April 10, 2013

Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) Test

Today is a continuation of the ongoing work the district has been conducting to prepare teachers and students for instructional shifts required to prepare our students for new CCSS and SBAC expectations.

Thus far, as a district, we have engaged in the follow experiences:

  • April 30, 2012: Overview of CCSS/SBAC in your schools (kick-off)

  • November 6, 2012 (grade K/3) or January 9/30, 2013 (grades 1/2 and 4/5): CCSS and Information Research Literacy

Today, we will continue to connect these threads by exploring how Information Research Literacy is a critical CCSS instructional shift and component of SBAC's Research/Inquiry Performance Tasks.

Participant Learning Outcomes:

Teachers will:

  1. explore Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) test items (50 minutes).

  2. deconstruct a grade 11 SBAC Performance Task to identify required on-line reading/note-taking skills and instructional learning blocks (60 minutes).

  3. analyze a grade-level SBAC-like Performance task (adapted from TCRWP). Teachers will draw conclusions about media and literacy instructional learning blocks required to support learning outcomes (60 minutes).


Grade 3: Cherisse Barrett, Deb Goodwin and Fionnuala Browning (at Riverside)

Grade 4: Jen Mitchell, Fran Kompar, Beth Cotter, and Jeannine Madoff (at Glenville)

Grade 5: Tascha Cardullo, Kathy Schnefke, Faith Sweeney & Jacqueline Carlin (at Cos Cob)

PRE-READING ACTIVITY: Building Background Knowledge SBAC Items & Computer Adaptive Testing

The following links were sent via EZ Traxx to help build prior knowledge before the April 10th workshop.

Explore SBAC Overview Information On the Links Below:

General Information
What is Computer Adaptive Testing (CAT)?

SBAC Types of Items (PDF):

There are 4 types of items on the SBAC assessment: (1) Selected-response Items, (2) Technology-enhanced Items, (3) Constructed-response Items and (4) Performance Tasks. See the PDF for more information from the Smarter Balanced Assessment Assessment Consortium website:

April 10, 2013

Part I. Smarter-balance Assessment Consortium (SBAC) Test Overview & Introduction (50 Minutes)

PART I DIRECTIONS (60 minutes total)

A. Opening Activity: THINK/PUZZLE/EXPLORE (10 minutes)

  • The directions will be posted on the Smart Board (PPTX- slide #1)

B. 4/10/13 PPT Presentation (15 minutes)

  • PPT Presentation to Explore the Structure of SBAC Performance Tasks (PPTX)

-you may want to review the sample Grade 11 SBAC Performance Task (in your folders) as you go through the presentation slides!

  • Handout Version (PDF format)

C. You Will Need a Laptop or Move to the Computer Lab for This Section- Log on to the SBAC Website (20 minutes)- PLEASE use SAFARI!!!!

-Below is a link to the Training Test for the SBAC pilot test, and below is "dummy" log-in info. for sample READING and MATH items. You MUST use Safari as your browser- you may not be able to access the site utilizing Google Chrome.

http://sbac.portal.airast.org/Training_Test/student.html (Click for URL Link)

Sign in as student name Guest Guest, and use the Session ID: GUEST Session- it seems to be already filled in

-IF you have time, view additional Writing, Speaking/Listening and Inquiry Research Performance Tasks at the link below.

*Please note, these additional items are on the main SBAC website and do not represent the "student view":

Sample SBAC Items (click for URL Link)

  • WRITING item: Try out either the Oliver (write an ending to a paragraph) or School Day tasks (revise a paragraph).
  • SPEAKING & LISTENING: Review the grade 3-5 passage, Exercise in Space; there are 2 sample questions. Check it out!
  • RESEARCH-INQUIRY/ PERFORMANCE TASKS- for the remainder of our time together, we will focus on the Research-Inquiry Performance Task. This portion of the workshop directly links to the CCSS and Information/Research Literacy Professional Learning that you experienced on November 6th (grades K/3) or January 9th/23rd (grades 1/2 and 4/5).

Part II. Deconstruction a Grade 11 SBAC-like Performance Tasks (approximately 60 minutes)

A. Go to the link below. For the next hour or so, you will experience a simulation of what the expectation will be to take a portion of the inquiry research performance task. You will only do PART 1 of the task!!! (45 minutes)

SBAC Released Item Grade 11 Performance Task- Nuclear Power: Friend or Foe

B. Performance Task Instructional Learning Blocks (15 minutes)

After completing Part I of the Nuclear Power PT, use post-it notes to generate a series of instructional learning blocks (mini-lessons) that will have to be integrated into instruction for learners to be successful with this task. Place the post-it notes on the large white chart under the appropriate columns: Literacy - Information Research/Literacy - Content Area.

Part III. Analyze a Grade-level SBAC-Like TCRWP Research/Inquiry Performance Task (approximately 45 minutes)

Directions: Split each large grade-level group (35-50 people) into 10-15 smaller work-groups. Follow the appropriate grade-level links below. You will analyze a grade-level performance task that was designed by TCRWP and formatted to mirror the SBAC tasks.


You may also want to open a copy of the ELA CCSS document to complete this task (http://www.corestandards.org/assets/CCSSI_ELA%20Standards.pdf).

A. Instructional Learning Blocks (35-40 minutes)

As you analyze your grade-level Performance Tasks (TCRWP), generate a list of instructional learning blocks (mini-lessons) that students would need to successfully accomplish the task. There is a copy of the graphic organizer in your folder.




B. Explore resources to support On-line Learning and Note-taking (5-10 minutes):

Kentucky Virtual Library for Elementary School Students - Follows research process and includes graphic organizers and strategies for notetaking.

Student Interactives - Note-taking - From Read-Write-Think - provides grade-level appropriate lessons that feature the trash-and-treasure method of note-taking.

Location and Access (from Utah Education Network)

Use of Information (from Utah Education Network)

Big Ideas for Notemaking and Notetaking from NoodleTools - Article from Debbie Abilock

http://lifehacker.com/5335881/five-classic-ways-to-boost-your-note+taking Five Classic Ways to Boost Your Note-taking

Online Reading Strategies -

Online Reading Strategies from Debbie Abilock (Noodletools)
Reading Comprehension on the Internett - written by Dr. Donald Leu, with New Literacies Research Team, University of Connecticut

Exit Slip Questions (15 minutes):

Go to Padlet (formerly Wallwisher) - be sure to include your grade/school name. The link is at:


Want to know more about Padlet? Check out the knowledge base - will help you with "building your own wall" for your classroom, also provides ideas of how it can be used in your lessons as a collaboration tool.

Additional SBAC Items for Writing, Speaking/Listening and Research Inquiry Performance Tasks

Teachers College Reading & Writing Project Performance Tasks (Additional Tasks)

Read the following document for more information about the TCRWP Performance Tasks:

Read the following document for information about TCRWP suggested protocols for administrating the Performance Tasks:

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