Smarter Balanced Tools for Teachers
Tools for Teachers is the formative assessment component of the Smarter Balanced assessment system (PDF). It is an online collection of resources aligned with the Common Core State Standards and the California Next Generation Science Standards that support K–12 teachers in their use of the formative assessment process to adjust teaching to improve student learning. Tools for Teachers features:
- Formative assessment and accessibility strategies embedded in every instructional resource
- Responsive, accessible instructional resources aligned with learning and accessibility standards
- Interactive Connections Playlists of resources linked to Smarter Balanced English Language arts (ELA) and Mathematics Interim Assessments
The instructional resources in Tools for Teachers are developed and submitted by educators who adhere to a collaborative review and rigorous vetting process to ensure high-quality resources.
Tools for Teachers Videos
This four-minute video features how Tools for Teachers supports classroom instruction.
- What is Tools for Teachers? (Video; 1 minute) (May-2020)
- Smarter Balanced Tools for Teachers (Video; 7:02) (Jan-2021)
- Tools for Teachers Takes the Guess-Work Out of Assessment (Video; 0:33) (Sep-2020)
- Tools for Teachers Activities Bring Out the Best in Students (Video; 0:44) (Sep-2020)
The Formative Assessment Process
Tools for Teachers supports educators with the four attributes of formative assessment: (1) Clarify Intended Learning; (2) Elicit Evidence; (3) Interpret Evidence; and (4) Act on Evidence. A description of each of the four attributes is available in this Formative Assessment Process flyer (PDF).
The Formative Assessment in Action Video Series features California educators demonstrating formative assessment techniques in their classrooms.
Other Related Resources
- Tools for Teachers Fact Sheet (PDF; Updated June-2023)
- Tools for Teachers Interim Assessment Connections Playlists Flyer (PDF; Sep-2020) This flyer describes the Tools for Teachers Interim Connections Playlists of instructional resources for ELA and mathematics that can be used to support teaching and learning with the use of Interim Assessment Blocks.
- Tools for Teachers and Other Formative Assessment Online Tools At-a-Glance (PDF; Dec-2021) This document describes online tools available from the California Department of Education to help educators gauge their students’ learning and determine next steps for instruction.
- Back to School Assessment Playbook (PDF) This document describes how educators can use Smarter Balanced resources, such as Tools for Teachers and interim assessments, to support high-quality instruction using the formative assessment process. (Aug-2023)