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Assessment Spotlight, Issue 221

California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) email update, February 10, 2023.

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..

Assignment of Designated Supports and Accommodations—Data Posted

The 2021–22 California Assignment of Designated Supports and Accommodations data files for the Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments for English language arts/literacy (ELA) and mathematics and for the California Science Test (CAST) are now available. The data files include the counts of students who were assigned designated supports or accommodations, aggregated by local educational agency (LEA), by school, and statewide by grade. Within each table, the accessibility resources counts are aggregated further by combinations of English learner designation and individualized education program or Section 504 plan status. These data files provide the number of accessibility resources that were assigned to students and not whether they were used by students.

Science Resources Reminder: Desmos Calculators and Science Reference Tools

Students taking the CAST can access embedded Desmos calculators during the test. The calculators are assigned to students based on their grade level—Calculator—Grade Five External link opens in new window or tab. (a simple four-function calculator) and Calculator—Grade Eight and High School External link opens in new window or tab. (a scientific calculator). Students can resize or reposition the calculators on the screen as needed. Students using Job Access with Speech, or JAWS®, can also use the Desmos calculator when taking the CAST.

Both calculators are posted on the CAST web page External link opens in new window or tab. under Accessibility Resources for educators and students to use for practice during the school year. Students can also access these features on the Training and Practice Tests. Introducing your students to Desmos now is an opportunity for them to build familiarity prior to testing day!

February’s Featured Resource in Tools for Teachers—Place Value Rumble

If you teach fourth grade math skills, this month’s featured instructional resource, Place Value Rumble External link opens in new window or tab. (account required), is for you! The resource provides multiple ways to help students read, write, and compare multi-digit whole numbers.

In the lesson, students collaborate with classmates to develop explanations in support of the comparison chosen for a specific problem. They use base-ten numbers and number names to make their decisions. Using the Number Talks formative assessment strategy, students examine predetermined sets of numbers, a pair at a time, and compare their values. The teacher guides students with clarifying questions as the students explain their thinking using mathematical vocabulary previously learned. Additional formative assessment strategies follow to help teachers engage students and monitor their learning throughout the lesson.

A detailed lesson plan, complete with handouts and supplemental materials, provides step-by-step directions and ideas for differentiation to accommodate students’ varying levels of comprehension. The lesson also provides key considerations and ideas for meeting students where they are in their learning. Check it out!

Place Value Rumble is included in two Interim Assessment Connections Playlists for grade four—Place Value and Multidigit Whole Numbers, and Numbers and Operations in Base Ten. Each playlist consists of instructional resources that can be used to teach the content assessed on the corresponding Interim Assessment Block. To view this and other instructional resources, LEA staff need a Tools for Teachers account, which can be obtained either through self-registration, described in the flyer How to Self-Register for Tools for Teachers External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF), or through their LEA CAASPP coordinator.

Please share this email with any educators in your LEA 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: Thursday, April 11, 2024
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