3 Essential Questions / Objectives What is a “balanced” assessment system? What is the role of benchmark assessments in a balanced system?What do Common Core-aligned benchmark assessments look like in the following grade bands: K–2, 3–5, and 6–12?What do Common Core-aligned benchmark assessments look like in social studies/history, and science and technical subjects?How can I use the knowledge learned today to support my teachers’ work in creating benchmark assessments?
4 Interdisciplinary Foundations The ELA/Literacy ShiftsBuilding knowledge through content-rich nonfictionReading, writing, and speaking grounded in evidence from text, both literary and informationalRegular practice with complex text and its academic languageLiteracy in the Other Disciplines
5 Distribution of Literary and Informational Passages by Grade in the 2009 NAEP Reading Framework 450%845%55%1230%70%Source: National Assessment Governing Board Reading Framework for the 2009 National Assessment of Educational Progress. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.
6 Distribution of Communicative Purposes by Grade in the 2011 NAEP Writing Framework Grade LevelOpinionInformative/ ExplanatoryArgumentativeNarrativeK–5X6–12GradeTo Persuade/ArgueTo ExplainTo Convey Experience430%35%81240%20%Source: National Assessment Governing Board Writing Framework for the 2011 National Assessment of Educational Progress (Prepublication edition). Washington, DC: National Assessment Governing Board.
7 What is a Balanced assessment System? Common Core ELA/Literacy
8 a Balanced Assessment System What a Balanced Assessment System DoesWhat a Balanced Assessment System Does NotIncludes evidence of student performance on challenging tasks that assess to what degree students have achieved aspects of the Common Core State StandardsProvides a balance of screening, formative, benchmark, and summative assessmentsInvolves teachers in the development and scoring of assessments…so they deeply understand and teach the standardsContinuously improves teaching and learningOverwhelm teachers with too much dataAdd “another component to a teacher’s plate”Separate instruction from the assessment system processPush teachers to work in isolation
9 A Balanced Approach to Assessment FormativeBenchmarkEnd of Year/ Summativequizzesexit ticketsreading comprehension checksquestioninggraphic organizers54 examples of formative assessmentsthumbs up, middle, downused to determine what level students are achieving the Common Core State StandardsPARCCNJ ASK, HSPA
10 Assessment Terminology 1.) Formative Assessment(s)Council of Chief School State Officers (2006):Formative assessment is a process; takes place during instruction.It is used not just by teachers but by both teachers and students.Helps teachers and students make adjustments that will improve students' achievement of intended curricular aims.2.) Summative Assessment(s)Council of Chief School State Officers (2012)Intended to evaluate what students have achieved after a particular phase in their schooling — for example, after a course or a unit of study.3.) Benchmark Assessment(s)Assessment and Accountability Comprehensive Center (2010)Administered periodically throughout the school year to evaluate students’ knowledge and skills relative to an explicit set of longer-term learning goals (Common Core State Standards)Can (and should) inform policy, instructional planning, curriculum, and decision-making at the classroom, school and/or district levels.
12 Thoughts?FormativeBenchmarkSummativeFormative Process should include a variety of assessment types and tools and this is where most of assessment time should be spent. Benchmark assessments should have 3 to 4 times a year and summative should be the standardized assessment. As you notice these are not equal .
13 Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (2009) Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (2009). Balanced Assessment System.
14 Sample Outlines of Benchmark Assessments ELA/Literacy
15 What Might a Common Core Aligned Benchmark Look Like? Sample Grade 4 Unit: Reading Informational TextPassage One: Simon, Seymour. Volcanoes. New York: HarperCollins, 200610 – 15 Sample Text-Dependent QuestionsPassage Two: National Geographic Kids: Forces of Nature: Volcanoes 101 (video)Essay: Explanatory EssayYou have read two articles about volcanoes. In essay form, explain the process by which volcanoes come to explode. What causes volcanoes to explode? Please be sure to cite evidence from both texts in your writing.
16 What Might a Common Core Aligned Benchmark Look Like? Sample Grade 6 Unit: The PlanetsPassage One: Scholastic: Life on Mars10 – 15 Sample Text-Dependent QuestionsPassage Two: On Mars Time, the Ice Cream Is FreePassage Three: Kidsastronomy:com: Exploring MarsEssay: Argumentative/PersuasiveYou have read three articles that discuss what scientists believe it would take for humans to live on Mars. In an essay, discuss whether or not you believe humans will ever successfully live on Mars. Be sure to use evidence from 2 of the 3 articles in your answer.
17 What Might a Common Core Aligned Benchmark Look Like? Sample Grade 10 Social Studies Unit: Great American ThinkersPart 1 Reading Passage One: Lincoln’s Second Inaugural10 – 15 Sample Text-Dependent QuestionsPart 2Reading Passage Two: MLK JR.’s Letter from Birmingham JailPart Three Essay: Explanatory EssayYou have recently read two texts by whom most consider great American thinkers and leaders. One led our country through the Civil War; the other through the Civil Rights Movement. In an essay format, explain the vision both Lincoln and King had regarding America’s future. Be sure to include textual evidence from both King and Lincoln in your writing.
18 What Might a Common Core Aligned Benchmark Look Like? Sample Grade 10 English Unit: Modern American PoetryPart 1 Reading Passage One: Robert Frost, Mending Wall10 – 15 Sample Text-Dependent QuestionsPart 2Reading Passage Two: Israel says Separation Wall will be borderPart 3 Reading Passage Three: A Brief History of the Berlin Wall (video)Part 3 Essay: Research SimulationYou have three texts that deal with the theme of “walls.” In your opinion, do you see walls as a valuable or detrimental concept? Be sure to include evidence from 2 of the 3 texts in your writing.
19 ReflectionHow aligned are my teachers’ assessments to the Common Core?Am I clear in understanding the interconnectedness of formative, benchmark, and summative assessments?Any other thoughts?
21 RememberIn assessment and instruction, reading, writing, and speaking and listening should never be separated.
22 The “What” of ReadingReading Areas to be AssessedThe “How” of ReadingThe “Synthesis” of Reading
23 The key to Reading Assessment: Text-Dependent Questions Important ConsiderationsTeachers create questions as a collaborative, collegial process, using the ELA/Literacy CCSS as a guideGuide to Creating Text-Dependent QuestionsTry to incorporate more than one text whenever possible on the same (include multimedia)Sample Text-Dependent QuestionsProfessional Reading: Digital Video Transforms Teaching Practices
24 PARCC Item Analysis: Reading Task: There are twelve sample reading items from PARCC below. Read the items carefully, and answer the following question:What is the question asking the student to do?For example, Summarizing, Inferring, Using Context Clues, Supporting Details, Main Idea, Comprehension Questions, Sequencing, Deciphering Theme, Critical Thinking, Comparison, Contrast, etc….If you are not familiar with these literacy terms, use your own language to describe the item.Record your answers on SLIDE 39
42 ReflectionAre you comfortable in understanding and creating the types of reading questions aligned to the CCSS?How will you give your teachers opportunities to perform this important work in grade-level teams, department meetings, and/or PLCs?Any other thoughts?
44 PARCC Manifestations of Common Core Common Core Writing GenresInformative/ExplanatoryResearch SimulationProse-ConstructedResponseNarrativePersuasive/ArgumentativeLiterary AnalysisProse-Constructed Response
45 Writing Anchor standards to Know: Common Core ELA/Literacy and PARCC CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.1 Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.PARCC Equivalent: Research Simulation Task, Literary Analysis, Prose-Constructed ResponseCCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.2 Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content.PARCC Equivalent: Research Simulation Task, Prose-Constructed ResponseCCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.3 Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details and well-structured event sequences.PARCC Equivalent: NarrativeCCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.9 Draw evidence from literary or informational texts (including video and other digital resources) to support analysis, reflection, and research.PARCC Equivalent: Research Simulation Task, Literary Analysis, Narrative, Prose-Constructed Response
46 PARCC Definitions/Insights Literary Analysis: A writing assignment that asks students to develop an opinion, insight, or argument about two literary texts. This is the realm of the ELA teacher.Narrative: A writing assignment that asks students to continue a literary text while staying consistent with the writer’s style. In addition, students might also be asked to develop stories based upon real events (i.e. historical events, advancements in science, etc…) All content area teachers should be involved in narrative writing.Research Simulation Task: A writing assignment that asks students to synthesize two or more texts in order to advance an argument or an explanation. All content area teachers should be involved in the Research Simulation Task.Prose-Constructed Response: A writing task that asks students to summarize a literary or nonfiction text. Also, the Prose-Constructed Response may also ask students to advance an argument. All content area teachers should be involved in the Prose-Constructed Response.
47 PARCC Item Analysis: Writing Task: There are nine sample writing items from PARCC below. Read the items carefully, and answer the following question:What is the question asking the student to do? What do students need to know in order to successfully answer the question?Record your thoughts on Slide 60
52 Grade 11 Example of Prose Constructed Response, Grade 11 Both John and Abigail Adams believed strongly in freedom and independence. However, their letters suggest that each of them understood these terms differently based on their experiences.Write an essay that explains their contrasting views on the concepts of freedom and independence. In your essay, make a claim about the idea of freedom and independence and how John and Abigail Adams add to that understanding and/or illustrate a misunderstanding of freedom and independence. Support your response with textual evidence and inferences drawn from all three sources.
54 Example of Research Simulation Task, Grade 3 Grade 3, Eliza’s Cherry Trees: Japan’s Gift to America and “The Peanut Man”You have read two texts about famous people in American history who solved a problem by working to make a change. Write an article for your school newspaper describing how Eliza and Carver faced challenges to change something in America. In your article, be sure to describe in detail why some solutions they tried worked and others did not work. Tell how the challenges each one faced were the same and how they were different.Grade 3, Item #3, represents a culminating task students will complete, labeled the “Research Simulation Task.” The Research Simulation Task is a performance-based assessment that essentially asks students to synthesize previously read material into an expository or analytic essay.The example above asks students to delineate two items: 1.) They need to explain why some solutions worked and some didn’t in Eliza’s and Carver’s quests for change, and 2.) They need to explain how the challenges Eliza and Carver changed were similar and different.
56 Grade 4 Sample 7: “Kira-Kira” by Cynthia Kadohata Example of Literary Analysis, Grade 4Grade 4 Sample 7: “Kira-Kira” by Cynthia Kadohata
57 Example of Prose-Constructed Response Grade 7 Summative Assessment: Prose Constructed Response from Research Simulation Task (Summary)Read the “Biography of Amelia Earhart”Welcome to Grade 7. Here, as in Grade 3, we will discuss the research simulation task. Leading up to the culminating written assessment of the actual research simulation task, students will be required to write shorter essays as sort of a preparation for the larger task. Above, students will read the text, “Biography of Amelia Earhart” and write an essay that summarizes and explains the challenges she faced in life. This Prose Constructed Response is a written comprehension of the article that requires students to utilize textual evidence in their written answer.
59 Grade 6 Summative Assessment: Narrative Writing Task Example of Narrative Writing Task, Grade 6Grade 6 Summative Assessment: Narrative Writing TaskExcerpt of Julie of the WolvesFor the first time in this presentation, we will discuss the Narrative Writing Task that students will have to complete. As you can discern through reading the writing prompt on the screen above, the Narrative Writing Task requires that students a.) continue where the passage ended, and b.) adhere in their narrative writing to the spirit of the character, Miyax, as presented in the text.It should be noted here that the Common Core includes narrative writing as one of the major three areas of student writing instruction (argumentative and informative/explanatory being the other two). Throughout the school year, students should spend time engaged in narrative writing like the assignment above. In order to do so, teachers will have to help students pay attention to the vocabulary (diction) and syntax of the writing in order to successfully adhere to the writer’s style.
62 Yearlong Planning: The assessment Matrix ELA/Literacy
63 Steps for creating an ELA/Literacy benchmark Choose an appropriately leveled complex text. Remember, you are encouraged to pair texts together, and starting at the middle school, you can and should introduce three texts. The terms “text” also includes digital images, videos, and other forms of multimedia.Align the text(s) to one of the Common Core writings tasks: persuasive/argumentative, informative/explanatory, or narrative. Use the grade-level Common Core standard in writing to develop the writing task. The three genres of writing increase in difficulty as students progress through school. For example, if you are creating an argumentative essay using an excerpt from the 11th grade nonfiction book1776 by David McCullough, then be sure to use the 11th grade ELA/Literacy argumentative standards.Create text-dependent questions for the texts you have chosen. Be sure to align the text- dependent questions with the full range of reading tasks for that particular grade level. For example, if you using a 4th to 5th text (such as “Discovering Mars: The Amazing Story of the Red Planet”), then be sure to use the Reading Informational CCSS ELA standards for the 4th or 5th grade to create your questions.
64 Become Very Familiar with the Standards Vertical Alignment WritingVertical Alignment Reading LiteratureVertical Alignment Reading Informational Text
65 K–2 Sample Assessment Matrix GradeUse of DRA to Benchmark Reading ProgressLiterary AnalysisNarrativeInformative / ExplanatoryOpinionKYesGiovanni, Nikki. “Covers.”(Fiction; poetry)Eastman, P. D. Are You My Mother? (Fiction; story)Aliki. My Five Senses. (Informational Text)The Best Pet: Cats or Dogs?1Chute, Marchette. “Drinking Fountain.”Minarik, Else Holmelund. Little Bear.(Fiction; story)Hurd, Edith Thacher. Starfish.(Informational Text)Floca, Brian. Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo 112Jarrell, Randall. “A Bat Is Born.”Averill, Esther. The Fire Cat (Fiction; story)Kudlinski, Kathleen V. Boy, Were We Wrong About Dinosaurs. (Informational Text)National Geographic: Prehistoric World: Dinosaurs 101 (Informational Text, Video)Gibbons, Gail. Fire! Fire! (Information text)Fire! Fire! (video)Speaking & ListeningLanguageReading ComponentUse CCSS Reading Literature Standards to create “text-dependent” reading comprehension questionsUse CCSS Reading Informational Text Standards to create “text-dependent reading comprehension questionsWritten ComponentUse appropriate grade-level writing standards to create a writing assessment based upon identified texts and genre
68 3–5 Sample Assessment Matrix GradeUse of DRA to Benchmark Reading ProgressLiterary AnalysisNarrativeInformation/ExplanatoryOpinion3YesSoto, Gary. “Eating While Reading.” (Fiction; poetry)Williams, Carlos, Williams. “This is Just to Say.”(Fiction; poetry)Osborne, Mary Pope. The One-Eyed Giant (Book One of Tales from the Odyssey)(Fiction; story)Beeler, Selby. Throw Your Tooth on the Roof: Tooth Traditions Around the World. (Informational Text)At what age do children start losing their baby teeth? (Informational Text)Why Cats Make Better Pets than Dogs (Informational Text)Why Dogs Make Good Pets (Informational Text)4Thayer, Ernest Lawrence. “Casey at the Bat.”Rice, Grantland.“Casey’s Revenge”Curtis, Christopher Paul. Bud, Not Buddy.(Fiction; novel)Berger, Melvin. Discovering Mars: The Amazing Story of the Red Planet. (Informational Text)Evidence Of Water on Mars (Informational Text; video)Are Sports Stars Heroes? (Informational Text)10 Sports Heroes That Are Actually Heroes (Informational Text; slideshow of images and text)5Blake, William. “The Tiger.”Blake, William. “The Lamb”Carroll, Lewis. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. (Fiction; novel)Lauber, Patricia. Hurricanes: Earth’s Mightiest Storms. (Informational Text)NASA: How are Hurricanes Created?(Informational Text & video)“Antarctica Breaking” (Informational Text)Global Warming: Global Warming 101 (Informational Text; video)Speaking & ListeningLanguageReading ComponentUse CCSS Reading Literature Standards to create “text-dependent” reading comprehension questionsUse CCSS Reading Informational Text Standards to create “text-dependent reading comprehension questionsWritten ComponentUse appropriate grade-level writing standards to create a writing assessment based upon identified texts and genre3–5 Sample Assessment Matrix
69 6–8 sample Assessment Matrix Grade 8Literary AnalysisNarrativeArgumentativeInformative / ExplanatoryELAWhitman, Walt. “O Captain! My Captain!”Whitman, Walt. “When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d”Fiction: Cisneros, Sandra. “Eleven.”Chew on Thisby Eric Schlosser and Charles WilsonHealthy Fast FoodTips for Making Healthier Fast Food ChoicesChick-fil-A Commits to Stop Sales of Poultry Raised With AntibioticsDouglass, Frederick. Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass an American Slave, Written by Himself.Frederick Douglass BiographyHistoryXNonfiction: Freedman, Russell. Freedom Walkers: The Story of the Montgomery Bus Boycott.United States. Preamble and First Amendment to the United States Constitution.Monk, Linda R. “Words We Live By: Your Annotated Guide to the Constitution.”Churchill, Winston. “Blood, Toil, Tears and Sweat”: Address to Parliament on May 13th, 1940FDR’s “Day of Infamy” SpeechScience / Technical SubjectsMackay, Donald. The Building of ManhattanExploring space: Why’s it so important?Mars can wait. Oceans can'tGreenberg, Jan, and Sandra Jordan. Vincent Van Gogh: Portrait of an Artist. New York: Random House, (2001)From Chapter 1: “A Brabant Boy 1853–75”Biography.com: Vincent Van Gogh (video)Written Assessments Paired with Complex Text (Standard 10)6–8 sample Assessment Matrix
70 Grade 11 sample Assessment Matrix Literary AnalysisNarrativeArgumentativeInformative / ExplanatoryELAShakespeare Sonnet 19Shakespeare Sonnet 29The Great GatsbyMiller, Arthur. Death of a SalesmanFormer President Bill Clinton says American dream is under assaultOrwell, George. “Politics and the English Language.”HistoryN/ADeclaration of Sentiments by the Seneca Falls ConferenceMcCullough, David (excerpt)The Man Who Would Not Be KingThe Accomplishments of President Abraham LincolnDouglass, Frederick. “What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July?”Frederick Douglas Biography.com (video)Science / Technical SubjectsTyson, Neil deGrasse. “Gravity in Reverse:The Tale of Albert Einstein’s ‘Greatest Blunder.’Kurzweil, Ray. “The Coming Merger of Mind and Machine.”Nine Jobs that Humans May Lose to RobotsAdvancements in robotics provide safety in battle and at homeA Guide to Statistics on Historical Trends in Income InequalityInequality in America: The Data Is SoberingWritten Assessments Paired with Complex Text (Standard 10)Grade 11 sample Assessment Matrix
71 What’s Next? Data Analysis PLCs, Departmental, Grade-Level Meetings Themes/PatternsImpact on Instruction
72 ReflectionAre you comfortable in understanding and creating the types of writing assessments aligned to the CCSS?How can we ensure that teachers perform this important work in grade-level teams, department meetings, and/or PLCs?Any other thoughts?
73 Contact InfoMark G. Cacciatore, Ph.D.New Jersey Department of EducationOffice of Academic Standards
75 ReferencesCouncil of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) (2006). Attributes of Effective Formative Assessment. Retrieved from CCSSO (2012). Distinguishing Formative Assessment from other Educational Assessment Labels. Retrieved from Herman, J. L., Osmundson, E., & Dietel, R. (2010). Benchmark assessments for improved learning (AACC Policy Brief). Retrieved from Wees, D. (2013). 54 different examples of formative assessment. Retrieved from https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1nzhdnyMQmio5lNT75ITB45rHyLISHEEHZlHTWJRqLmQ/pub?start=false&loop=false&delayms=3000#slide=id. p Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (2009). Balanced Assessment System. Retrieved from Wisconsin Department of Public (2010). Balanced Assessment System by Type. Retrieved from
76 Resources for Creating Benchmarks Common Core ELA/Literacy Appendices B & C:Engage: New York State Education Department:Student Achievement Partners (Achievethecore): Common Core Argument/Opinion Writing:Student Achievement Partners (Achievethecore): Common Core Informative/Explanatory Writing:Student Achievement Partners (Achievethecore): Common Core Narrative Writing: