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Standards-based assessment and Instruction


Exemplars publishes performance tasks in the areas of Math, Science and Developing Writers, to help teachers use and integrate authentic, standards-based assessment and instruction into their classrooms.

Our material includes rubrics, annotated anchor papers and teacher notes for assessment and instruction. It has been classroom tested and is based on sound scientific research.

As teachers, there are a number of things you can do to help your students become successful in problem solving, while meeting state, national and Common Core standards.

Use Exemplars often in your classrooms.

Research shows that students, who solve problems often, become better problem solvers than students who do not. Exemplars has created a series of professional resources to help you get started on the right foot. In the area of math, please refer to our Getting Started Guide for tips on engaging your students with problem solving. Our Science Toolkit offers equally helpful strategies for integrating our science material in your classroom. Real problem solving is new to many students. They will need practice to become successful. It is important to be persistent.

Practice assessing student work.

You can practice assessing sample pieces of student work using Exemplars Online Math and Science Tutorial. Additional examples can be found in our sample tasks, where student work has been assessed by Exemplars and annotated anchor papers are provided. Practice scoring with your colleagues and discuss your results. Some of the most powerful conversations teachers can have are about student work.

Become familiar with Exemplars rubrics.

Use the rubrics, along with the respective anchor papers to assess student work. You will gain important insights into your students' thinking, by utilizing these tools.

Inform your instructional practices.

Assessment is more than assigning a score. It is using results to improve performance. Use the insight gained from assessment to inform your instructional practices. Examine the annotations on the Exemplars anchor papers. These often provide instructional clues based on what students have done. For tips, visit Tips for Using Exemplars.

Help your students become better self-assessors.

Research shows that students who are good self-assessors perform at higher levels. Encourage your class to use the Exemplars student rubrics. Practice assessing together, as a whole class. Ask your students to assess their own work before submitting it to you, then assess it yourself and return their papers along with your assessment.

Become an active member of the Exemplars Online Users Group.

If you are an Exemplars user, you have access to our Online Users Group, a free forum, where you can ask questions, share successes, partner with other classrooms around the country and pass on other useful information. Our editors and professional development leaders participate regularly in discussions. To find out how to enroll, please contact us at You can also join Exemplars on Facebook.

Our teacher-friendly tasks are designed to support both the Common Core and Citywide instructional expectations. GO Math! alignments are also available.
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Explore our latest K-5 math material and begin using it in your classroom.
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Here's What People Are Saying

One additional benefit of using the modeling format has been that teachers not only saw an Exemplars mathematics lesson modeled as intended, but they have also had the opportunity to see numerous quality strategies for communicating with students. They have seen students enticed to communicate their thoughts to peers as well as communicating their explanations on paper. Teachers have seen best practices for establishing a working community in the classroom...

Shirley McKee

Elementary Consultant

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