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Formative Assessment
What is formative assessment?

Effective formative assessment strategies

Benefits of formative assessment

Enhancing Inquiry Through Formative Assessment
A monograph on Formative Assessment and its role in inquiry can be downloaded by going to

Help for Creating Rubrics
Have you ever wondered what the real advantages of using rubrics in yourteaching are?
Have you wanted to learn more about them, their benefits, and how to make them, but thought it was too complicated?
Creating rubrics can be quick and easy.
In this article, Mike Scott, a Tom Snyder Productions professional development consultant, walks you through how to create rubrics in minutes, tells you where to go for free Internet resources, and more.

Open Response and Mulitiple Choice Released Items
Other states have KY like assessments. The best match is Massachusetts and the second closest is Oregon. Both have released items that would benefit KY educators as they develop practice tests and try to build their bank of test items.

The items are available in all content areas and can be downloaded by going to the respective state department websites:

Massachusetts State Department:

Ron Pelfrey´s CTBS Test-Taking Strategies

Here are some strategies you can share with students to help them succeed onthis test. The CTBS is a test that does not penalize for wrong guesses.Therefore, the same strategies that most teachers learned or studied inpreparation for the ACT, GRE, etc. are appropriate for using with theirstudents.

  • Be sure of what's being asked of you: Before you even look at a question on a multiple-choice test, you must read the directions carefully. This cannot be stressed enough. Ask the teacher if necessary.
  • Read each question fully and carefully: Begin each question by reading the stem all the way through. Then read the options all the way through.
  • Read all the options: Even when the question seems unfamiliar, one of the options might provide you with a hint as to what the question is about. There might be information in the options themselves.
  • After you read the stem and options, spend no more than a few seconds puzzling over the question: If you cannot answer a question quickly, cross out any options you have eliminated and go on. Return to the question later. If you cannot eliminate all options to a question you should guess.
  • Eliminate decoys by using the true-false technique: To use the true-false technique, you make a complete statement from the stem and each of the options, in turn. An option that results in a false statement is eliminated as a distractor. One that results in a true statement is probably the correct answer.
  • Stick to the subject of the course: When a multiple-choice question includes options that you don't recognize or that seem out of place it is a good bet that the strange options are decoys.
  • Watch out for negatives and extreme words: Whenever you find negative words such as not or except in the stem or in the options, circle them so they will stand out, but make sure you take them into consideration when you choose your answer. Always circle 100 percent words such as never, no, none, best, worst, always, all, and every; be suspicious of the options in which you find them.
  • Foolish options are usually incorrect:Sometimes test writers dash off foolish statements as an option. You shouldalmost always view such statements as decoys worthy of being immediately crossedout.
  • The option "all the above" is usually correct.
  • Numbers in the middle are usually correct: If you have a choice ofoptions that are all numbers, one of the middle numbers is probably the rightchoice. Test writers usually include a too high number and a too low number. Youmay eliminate them, then have a fifty/fifty chance of choosing the correctoption. You may improve your chances by comparing the numbers to something youare familiar with.
  • Check for look-alike numbers: Testmakers sometimes include, in one question, two options that are alike except forone word. Such a pair seems to indicate where the test maker's interest wasfocused, so it is logical to assume that one of the pair is the correct answer.Be really careful if there are two pairs of similar options.

Check longer or more inclusive options:In multiple-choice questions, the correct option is often longer or moreinclusive of qualities or ideas than the decoys.

Sample Open-Ended Journal Prompts Grades 1-8
The Write Way

The Write Way is a collection of journal prompts for a year of writing tasks in mathematics. These classroom tested sets of journal prompts incorporate problem solving, reasoning, and making connections. They include open-ended questions similar to those found on standardized tests and are easily graded with a rubric included with each set of prompts. The Write Way journal prompts can help you get your class writing and speaking mathematically. The Communications standards of the National Council of Teacher's of Mathematics (NCTM) call for greater mathematical communication through instructional programs from prekindergarten through grade 12 that enable all students to:

*organize and consolidate their mathematical thinking through communication
*communicate their mathematical thinking coherently and clearly to peers, teachers, and others
*analyze and evaluate the mathematical thinking and strategies of others
*use the language of mathematics to express mathematical ideas precisely.

"Students who have opportunities, encouragement, and support for speaking, writing, reading, and listening in mathematics classes reap dual benefits: they communicate to learn mathematics, and they learn to communicate mathematically."
-NCTM, Principles and Standard for School Mathematics

The Write Way journal prompts come in the following sets.
Grades 1-2; Grades 5-6; Grades 3-4; Grades 7-8

You can view and download samples of these prompts by going to

Improving CTBS Scores in Mathematics

International Math Olympiads Problems Released
Problems and solutions from the International High School Math Olympiads can be found by going to

There were roughly 500 high school students representing 83 countries around the world in teams of 6 (a few countries sent less than 6) that participated in this competition.

Median score on the exam was around 11 out of 42. There were only four perfect scores of 42. Two of those perfects were earned by students on the USA team.

The official competition only ranks individuals, but unofficial team totals placed China first, followed by USA and Russia tied for second place.

Performance Assessment Links in Science
Performance Assessment Links in Science (PALS) located at has lots of examples of performance assessment tasks, with scoring guides and teacher guidelines. The tasks were developed by many groups across the country, and are compiled here for teachers to use. The tasks are searchable by content area, grade, or National Science Education Standard. Many tasks also have examples of student work.

Exit Checklist
Many schools are examining the issue of exit criteria. This form demonstrates one way of including the skills/concepts that are expected to be mastered for a specific grade level or course in a form to be used by teachers as an exit form. Once teachers determine "mastery" (typically, 80% correct on a test), then "applied" is marked when students continue to show mastery on an end-of-course or end-of-year test.
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The TIMSS Report On-Line
The TIMSS site has links to other sites and resources, overheads & data files, press releases, papers & publications and many more items on assessment.

Rubric Design Checklist
This checklist identifies the components included in rubrics used in the Kentucky Instructional Results Information System (KIRIS) or the Kentucky Core Content Test. Teachers developing rubrics for their own open-response or open-ended questions can use this checklist for evaluation.

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Task Design Checklist for Open-Ended Questions
This checklist identifies the components that Kentucky has included in each of the more recently developed Kentucky Core Content Test (KCCT). In order for students to have practice in responding to these type of questions, teachers need to develop open-ended questions for use in their own classrooms that closely parallel the state assessment. The checklist can be used by teachers to refine their questions to include all necessary components.

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Diagnostic Tests for Mathematics
The Diagnostic Mathematics Tests were designed to be end-of-the-year tests to assess how well students at the respective grade levels understood and could apply content that they would be expected to master. These tests can also be used as pre-tests with the understanding that few students would be expected to perform well on most items.

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All Tests:

End-of-Grade 1, only:
End-of-Grade 2, only:
End-of-Primary, only:
End-of-Grade 4, only:
End-of-Grade 5, only:
End-of-Grade 6, only:
End-of-Pre-Algebra, only:

Open-Ended Response Questions (Math)
Now aligned with the Ky Core Content version 3.0!
This document includes questions for grades 4, 5, 8, Algebra 1/Probability/Statistics and Geometry. The questions contained in this document can be used as practice either for the Kentucky Core Content Test (KCCT) or for other problems solving situations that students may encounter.

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All Questions:
Grade 4, only:
Grade 5, only:
Grade 8, only:
Algebra I, only:
Geometry, only:

Educational Testing Service: Office of Disability Polic
ETS shows ways that you can ensure that students with disabilities--or students with ADD--are treated fairly when it comes to standardized tests.

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