Making Standards Concrete
The Exemplars Method
One of the greatest challenges in standards-based work is defining standards and rubrics so everyone has the same understanding as they teach and assess. The key to meeting this goal is looking at student work together with standards in mind. As an example, Exemplars has posted samples of student work from the task, Marshmallow Peeps, which meets our standards at three grade levels: grade two, grade four, grade six.
This task carefully demonstrates: What would we want second graders to do? Fourth graders? Sixth graders? Students at each level are able to solve the problem, but their responses become increasingly sophisticated and their strategies more efficient. As they develop, they are able to make generalizations.
Reviewing these examples will make expectations very clear about what meets the standards and what does not at each grade level. We hope you find this helpful in assessing your own student's work and in guiding them to meet standards.
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