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California Educators’ Ultimate Guide to Prepare for CAASPP Testing

California Educators’ Ultimate Guide to Prepare for CAASPP Testing

With testing season comes practice assessments, a dose of stress, and sometimes, conflicting information about academic standards. The good news is that a little research and planning can go a long way toward ensuring that you’re able to support your students to reach their full potential on the all the exams under the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) umbrella, including Smarter Balanced exams. We’ve gathered helpful, detailed, and relevant resources on CAASPP testing to help you put a test-preparation program into action. 

CAASPP Testing Resources from the California Department of Education

The California Department of Education (CDE) offers a wealth of knowledge to California educators with plenty of resources to sift through when preparing for state testing. Here are a few hand-picked resources we’ve gathered to get you started. 

Assessment System Chart  
This chart provides a comprehensive overview of the tests that make up the 2019-20 California assessment system organized by test name, type, subject, grade level, participating student groups, and testing window. 

CAASPP Description
Familiarize yourself with all of the tests that make up the SAASPP system, including in-depth info regarding the subjects, student groups, and grade levels they pertain to.

Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium
California is part of the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, and the Smarter Balanced test serves as the primary summative assessment for a majority of California students in English language arts and math. Learn more about the Smart Balanced system, testing process, and the research behind it on the organization’s webpage.

Available Resources by Test
CDE has made available extensive educator resource collections for all of the tests that make up the CAASPP system, including the Smarter Balanced tests, the California Alternate Assessments (CAA), the California Science Test (CAST), and more. These resource collections are designed for classroom use and include general fact sheets, practice and training tests, parent guides, and administration information.

Test Results for California's Assessments
Search for results across all of the tests within the CAASPP system at the statewide level or compare outcomes by school, district, and more. This interactive tool was created so that educators, parents, and citizens can be engaged in California education.

CAASPP Test-Prep Tips, Tricks, and Best Practices for Classroom Teachers

CAASPP test prep doesn’t have to dominate your classroom agenda this spring. By getting started early, utilizing formative assessment strategies, and making the most of practice testing, teachers in the classroom can provide students with individualized test support—whether those students are participating in Smarter Balanced, CAA, CAST, or other exams—without sacrificing time from the standard curriculum (and of course, some fun!).  Check out these resources to get started.

[NWEA MAP Growth Assessments] Answering “What’s Next with Your Data?”
The NWEA™ MAP® Growth™ benchmark assessments are a powerful tool that California educators can use to gain insight into student progress. Learn how to put your NWEA RIT scores to good use by making scores into actionable data that can help support targeted instruction.

5 Proven Ways to Get the Most Out of Practice Testing
Research on practice testing has generated useful findings that educators can implement when creating their own practice tests, including the benefits of distributive practice testing; identical testing formats used for practice, as well as final tests; and multiple-choice practice tests as the most effective format.

3 Ways Online Practice Can Support Your Test-Prep Program 
As you are considering different options to ensure that your students have achieved standards proficiency, it’s critical that you have a program that’s aligned to the California state standards. Consider this and other benefits of using an online program.

4 Best Practices to Use Midyear Benchmark Assessment Data
Like any assessment, midyear benchmarks are only as valuable as the strategies you employ using the data. Here are four ways to make these assessments a truly valuable exercise for you and your students.

Marzano-Validated Best Practices for Online Practice
The Edmentum research team was honored to have Marzano Research peer review a research project that we conducted for our classroom practice and assessment program, Study Island. Through that review, Marzano confirmed our findings about the effectiveness of Study Island, and we also uncovered four best practices to help students get the most out of online practice, including practicing for at least 30 minutes per week on online programs and incorporating online practice in a number of short-burst activities to keep students engaged.

5 Unique Ways to Formatively Assess Your Class
A formative assessment can be fun if you let it! Take a look at five unique ways of assessing student core subject knowledge while still allowing them to have fun and be creative, including journaling, skits, and creating newspaper headlines revolving around the lesson of the day.   

General Test-Prep and Test-Taking Tips for Educators

No matter the exact situation, testing is a stressful process. But successful test taking, beyond content knowledge, is also a skill that can be taught, acquired, and mastered. Here are some of our best resources on general test prep and test taking to help the CAASPP testing process go smoothly at your school.

10 Classroom and School Tips to Improve Test Scores
Helping students achieve California test success is about much more than targeted practice in the classroom. Check out these 10 holistic tips to make sure that your students are ready for their assessments in all ways.

8 Last-Minute Steps Districts Can Take to Improve Test Scores
Administrators may not feel like they have a direct hand in making sure that students are well-prepared for the various tests under the CAASPP umbrella. But, there is no shortage of steps administrators can take to ensure that their teachers and students have what they need for a successful testing season—even when it comes down to the wire.

6 Tips for Teachers to Help Students Manage Stress
Testing season inevitably means classroom stress will hit a new high. So, how can you keep anxiety levels in check and help your students stay cool, calm, and collected when test day rolls around? Here are six tips for a low(er) stress testing season.

8 Tips for Parents to Help Your Child Prepare for High-Stakes Tests
Parents and other caregivers are critical to every students’ education journey. So, get them involved in the CAASPP test-preparation process! Share these eight simple tips with parents to help them support their learners on testing days.

Ready to take your CAASPP test-preparation program to the next level? Check out Study Island, Edmentum’s online solution for classroom practice and assessment, and our extensive library of programs designed exclusively for California educators and students. You can even start your FREE trial of Study Island today!

sarah.cornelius@edmentum.com's picture

Sarah Cornelius is a Senior Marketing Specialist at Edmentum and has been with the company since 2014. In her role, she works to provide educators with engaging and insightful resources. Sarah received her B.S. in Professional Communications and Emerging Media from the University of Wisconsin - Stout.

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