Resources to Guide Common Core Implementation
The upcoming changes in assessment from both of the large assessment consortia include a separate assessment component that are labled as “Performance Tasks.”
“Students will complete one task in reading, one in writing, and two in mathematics annually during a Consortium-defined testing window. Performance tasks may be delivered via computer and will generally require one to two class periods to complete. These tasks will evaluate aspects of the CCSS that are difficult or not possible to assess through more traditional items. They will involve student-initiated planning, management of information and ideas, interaction with other materials and/or people, and production of an extended response such as an oral presentation, exhibit, product development, or an extended written piece. A combination of machine and teacher/human scoring will be used, with results available as soon as possible.”
Here is PARCC’s more in-depth description of testing at each grade with item types, number of items, and descriptions of tasks (tables are in Appendix A-scroll down within the document!). I have placed a couple of example screenshots of the performance task information below. Here are some working definitions of the item-types to help navigate the “meaning” in these snapshots.
Math Definitions (there are English examples below too):
Brief constructed response: Students generate their own answer to the prompt or stated problem but do not have to show their work or explain their answer.
Extended constructed response: Student must work through the given problem (likely multi-step), show their work, and explain their reasoning.
Extended performance tasks: Items heavily emphasize the application of mathematics, where the mathematics may not be obvious within the stated problem.
Item Examples are in a further appendix and here are some screenshots of those (the poor quality of the images is due to the poor quality of the PDF!).
Where to find more math performance task examples:
Where find ELA performance tasks-the only clear model hear is from the Literacy Design Collaborative (LDC). These resources can be found on another location on Common Core Essentials. Below are a couple links to the major LDC collection of task examples and one AMAZING link to the performance tasks released by the Reading and Writing Project at Columbia’s Teachers College (a MUST see):