2022 Chicago National Conference

July 21-23, 2022

Grade Level



Session Type


FILTERS APPLIED:PreK - 5, Promoting Effective Assessments in the Science and STEM Classroom, Physical Science


Rooms and times subject to change.
4 results
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A Rubric Design for Making Sense of Elementary Students’ 3D Knowledge and Understanding.

Thursday, July 21 • 2:20 PM - 3:20 PM

McCormick Place - W186c

STRAND: Promoting Effective Assessments in the Science and STEM Classroom

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This session explores two key challenges faced by elementary school teachers for promoting 3D learning as outlined by the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). These are: (1) how to make sense of 3D proficiency based on student responses to assessment tasks, and (2) how to use student responses to inform next steps in instruction. We will address these challenges by guiding participants as they explore a set of 3D assessment tasks that are freely available online. These tasks have been developed in collaboration with teachers for performance expectations in physical science, life science, and earth and space science. During the session, we will highlight how the tasks help elicit what students know and can do. Participants will then learn about the features of the associated rubrics and practice applying rubrics to make sense of student responses. We will also share how information from rubric use can inform next steps in instruction and engage participants in a discussion about instructional decision making. Through this process, participants will learn about rubric features that will inform their own creations and adaptations of rubrics. Furthermore, participants will learn about various resources that are freely available.

Attendees will learn about the features of a new rubric that has been designed based on feedback from elementary school teachers. Through examples and discussions, attendees will learn how the rubric can help them evaluate student responses in a timely manner and provide detailed information about what students know and can do. This information can be valuable in linking student responses to 3D proficiencies and in determining instructional next-steps for teachers.

Sania Zaidi (University of Illinois Chicago: Chicago, IL), Samuel Arnold (Research Assistant: Chicago, IL)

CONSTRUCT: a Crowd-sourced Online Tool for Developing Middle-school Physical Science Assessments using Disciplinary Core Ideas

Friday, July 22 • 8:00 AM - 9:00 AM

McCormick Place - W184d

STRAND: Promoting Effective Assessments in the Science and STEM Classroom

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Do the test questions you use adequately reflect your students’ true understanding of science? We’ll share guidelines for writing effective questions that don’t leave any of your students out and will help you determine whether your students are making sense of phenomena they are investigating - do their ideas match science ideas of the NGSS? Using a research-based “citizen science” approach, teachers can volunteer their favorite items and help improve our existing MOSART questions. Crucial item characteristics will be measured and reported, such as difficulty, effectiveness, gender, and racial/ethnic bias. Write new questions or revise ones you already have to address how well students make sense of elements outlined in the NGSS DCIs. The following is a question that is too difficult for middle school students: Matter is made of tiny bits called atoms. What is between the helium atoms in a balloon? a)Tiny particles that bind atoms together. b)A chemical substance that attaches helium atoms together. c)Nothing; the helium atoms touch each other on all sides. d)Nothing, just empty space. e)Air. How would you revise this item? We’ll have “practice” opportunities to look at assessment questions that are difficult or biased and discuss possible revisions with other educators.

Write assessment questions to address item characteristics of difficulty, effectiveness, gender, and racial/ethnic bias

Cynthia Crockett (Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian: Cambridge, MA), Philip Sadler (Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian: Cambridge, MA)

NGSS-Aligned Assessments for Formative Use in the Elementary Classroom

Friday, July 22 • 10:40 AM - 11:40 AM

McCormick Place - W181b

(Only registered attendees may view session materials. Please login with your NSTA account to view.)
Elem Assessments for Formative Use.pdf
Handout Packet.pdf

STRAND: Promoting Effective Assessments in the Science and STEM Classroom

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This session will provide an introduction to the freely available Next Generation Science Assessment (NGSA) Elementary (Grades 3-5) task portal (https://ngss-assessment.portal.concord.org/elementary-school) and the companion virtual learning community (VLC), Understanding Progress in Science (https://www.upinscience.org/). The NGSA Elementary tasks are multidimensional and aligned with NGSS performance expectations. They were co-developed with teachers and can work with any curriculum. The Understanding Progress in Science VLC provides additional resources, support, and community of practice dedicated to using assessment tasks formatively in elementary science. Participants can learn more about why and how to use NGSA Elementary tasks, get help understanding student responses and using rubrics, and discuss how to use student responses to guide instruction. During this Bring Your Own Device hands-on workshop, we will share examples of how teachers have used the tasks, sample student responses, and instructional next steps. Then we will guide attendees as they explore the NGSA Elementary tasks and consider how to integrate them into their teaching. Participants will also have the opportunity to explore the resources within the Understanding Progress in Science VLC that can support the formative use of tasks in their classrooms.

Attendees will learn how to access and use two related, freely available online resources that support elementary teachers’ use of NGSS-aligned assessment and instruction: A website with tasks aligned with the performance expectations for Grades 3-5 and a virtual learning community around using assessments formatively in the classroom.

Liz Lehman (American Medical Association: Chicago, IL), Brian Gane (University of Kansas: No City, No State), Sania Zaidi (University of Illinois Chicago: Chicago, IL)

What's a Cluster? Understanding the Illinois Science Assessment (ISA)

Saturday, July 23 • 2:20 PM - 3:20 PM

McCormick Place - W184a

STRAND: Promoting Effective Assessments in the Science and STEM Classroom

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The Illinois Science Assessment is written by Illinois science teachers for Illinois science students. Learn more about the format of this test and how you can model test clusters in your classroom.

Illinois Science Teachers will gain insight into how to better prepare students for the ISA by learning how to create clusters for use in their classroom.

Carol Baker (NGSS: Orland Park, IL), Harvey Henson (Southern Illinois University Carbondale: Carbondale, IL), ANGELA BOX (Southern Illinois University Carbondale: CARTERVILLE, IL)

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