Achieve recently announced the release of Classroom Sample Assessment Tasks for middle and high school grades. These sample tasks, written by secondary science and math teachers, provide examples of how content and practices from both the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) in Mathematics can be assessed together in classrooms.
“It is an exciting time in science education,” said Ben Twietmeyer, a chemistry teacher from Illinois. “We are moving from primarily only teaching science content to developing students’ knowledge and science skills. Focusing on evidence based explanations and application, these tasks pull together the big ideas of the NGSS and Common Core Math Standards.”
Each task focuses on a specific context or storyline and includes multiple components that work together to partially or fully assess a bundle of chosen standards (i.e., a group of related standards from the NGSS and CCSS). The purpose of these sample tasks is to provide some examples of how to meaningfully integrate the NGSS and CCSS in authentic ways in the context of classroom assessment. Although the tasks were originally developed to integrate CCSS-Mathematics and the NGSS, CCSS-ELA/Literacy alignments were also added in response to requests from states and educators to support literacy work across disciplines.
“Working with a science teacher broadened my understanding of writing and teaching integrated tasks,” said Jennifer Abler, a high school math teacher from Michigan. “We spent a great deal of time discussing what integrated really means. It’s not teaching math and science parallel to one another but using the skills of each content area to strengthen the understanding of the content of both subjects.”
Educators are encouraged to modify these tasks for their needs and to provide Achieve’s Science Team with feedback for task improvement. The tasks released are drafts and will be revised to incorporate user feedback. Achieve anticipates releasing revised drafts of the tasks as well as the first round of Classroom Sample Assessment Tasks for elementary grades in the coming months.
To aid educators in their own task development, the front matter of the Classroom Sample Assessment Tasks provides information about the task development process so additional tasks can be created to assess a bundle of both math and science standards.
“We are very pleased to make these sample tasks available to educators and look forward to seeing continued integration of the NGSS and CCSS,” said Stephen Pruitt, Senior Vice President at Achieve. “There is tremendous opportunity for teachers and curriculum designers to bundle standards from different content areas to bring about deeper cross-disciplinary student understanding. We hope these tasks will be a starting point for ongoing conversations among educators in different disciplines.”
Achieve convened the educators who developed the tasks as part of its ongoing work to provide resources to states in support of NGSS adoption and implementation.
The Classroom Sample Assessment Tasks can be accessed at: