According to the introduction to NJ ASK Language Arts Literacy Test Specifications found on the N.J. Department of Education website: “The purpose of New Jersey’s statewide assessments is to measure what students at specific grade levels know and are able to do. The assessments are not designed to be diagnostic nor do students’ scores on these assessments equate with classroom grades. Instead, the assessments determine whether students are achieving the knowledge and skills described in New Jersey’s core curriculum content standards (NJ CCCS).”
New Jersey resources
There are many websites that can help students by preparing them with better test taking by helping them to identify gaps and weaknesses in skills, and equipping them with study and skill-building tools. The N.J. Department of Education’s NJPEP: Virtual Academy (New Jersey Professional Education Port) provides the following assessment and evaluation resources:
You can find information on everything from the latest NJASK tests, to New Jersey Standards and HSPA (High School Proficiency Assessment), and the American Diploma Project at the NJDOE Assessment and Evaluation website.
Tenafly Public Schools has posted an NJASK site (current as of 2010) with tips and practice sheets. Freehold Township Schools provides links to resources on problem solving and open-ended questions, brain teasers, online practice tests, interactive manipulative sites, and other resources. Patrons of the Somerset and Mercer County Library (MCL) and other New Jersey library systems can access their NJASK Study Program thorough the online LUMOS Test Prep (valid library card number required) for grades 3, 4, 5, 6 and 8. Connect to LUMOS to see if your library has a membership.
North Warren Regional School District provides links for both ASK and HSPA. Log in as “guest” to see All You Need to Know About the HSPA. Download HSPA practice tests and reviews at Teacherweb, and see sample chapter reviews and a glossary from the HSPA Coach.
There is still time to take part in Rutgers University 2010-2011 Mathematics Workshops For High School Teachers which offers workshops to help teachers:
- Better prepare students for New Jersey's statewide assessments
- Engage students in lessons
- Learn more about mathematics content that is relevant to the classroom
- Incorporate standards-based hands-on activities that motivate students
- Relate classroom lessons to "real world" applications
These workshops from the The Rutgers Department of Mathematics and DIMACS (Center for Discrete Mathematics and Theoretical Computer Science) include 20 highly interactive one-day professional development workshops for high school math teachers and institutes this summer (2011).
Language arts/reading assessments
Publisher websites are another resource for online assessments. Some examples are Thomson Wadsworth’s developmental English Online Grammar Quizzes, Glencoe’s Writing Assessment and Rubrics, and Houghton Mifflin’s Power Proofreading, Graphic Organizers, or Test Prep Practice (mathematics).
It will take more than one sitting to discover the wealth of resources available from Internet 4Classrooms. In addition to links to assessment tools for grades 1-8, ACT/SAT test prep and practice, and high school tests (with answer keys) for language arts, mathematics, social studies and science, Internet4Classrooms includes project sites for biographies, countries/continents, data sources, inventors, problem-based learning and project-based learning. As of this writing, trending topics (highlighted resources) were Teachers and Parents: Vocabulary Practice Tests (requires free sign-up), Elapsed Time (interactive sites and worksheets), and Math Help at Home.
Jefferson County Schools (Tennessee) help students brush up for Terra Nova testing with writing Prompts and Write On. Activities such as “Nitemare on elm street” is a tongue in cheek PowerPoint play on words of the popular Freddy Krueger series that helps students learn editing skills. Online Basic Skills Games include language arts, math, science and social studies and interactive sites including social studies and assessment. The district also links to PowerPoint lessons from a Jeopardy Music Game to a Winter Olympic Wax Museum. You can find an up-to-date listing of their test prep tools at http://jc-schools.net/test.html.
The Teachers Café
includes a directory of reading, writing, and language arts assessments and rubrics for elementary grades. One instrument is the San Diego Quick Reading Assessment
, which uses word banks to indicate reading levels. Many readers will be familiar with the diagnostic power of the DIBELS Data System
from the University of Oregon. While the cost for the entire system including reports is advertised as one dollar per student per year, you can now preview the 6th Edition DIBELS and IDEL
measures (free for educational use). For descriptions of other standardized reading tests see Types of Educational Tests
from Concord Carlisle High School.
The California State University/University of California’s Online Tests for Student Use from their Mathematics Diagnostic Testing Project includes the Online Mathematical Analysis Readiness Test (MR) and the Online Calculus Readiness Test (CR). There are 40 questions on each of these diagnostic tests to help high school students determine their readiness for math classes and/or college placement tests. Each test takes approximately one hour (no calculators) and provides an online report. Students can bypass the online personal information and skip right to the tests. In a similar vein, the Department of Mathematics at the University of California – Berkeley allows students to generate a 24 question diagnostic calculus placement exam.
More student-generated math tests are available from The University of Missouri at Columbia. On their Math Evaluation Web Site, students can determine the number of questions they would like to answer (up to 75) and choose from single or multiple choice answers to check their skills readiness in the areas of algebra, geometry, trigonometry or calculus.
Northern Kentucky University Sources of Mathematics Open Response Items links to Mathematics Problems from around the World, Open Response Prompts and Scoring Guides, Rich Learning Tasks and Open-Ended Problems and Rubrics and sample lesson plans for algebra, probability, geometry, and statistics. You can also find links to open-ended math questions from the Franklin Institute website.
Take a look at the NJEA Assessment Resources page, which links to the Authentic Assessment Toolbox, sample rubric generators, Kathy Schrock’s Assessment and Rubric Information, and the University of Wisconsin’s Online Assessment Resources for Teachers.
While the page heading states Math Quizzes and Science Quizzes, the interactive quizzes from SoftSchools.com online quizzes for language arts and social studies are included as well. There are practice tests for general math, algebra, grammar, biology, chemistry and physics, and geography and history. Spanish and Italian language learning quizzes are also provided. You can create your own quiz, word search or matching games and worksheets.
Thatquiz is a quirky little site that provides quick 10-question, timed quizzes on math integers, fractions, concepts and geometry, vocabulary and geography, and science areas (cells, anatomy, elements and conversion). Students can take the tests for free and teachers can register for free to enable record-keeping of student grades. They can then access test-generation tools, create single tests with questions from different categories, and can create matching and multiple choice questions. There is also a public library of teacher created tests. Note: you may want to provide direct URLs to selected tests since the tests are not verified for accuracy.