Reflection: High Quality Task Speed Demon Investigation (Part 1/2) - Section 2: Engage

 

Open-ended performance tasks are appearing in NGSS-aligned standardized assessments as a more authentic way to assess student thinking about science. Engaging students in scientific inquiry has long been a hallmark of science teaching best practice, however performance tasks take inquiry to another level of rigor. One definition of a performance task is, "A performance task involves significant interaction of students with stimulus materials and/or engagement in a problem solution, ultimately leading to an exhibition of the students’ application of knowledge and skills, often in writing or spoken language", found in the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium.

Ummmmmm, so that means? The Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium identifies only eleven basic guidelines for developing performance tasks! These guidelines, such as "reflect a real-world task and/or scenario-based problem" are research-based and considered best teaching practice. However, when trying to implement the NGSS and re-imagine classroom investigations/ assessments, best practice becomes "just do my best" practice. This article considers this daunting implementation like "making hippos dance": Making the Hippos Dance: Implementing NGSS in the Classroom.

Luckily, there are many resources, including BetterLesson, that can help teachers define and design scientific performance tasks. To get started, here are a few additional resources to get the hippo dancing:

NGSS Classroom Sample Assessment Tasks

Achieve CCSS-CTE Classroom Tasks

The Concord Consortium Find Your Path Through the NGSS

  Performance Tasks - Creating Authentic Problems to Solve
  High Quality Task: Performance Tasks - Creating Authentic Problems to Solve
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Speed Demon Investigation (Part 1/2)

Unit 5: Forces and Motion
Lesson 8 of 18

Objective: SWBAT design an investigation to practice calculating speed/velocity.

Big Idea: Our class mascot, Bob, wants to get to a local water park. Can you help him?

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