Smarter Updates

Learn more about Smarter Balanced’s latest assessment resources and releases, and updates around supports available to schools, districts, and member states.

A student wearing a mask calculates equations on a large white board. Text reads: "2020 in Review: Supporting Teaching and Learning During and Unprecedented Year"

Smarter Balanced Year in Review 2020

Supporting Teaching and Learning During an Unprecedented Year What a year! Looking back at 2020 comes with mixed emotions, but the truth is, Smarter Balanced made big strides in supporting educators at a time when they needed it most.   Classroom teaching became remote learning and teachers had to quickly adjust to this new reality. Together with students…

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Learn to Score Student Writing the SmART Way!

New Smarter Annotated Response Tool (SmART) Now Available Smarter Balanced worked with educators to create the Smarter Annotated Response Tool (SmART), a dynamic tool that supports educators in understanding how student writing is scored on Smarter Balanced assessments. Educators can use SmART to explore how different student responses are scored across the grade levels and writing…

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Example of an extra credit assignment that Jamie Elliott-Delaney, Guest Blogger received from her student.

We Are All In This Together (Remotely)

A Shout-Out to Smarter Balanced Performance Tasks Jamie Elliott-Delaney, Guest Blogger5th Grade TeacherAppoquinimink School DistrictMiddletown, Delaware Although I am a fifth grade teacher at heart, I have extreme love for any teacher who teaches grades K-5. The dedication, extreme multitasking, wearing of “several hats” daily, and the pure ability to be flexible in any given situation…

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Practice Tests and Sample Items help students and teachers understand how the test works.

Newly Released Sample Questions Can Help Support Instruction

The Smarter Balanced Sample Items Website now includes 104 newly released test questions that previously appeared on the year-end (summative) math and English language arts tests in grades 3-8 and high school.  Educators can use the sample test questions to better understand how Smarter Balanced measures college and career ready content and what students need to know and do. The newly released questions add to the nearly…

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Three Tools to Help You (and Your Students) Get to Know the Smarter Balanced Summative Test: Training Test, Practice Test, and Sample Item.

Three Tools to Help You (and Your Students) Get to Know the Summative Test

Training Test, Practice Test, and Sample Items and When to Use Them Elizabeth Johnston, Guest BloggerEnglish Language Arts Teacher (7th Grade) With all the different tools and resources available to help us get familiar with the summative test, it can be confusing what the best use is for each one. Here is a summary of…

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Educators Meet to Review and Write Smarter Balanced Test Items

Over the course of a week in Chicago, Mathematics and ELA test items were reviewed for content alignment, bias and sensitivity, and new items were developed for field-testing Classroom teachers from eight states convened July 30-August 3 to provide a “boots on the ground” perspective of student skill levels. Core to the Smarter Balanced mission,…

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Screenshot of Sample Items Website home page.

8 Reasons to Check Out the Updated Sample Items Website

Updates to the Smarter Balanced Sample Items Website bring a fresh look and new features that make this tool even more useful for teachers and parents. Here are eight reasons why you’ll definitely want to take a look! 1. Find items by target This feature will probably be most useful to teachers, but we’ve added the ability…

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