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Standards-based assessment and Instruction

Inquiry-Based Performance Tasks

Best of Exemplars Science CDs

Investigations For Today's Classroom

Exemplars inquiry-based investigations provide teachers and administrators with a way of teaching and assessing science-process and communication skills. Our performance tasks are classroom tested and can be used for assessment, instruction and/or professional development.

Exemplars K-5 and 6-8 CDs offer:

220 hands-on inquiry-based performance tasks.

Our open-ended material encourages students to communicate their thinking and reasoning. Tasks focus on scientific investigation and inquiry linked to earth, physical, life and design science concepts.

Assessment rubrics.

Our standards-based rubric consists of four performance levels (Novice, Apprentice, Practitioner and Expert) and four assessment categories (Scientific Tools and Technologies, Scientific Procedures and Reasoning Strategies, Scientific Communication/Using Data, and Scientific Concepts and Related Content).

Annotated anchor papers.

Each investigation includes anchor papers that demonstrate student work at the four performance levels of the Exemplars rubric. These may also be used for student self- and peer-assessment along with our student rubric.


Material includes alignments to NGSS, state and national (STEM, AAAS and NRC) standards, as well as leading science kits and literature links.

Teaching notes.

Each task includes rich teaching notes to guide assessment and instruction, as well as interdisciplinary links to extend investigations.

Timely and comprehensive feedback.

Exemplars is a proven formative assessment tool that reflects student understanding, reasoning, achievement and growth to guide instruction and determine next steps for each individual learner.

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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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Here's What People Are Saying

There is more than enough in each activity for a teacher, even one without a great deal of science background, to plan high-quality, inquiry-based lessons and assess student performance with confidence ... This program will provide an invaluable service to schools ..."

C. Seidman

Science Teacher

NSTA Review Panel Member

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