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Articulating a Transformative Approach for Designing Tasks that Measure Young Learners’ Developing Proficiencies in Integrated Science and Literacy

By Alison K. Billman, Daisy Rutstein, Christopher Harris


As early elementary classrooms shift to implementing Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) instruction, high-quality assessments are essential for providing teachers with information about where students are in the process of developing proficiency in science.

In this paper, we introduce an approach for designing NGSS-aligned assessments that measure young learners’ science progress while also attending to the scientific language and literacy practices that are integral parts of the NGSS Performance Expectations. Grounded in the tenets of evidence-centered design (ECD), this approach provides guidance for attending to the typical developmental characteristics of young learners with considerations of their emerging language and literacy development explicitly incorporated into the process. We describe the design process, provide an example task explicitly designed for first-grade students, and consider implications and future research.

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Copyright: 2021
Format: PDF
Pages: 18
Publisher: The Regents of the University of California