High School English teacher, Bonney Lake, WA
March has come in like a lion … and I don’t mean the weather. SBA (Smarter Balanced Assessment) time is upon us and the lion is breathing, somewhat uncomfortably, down the back of my neck.
For me, this began last year at the end of June, when teams of teachers at all levels in my district met for 1 week of full work days to design performance based assessments to be used in classrooms this year. Our goal in the high school ELA group was to create standards-aligned tasks that would provide a SBAC-like experience. We began the year with these tasks and in December we shifted our focus to the SBA Interim Assessment options . It was decided our students would complete the Smarter Balanced Interim Comprehensive Assessment (ICA) for ELA, completing a Computer Adaptive Test (CAT) section as well as a Classroom Activity (CA) followed by a Performance Task (PT) section.
As with any change, there were grumblings. However, we knew students needed this exposure and to be honest, we wanted to see what this process and test were going to look like. Our English department administered the ICA in February: lessons were learned and reflection has followed.
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