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The Georgia Center for Assessment
1985 New Jimmy Daniel Road
Athens, GA 30606
Phone: (706) 542-5231
Phone: (888) 392-8977
FAX: (706) 542-5676
© 2018 Georgia Center for Assessment. University of Georgia College of Education
Deconstructing Standards: Deconstructing standards helps ensure that instruction and assessment tools match the rigor of the standards. In this session, participants sharpen their skills in deconstructing standards to identify specific learning targets. There is further conversation about the relationship between learning targets and depth of knowledge (DOK). Several applied activities help participants deepen their understanding of these concepts.
The Cumulative Assesslets are available in Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies. The Cumulative Assesslets are aligned and assess a representation of the Georgia Standards of Excellence (GSE). These cumulative forms can help teachers to gather strong evidence on student learning toward the overall end-of-year expectations at each grade level. That is, teachers can identify a wider range of knowledge, skills, and concepts that students have not mastered so adjustments can be made to instructional practices and strategies. Cumulative Assesslets are not intended to predict performance on the EOG and EOC assessments, but do provide information on how well students understand concepts and are able to demonstrate knowledge and skills that can help prepare for Georgia Milestones.
Because more content is assessed, Cumulative Assesslets contain approximately 20 to 25 items. Items within each Assesslet are designed to require extended reasoning and critical thinking beyond basic recall.
Our Mastery Assesslets are available in Grade 3 English Language Arts / Reading Comprehension and Grade 5 Mathematics.
Mastery Assesslets featuring a range of Depth of Knowledge (DOK) levels 1, 2, and 3. All the items in the Mastery Assesslets are aligned to the Georgia Standards of Excellence (GSE). Mastery Assesslets have three performance levels: Approaching Expectations, Meets Expectations, or Beyond Expectations. The three levels of performance demonstrate the level of proficiency in the knowledge and skills necessary at the grade level of learning, as specified in the GSE.
The Grade 3 English Language Arts/Reading Comprehension Mastery Assesslet is a 30-item, selected-response assessment. This assessment can be a useful tool for both 3rd and 4th grade teachers for assessing the level of mastery of their students, at different times of the year.
The Grade 5 Mathematics Mastery Assesslet is a 45-item, selected-response assessment. This assessment can be a useful tool for both 5th and 6th grade teachers for assessing the level of mastery of their students, at the beginning and end of the school year.
Learn More about Mastery Assesslets
Our standard Assesslets, available in English Language Arts and Mathematics, include 5-7 assessment items including selected-response, constructed-response, and extended-response. There are a variety of assessments based upon the content area and instructional coverage.
More effective assessments provide more useful information about student understanding and instructional next steps. In these active, hands-on sessions, educators bring in their own classroom assessments for a tune-up:
– Educators take their knowledge to the next level by expanding their assessment development skills
– Educators collaborate with GCA facilitators and other educators from across Georgia, and gain valuable feedback
– Educators walk away with practical tips from current GCA item writers
Educators should expect to fill their toolboxes with improved assessment skills and practical item-writing knowledge that can be used in 2018-19 and beyond.
Reading, writing, speaking/listening, and language are a natural part of learning in any subject area. These text-dependent skills are key to showing mastery of content standards. Revised for 2018-19, our professional learning sessions provide an applied forum for teachers to collaborate with GCA on effective literacy instruction. Everything done in these sessions mirrors work that can be done with students:
– close readings of texts
– small and large group discussions about specific aspects of the texts
– responding, both verbally and in writing, to text-dependent questions
Teachers can expect to hone their literacy instruction in ways that can be immediately implemented in their classrooms. Sessions are customized to specific subject areas and grade levels.
The Georgia Standards of Excellence in Science and Social Studies have rigorous expectations for student understanding. Updated for 2018-19, GCA offers professional learning sessions in both Science and Social Studies, highlighting trends in the rigor of these standards, and engaging teachers in creating learning activities that match the rigor of the standards. Teachers can expect practical, challenging sessions, and to leave with learning activities that can be implemented immediately in their classrooms.
Data files for each Assesslet are provided electronically both at the school and teacher level by an administrator. Data files are downloaded as Excel documents, and contain basic information about each student and each student’s responses and scores by item.
For each student, information such as system and school code, teacher, grade, subject, the Assesslet administered, and date of administration is provided.
For each student, scoring information is provided. For each selected-response item, the student’s response is captured and a score is provided (correct or incorrect). For each constructed- and extended-response item, a score is provided with a comment code indicating the primary reason or reasons why the student earned the score.
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In any subject area, scaffolding student growth occurs through carefully-considered questioning sequences. For example, before students can explain some of the key causes of the American Revolution, students need to identify and describe these causes. Before students can construct a graph showing the relationship between two variables, students need a working understanding of key terms like dependent variable and independent variable. In other words, each question in a sequence is important, and eliminating steps from a sequence can inhibit student understanding.
This session focuses on research-based strategies for sequencing questions effectively. Sessions can be tailored to specific grade-levels and subject areas, or sessions can span multiple grade-levels and subject areas to facilitate vertical and cross-curricular alignment of these strategies.
GCA has a long history of collaborating with K-12 teacher professionals and their students to hone text-dependent writing skills. This collaboration starts with teacher professionals and GCA co-creating standards-based text-dependent writing lessons that integrate reading, discussion, and writing. What follows is co-teaching of this lesson with students. These sessions are highly customized. Teacher professionals build capacity in developing and facilitating text-dependent writing lessons. Students develop greater skill and confidence in text-dependent writing. GCA learns from both the teacher professionals and the students!
Whether on assessments like the Georgia Milestones, or in life in general, a clear indicator of student achievement is the ability to read and write effectively, in a variety of contexts. For this reason, developing students’ literacy skills is one of our greatest opportunities. From this workshop, teachers can expect:
The literacy standards found in the Georgia Standards of Excellence require regular text-dependent writing (i.e., writing that involves a careful reading of associated texts), in all subject areas.
Scoring text-dependent writing with consistency and accuracy, according to standards-based rubrics, can be a challenge. Because accurate scoring is required to develop a valid understanding of student achievement, it is important to address these challenges.
GCA has deep expertise scoring text-dependent writing in multiple content areas, and offers practical, evidence-based professional learning on scoring text-dependent writing with accuracy and consistency.
This professional learning is particularly recommended for districts who observe local scoring of student responses to text-dependent writing questions found on district-level benchmark assessments. District personnel who participate in this professional learning norm their scoring to promote consistency and accuracy, the effect of which is more valid results.
Student assessment is an essential component of a high-quality teaching and learning process. As we begin implementation of the new Georgia Milestones, this is a perfect time to also evaluate the status of district, school, and classroom assessments. This Assessment Audit offers tools and resources to help you determine whether your assessment system is in balance – that is, does it include policies and practices that will meet the assessment needs of all learners? Is it aligned to instruction to promote and to report student learning?
The audit is organized around three guiding questions:
GCA is also available to review your interim, benchmark and/or classroom assessments and provide feedback on the following components:
A balanced assessment plan that includes formative and summative assessments, combined with analysis and the use of results will enable PLC team members to plan together and to assist each other, ensuring student achievement.
The professional learning is organized around five essential questions:
As Georgia’s educational testing and measurement organization, GCA develops, administers, and scores state, district, school, and classroom assessments.
An assessment is only as good as the process by which it is created. GCA has vast experience in the process for designing, developing, administering, and scoring assessments. The assessment development process is a comprehensive process which involves multiple steps to ensure the validity and reliability of the assessments.
GCA works closely with our clients at every phase of the assessment process, from designing through scoring and reporting. Our experience, combined with the flexibility in customization for our clients, allows us to create products that are aligned with our client’s expectations and requirements; most importantly, customized services provide a substantial cost savings.
While GCA offers an all-inclusive development package, we recognize our clients have varying needs. GCA also provides specific services that best suit your assessment needs, including: