Five swimmers compete in the 50-meter race. The finish time for each swimmer is shown in the video. Explain how the results of the race would change if the race used a clock that rounded to the nearest tenth.
You should take a tour through the Smarter, Balanced Assessment Consortium’s released items, make an opinion about them, and share it here. California is a member state of SBAC, one of two consortia charged with assessing the Common Core State Standards, so I’m comparing these against our current assessments. Without getting into how these assessments should be used (eg. for merit pay, teacher evaluation, etc.) they compare extremely favorably to California’s current assessment portfolio. If assessment drives instruction, these assessments should drive California’s math instruction in a positive direction.
The assessment item above uses an animation to drive down its word count and language demand. It’s followed by an expansive text field where students are asked to explain their reasoning. That stands up very well next to California’s comparable grade five assessment [pdf]:
- Elsewhere, we find number sense prized alongside calculation (here also) which is a step in a very positive direction. (ie. Our students should know that $14.37 split between three people is between $4 and $5 but it’s a waste of our time to teach that division longhand.)
- I’ve been assuming the assessment consortia would run roughshod over the CCSS modeling practice but on the very limited evidence of the sample items, we’re in good shape.
- The assessments do a lot of interesting and useful things with technology. (Reducing word count, at the very least.) I only found one instance where the technology seemed to get in the way of a student’s expression of her mathematical understanding.
I can’t really make an apples-to-apples comparison between these items and California’s current assessments because California currently has nothing like this. No constructed responses. No free responses. No explanation. It’s like comparing apples to an apple-flavored Home Run pie.
Next thing to explore: Technology Enhanced Item Supporting Materials [zip]. [The “Movie Files” folder is extremely interesting. -dm]