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Assessment Spotlight, Issue 146

California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) email update, July 9, 2021.

Focusing on the CAASPP System and English Language Proficiency Assessments for California (ELPAC)—and including, when timely, updates on California’s other statewide assessments. For questions related to test administration, coordination, and trainings, visit the CAASPP website External link opens in new window or tab. and the ELPAC website External link opens in new window or tab..

July’s Featured Resource in Tools for Teachers—“Sunshine and Showers”

Teachers in kindergarten classrooms can use this month’s Tools for Teachers science instructional resource, "Sunshine and Showers" External link opens in new window or tab. (logon required), to help their students use observations to describe patterns in the natural world and identify what plants need to survive and grow. This hands-on lesson, aligned with the California Next Generation Science Standards, focuses on one of the Science and Engineering Practices—Analyzing and Interpreting Data.

This lesson begins with the teacher engaging the students with a phenomenon by showing them a short video of a plant being watered. The video prompts the students to draw on their prior knowledge of plants. Then, using formative assessment strategies such as Think-Pair-Share, Notice/Wonder, and Sticky Notes and Sort, the teacher guides the students in lively, collaborative processing as they identify plants and decide what plants need in order to live. Do plants need “cats” to live? This and other humorous questions will elicit giggles as the students evaluate and categorize the colorful card-sort cards using a card-sort placemat. The lesson ends with an exit ticket that helps the young students build language skills by placing the card-sort cards into sentence frames to describe what plants need to live and grow.

”Sunshine and Showers” comes complete with printable materials and magnified card-sort cards to allow for accessibility. Options for differentiation also are included to ensure that students of all ability levels can access the content and make progress toward their learning goals and success criteria.

To view this and other kindergarten through grade-five science instructional resources, local educational agency staff need a Tools for Teachers account External link opens in new window or tab., which can be obtained either through self-registration or through their LEA CAASPP coordinator.

Please share this email with any educators in your local educational agency who would be interested in or benefit from this information. To join the email list, send a blank email message to Are you a new subscriber? Visit the California Department of Education Assessment Spotlight web page to find previous issues.

Questions:   California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress Office | | 916-445-8765
Last Reviewed: Tuesday, July 13, 2021
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