Smarter Balanced Assessments – PD Lessons

Smarter Balanced Symposium Presentation on 2.11.15 – “Smarter and More Balanced Leadership: Vision and Capacity Building”

assessment ticket pic

Welcome aboard! In this session we will be leveraging the new assessment system to deepen a shared vision and build capacity of teachers and principals. Don’t worry – we will not just be taking a 30,000 foot view of Smarter Balanced Assessments. We are going to depart with practical tools and ways to lead professional learning around Smarter Balanced Assessments in our systems.

Learning Target: We are leveraging the new assessment system to enact a shared vision and build capacity.

Success Criteria:

I can:

  • anchor leadership moves to my core values and vision.
  • build capacity around Smarter Balanced Assessments using a teaching and learning stance.
  • collaborate.
  • reflect on my practice and leadership.





Instructional leaders,

There is a lot to learn and think about around our new standards and testing. As leaders, we want to be on the forefront of this so we can facilitate learning, instruction and assessments well in our schools. We can’t lead what we don’t know!

Below is a series of mini-lessons we will engage in as learners to develop our own expertise, then we can lead them within our schools.

  • Each is designed to be about 20 minutes so they may be worked into a staff meeting.
  • They are intentionally ordered to build on each other.
  • SBAC tools and resources are strategically embedded in the lessons so they are parceled out and shared in context of learning. Most resources links are posted under the corresponding lesson success critera.
  • They are designed to support learning rather than test prep. For example, by the time we explore tools at the end (test specs, targets and blueprints), they will be more than test question stems or forms; we will have engaged in sense-making around WHY and HOW these are powerful learning and instruction pieces.

Here is the draft trajectory of learning.

1. Big Picture: Summary of SBAC core components, assessment system, and Orting’s vision for how these pieces work together

2. Portions of the SBA: Describes the CAT, classroom activity, and performance task and the relationship between them

3. Claims: Learn how SBAC will be reported, and connect new learning (claims for SBAC) to prior knowledge (shifts and practices for CCSS)

4. Depth of Knowledge: Analyze released items using math and ELA cognitive rigor matrices, and notice cognitive demand of SBAC item types

5. Practice test: Read an article that emphasizes learning versus test prep, understand distinction of training test versus practice test, practice keyboard commands while engaging in practice test, and drill into scoring guide (including claims and Dok)

6. Specifications, Targets and Blueprints

7. Achievement Level Descriptors, Reporting and Using Scores: Learn how SBA will be reported, unpack ALDs, explore projected scores, and use SBA scores with students to chart their path

8. Implementing a Balanced Assessment System: Provides resources to support implementation of summative assessments, interim assessments and Digital Library

9. Other Resources


Mini-Lesson 1: Big Picture

Learning target: I can describe the Smarter Balanced assessment system and make connections to Orting’s assessment system.

Success Criteria:


Mini-Lesson 2: Portions of the SBA

Learning Target: I can describe each portion of the SBA, its purpose, and how the pieces of SBA relate to each other.

Success criteria:


Mini-Lesson 3: Claims

Learning Target: I can make connections between SBAC claims and Common Core State Standards.

Success Criteria:


Mini-Lesson 4: Depth of Knowledge

Learning Target: I can use cognitive rigor matrices to analyze instruction and design assessment items and tasks.

 Success Criteria:


Mini-Lesson 5: Practice Test

Learning Target: I can engage with the practice test to explore student tools, item analysis, and consider implications for instruction.

Success Criteria:


Mini-Lesson 6: Specifications, Targets and Blueprints


Mini-Lesson 7: Achievement Level Descriptors, Reporting and Use of Scores

Learning Target: I can explain scores and reporting for SBA and how scores may be used to support students.

Success Criteria:

Mini-Lesson 8: Implementing a Balanced Assessment System

Summative Assessments

Interim Assessments

Digital Library

Learning target: I can explain WHAT the Smarter Balanced Digital Library is, WHY it is useful, and HOW to navigate it.

Orting School District Digital Library PowerPoint


Implementation Resources:

9: Other Resources:

(Note: Many resources are strategically embedded in the mini-lessons rather than listed here.)

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