assessment Directors, PD providers, pre-service teachers, building administrators, parents, others

LINK: Tom has built a shared Google Folder at the link HERE. You will find several supporting documents. You will want to go to the folder titled Bethel NGSAs- For 3D Planning… Inside this folder you will find labeled folders with documents for each of the assessment tasks. Each folder contains the Stimulus and the Items as separate documents. There is purposefully No Answer Key or Rubric for these.

Here is a note from Tom on the use of these assessments:

About these NGSAs (Next Generation Science Assessments)

You’ll see presentation materials as well as the assessments themselves.

Caveat – These represent our first efforts…we’re getting better at it:

We are learning a lot about 3D assessment and instruction (happily…that’s the point).  A few lessons-learned:

  • Doing the NGSAs, studying the evidence statements, and tweaking the items is very good learning for teachers.
  • The new Task Formats document is a great tool for assessment & instructional tasks; the slides from AIR’s presentation about item types is also very helpful to teachers who want to do NGSA work.
  • In our 2nd round of NGSA work I left more room for improving the items/cluster, which engaged the teachers in considering the different selected-response item types.  With one group I wrote all items as constructed-response, then had them decide which ones to revise into selected-response…this seemed to work very well.
  • These NGSAs are time-consuming, and so we’re getting better at using selected-response items and writing fewer items that target important-but-not-every evidence statement.
  • Teachers are using the NGSAs in alternate ways, not always single-sitting (choosing only some items, using as homework, spreading them out over time).
  • We are emphasizing that these are intended as formative assessments, so consider which items to discuss, and what kind of discourse to use (see Page Keeley’s Formative Assessment in Science vol.1 & vol.2, which have been revised to focus on NGSS Practices & Crosscutting Concepts).  These student conversations are nice opportunities to engage students in the 3 dimensions.
  • Engaging administrators with a few items from NGSAs has helped them to understand NGSS, what’s reasonable (or not) to expect from teachers at this point, and how to support teachers & teacher leaders.

 

Cheers,

Tom Hathorn

K-12 Science Specialist

Bethel School District

WA STATE ONLY: High School Next Generation Science Field Test

Hi all- Below is a copy of an official bulletin from OSPI regarding an opportunity for WA State High Schools to apply to participate in a pilot of the upcoming HS NGSS Science Assessment.

Teachers, schools, and districts will soon need to make an important decision about participating in the field test that will support development of a high school assessment of the Washington State 2013 K-12 Science Learning Standards (Next Generation Science Standards). The field test will be administered as a separate online assessment for high school students and can be taken during a single 50-minute class period.

An application in the Washington Assessment Management System (WAMS) will open December 1, 2016 so that the District Test Coordinator for each district can indicate which schools, and the approximate number of teachers and students that will participate. The registration window closes January 31, 2017.

Purpose: The Washington State 2013 K-12 Science Learning Standards (Next Generation Science Standards) will be assessed for the first time in spring 2018. Before test forms can be constructed, newly developed test items must be field tested to ensure that the items are accessible to all students and that they produce results that are valid, reliable, and fair. These new, online field test items can be embedded in the online Measurements of Student Progress (MSP) in grades 5 and 8, but the paper-pencil Biology End-of-Course exam does not provide that same opportunity for the new high school items. This separate online field test for high school will ensure that the statistics used to construct future high school test forms are as accurate as possible.

No scores or reports: The number of items a student will see on the field test is much smaller than the total number of items that will be on the full assessment delivered in spring 2018. The cut scores for the full assessment will not be established until summer 2018. This means that no individual student scores will be generated from the field test. Without individual scores there will be no school, district, or state scores. Schools need to understand that the field test is not a preview of how well their students will do on the operational tests in 2018, but rather a way to help OSPI make sure the operational tests in 2018 and beyond are fair, valid, and reliable.

Participation: Students in Grade 11 are the target population for this field test. If the test is administered to an entire class, and some students in Grade 10 or Grade 12 are also in the class, those students are also able to participate. Students in Grade 9 are not able to participate in this field test. Students may participate regardless of science courses taken and do not need to be currently enrolled in a science course.

Test Format and Administration Time: The high school field test will be delivered online, using the same testing platform as the Smarter Balanced Assessments (the AIR Test Administration Interface and the WA Secure Browser). There will be selected response, technology enhanced, and constructed response items; most items will be associated with one or more stimuli. Most item formats are similar to those students have seen in the Smarter Balanced assessments so we anticipate that students will navigate the online functionality well. Students will see only a small number of items which should be completed within one 50-minute class period. The field test is a secure state assessment, so all OSPI test security protocols and training must be followed.

Testing Window: The testing window for the field test is May 1 to June 15, 2017. The field test will be administered during one day of that window, and within one class period for each student participating.

District Test Coordinators message: The information in this message was distributed to District Test Coordinators (DCs) via the Washington Assessment Weekly newsletter on November 14, 2016. That message also included directions for how to register schools for the field test, and information about which Designated Supports and Accommodations will be available during the field test.

Teacher Volunteers: While registration will be done “by school,” that does not mean that an entire school or grade level must participate. An individual teacher can give this field test to one class of students, or to multiple classes; or a group of teachers at a school can each test one class or multiple classes. The teachers and classes of students are not limited to science classes—students in any subject can participate. We hope that this flexibility will increase the number of students that are able to participate. Teachers interested in participating in this field test should contact their District Test Coordinator (DC) before January 31, 2017 and let them know of their willingness to participate. DCs are the only staff that can register a school for the field test.

Elementary and middle schools are not included in the registration options because participation in the online Science MSP includes the field test items embedded in the Spring MSP test.

Questions: Please direct any questions to the Science Assessment team at science@k12.wa.us

Integrating Crosscutting Concepts into 3D Science Assessment Tasks

OVERVIEW: Design Based Implementation Research (DBIR) recently posted a tool for intentionally integrating the seven Crosscutting Concepts of NGSS into 3 Dimensional Assessment Tasks. The tool provides possible prompts and questions for uncovering student understanding of each specific Crosscutting Concept.

AUDIENCE: K-12 teachers of science, curriculum directors, PD providers, curriculum writers, assessment writers, etc.

PURPOSE: Provide specific questions and prompts for uncovering student understanding of the seven Crosscutting Concepts. If you’ve been working on developing 3D assessments and tasks you’ve probably seen that the Crosscutting Concepts tend to be subtle or in the background in typical assessment items. These prompts and questions zoom in on a given Crosscutting Concept and pull them into the foreground for assessment and instructional purposes. This document is a great companion piece to the Integrating Science Practices into Assessment Tasks Tool.

Here is an example for Patterns.

Ask after presenting students with observational data as part of the scenario:

What patterns do you observe in the data presented above in the [table, chart, graph, model output]?

LINK: http://learndbir.org/resources/CrosscuttingConceptsPrompts-160822.pdf

Science Assessment Events Fall 2016 (WA Only)

Hi all,

Wanted to pass on opportunities to participate in development of the Washington State Science Assessment system. The text below is copied directly from a communication sent by OSPI.

Upcoming Science Assessment Development Events

The Science Assessment team is planning our next round of assessment development meetings. We are developing assessments aligned to the Washington State 2013 K-12 Science Learning Standards (Next Generation Science Standards).

This is your invitation to APPLY for item cluster development committees, test design planning meetings, and/or content review committees.

Separate meetings will be held for grades 5, 8, and high school.

Educators are encouraged to apply for the committees at multiple grades based on content expertise. For example, a middle school teacher with content expertise in earth science is encouraged to apply for grades 5, 8, and/or high school committees.

Item Cluster Development (Olympia): Teams of 2-3 committee members each write approximately 10 items associated with a common stimulus. The teams also develop rubrics designed to measure student understanding of the science standards. Item clusters will be developed for all four domains (Physical Sciences, Life Sciences, Earth and Space Sciences, and Engineering, Technology, and Applications of Science). Each 5-day workshop will consist of 10-12 committee members.

High School                  October 10-14, 2016
Grade 8                        October 17-21, 2016

Grade 5                        October 17-21, 2016

Science Assessment Planning Meeting (SeaTac): Educators at each grade level review new science standards and advise OSPI assessment staff on design principles for new science assessments in grades 5, 8, and high school for the Washington State 2013 K-12 Science Learning Standards (NGSS). Fifteen applicants will be chosen for each 1-day committee.

High School                  November 7, 2016
Grade 8                        November 8, 2016

Grade 5                        November 9, 2016

Content Review (Olympia): Committee members will review stimuli, items, and rubrics developed during the Item Cluster Development Workshops in October. Participants will assure every stimulus, item, and rubric is scientifically accurate and gathers evidence about student mastery of the standards. Five applicants will be chosen for each 5-day committee.

High School                  December 5-9, 2016
Grade 8                        December 12-16, 2016

Grade 5                        December 12-16, 2016

Committee members will be chosen to provide a well-balanced group in terms of previous science assessment experience, content and grade-level expertise, and state demographics.

If you would like to apply for any (or all) of these events please complete the application survey by 5pm Friday, September 16, 2016.

Survey Application link: http://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/2510696/e15c60f6978f 

If you previously completed our survey application in 2016 and would like to use that application (no needed changes) please email Jessica.Cole@k12.wa.us to have your previous application pulled from our database. Please state in your email which event(s) you are currently applying for.

Please forward this invitation to your colleagues.

Logistics
The committees will begin with breakfast each morning at 7:30 a.m. and will run from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. daily. Committee members are expected to attend the entire event. For their participation, committee members will receive:

  • Breakfast and lunch
  • Free clock hours
  • Personal travel reimbursement (mileage, dinner, parking, etc.), provided state guidelines and regulations are met
  • Lodging for those living more than 50 miles from the meeting location
  • Flights for those traveling over 150 miles from the meeting location
  • Substitute Reimbursement if applicable during the school year

The Item Cluster Development and Content Review committees will be held in Olympia, WA. The Science Assessment Planning meeting will be held at SeaTac, WA.

Accommodations for persons with disabilities can be arranged with advance notice by contacting Jessica Cole at 360-725-6298/TTY: 360-664-3631 or by email at Jessica.cole@k12.wa.us as soon as possible, but no later than 48 hours before the scheduled event. The ADA does not require OSPI to take any action that would fundamentally alter the nature of its programs or services, or impose an undue financial or administrative burden.

WA-AIM Alignment Study and Science Development Activities

This year the Washington Access to Instruction & Measurement (WA-AIM) Alternate Assessment will have a number of activities which require both special and general educator participation.

WA-AIM Alignment Study: Five teams of 4-5 members will review the current English language arts, math, and science WA-AIM for alignment. Specifically, members will look at the alignment among the Performance Tasks and related components, Access Points, Essential Elements/Performance Expectations and the Washington K-12 Learning Standards.

Anticipated Date: Early November

Anticipated Duration: 2 days

WA-AIM Science Development-Performance Expectation Selection: Three teams of 8-10 members will select the Next Generation Science Standards Performance Expectations and focused SEPs and CCCs for use in the new WA-AIM Science. 

Anticipated Date: Early October

Anticipated Duration: 3 days

WA-AIM Science Development-Access Point Frameworks: Three teams of 8-10 members will focus on developing the Science Access Point Frameworks and drafting the Access Points, Requirements and Restriction for the Performance Expectations selected.

Anticipated Date: Late October

Anticipated Duration: 3 days

WA-AIM Science Development-Performance Tasks: Three teams of 8-10 members will focus on development of the Performance Tasks and item/question examples.

Anticipated Date: End January/beginning February

Anticipated Duration: 4 days

WA-AIM Science Content and Sensitivity/Bias Review: Three teams of 8-10 member will review the complete WA-AIM Science Assessment for content, sensitivity, and bias.

Anticipated Date: Mid to Late Spring

Anticipated Duration: TBD

Committee members will be chosen to provide a well-balanced group in terms of previous WA-AIM assessment experience, content and grade-level expertise, and state demographics.

If you would like to apply for any or all of these WA-AIM events please complete the application survey by 5pm Friday, September 16, 2016 for priority selection.

http://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/2992791/WA-AIM-Alternate-Assessment-Teacher-Participation-Opportunities-for-2016-2017

Logistics

  • Breakfast and lunch will be provided
  • Free clock hours will be provided
  • Personal travel reimbursement (mileage, dinner, parking, etc.), provided state guidelines and regulations are met
  • Lodging for those living more than 50 miles from the meeting location will be provided
  • Flights for those traveling over 150 miles from the meeting location will be provided
  • Substitute Reimbursement offered as appropriate during the school year

 

The WA-AIM alignment and development meetings will be held in SeaTac, WA.

Please direct all questions in regards to WA-AIM to Toni Wheeler at Toni.Wheeler@k12.wa.us

SAIC NGSS Prototype Cluster Minimized Versions

Screen Shot 2016-05-26 at 10.48.29 AMOVERVIEW: As most of you know, the Science Assessment Item Collaborative has released two NGSS Item Cluster Prototypes… one for Grade 5 and one for HS. These prototypes are great models to be analyzed, however, the documents are large and unwieldy for use in professional development. Tom Hathorn in the Bethel School District in Washington State has created “brief” versions of the two prototypes for use in professional development… and he was kind enough to share. Feel free to use as you see fit.

AUDIENCE: K-12 teachers of science, professional development providers, curriculum directors, etc

PURPOSE: For examining the Grade 5 & HS NGSS Item Cluster Prototypes in professional development settings.

LINKsGL5 NGSA prototype brief

HS-NGSA prototype (brief)