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The Wowzers Blog

Thoughts, best practices, and helpful tips based on the educational experiences and passion of the Wowzers Team

Where Can I Find Smarter Balanced Practice Tests and Sample Items?

by: Andrew Howard on Apr 11, 2015 1:25:00 PM

Smarter Balanced Assessment UpdateThe Smarter Balanced online assessments are less than a school year away. If your state has adopted the SBAC, chances are you want to give your students a chance to practice these new Common Core-aligned tests prior to the 2014-2015 deadline.

Don't worry! Free Smarter Balanced examples, practice exams, and test samples exist and they are readily available. The best part is, you don't even need to scour the Internet to find them!

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Topics: Common Core Assessments

4 Essential Points for Your School's Smarter Balanced Assessments Checklist

by: Andrew Howard on Apr 9, 2015 8:35:00 AM

This past semester, we’'ve noticed (via conversations with educators across the country) that many schools and curriculum departments seem to have a pretty solid understanding of how they plan to integrate the new standards into current curricula and lesson plans.

Wowzers Smarter Balanced Update imageHowever, the process of preparing the school, staff, and students for the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consoritum (SBAC) Common Core-aligned tests seems to be lagging behind the efforts focused on standards integration. A lot of this can be attributed to the fact that there is still not a ton of information out there about the new assessments.

Sample problems and blueprints are trickling in, but not at an ideal rate. That’'s why we wanted to put together a quick checklist to help those who are trying to catch their online assessment preparations up with their CCSS integration efforts.

Read below the break to see a checklist of general goals your school should strive for to be ready (from a technical standpoint) for the Smarter Balanced (SBAC) assessments by the 2014-2015 deadline.

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Topics: Common Core Assessments

Free E-Book: Are Your Devices SBAC-Compliant?

by: Andrew Howard on Apr 7, 2015 12:49:00 PM

Can my student take the SBAC online assessment on this computer/tablet?

PARCC technology requirements informationThere's a lot of confusion about what devices students can use to take the SBAC assessment. That's why we created this E-Book: To help educators prepare for the SBAC Assessment.

This eBook details everything you need to know to make sure your school's devices are SBAC-Compatible, including

  • Information about tablets, screen size, and operating system;
  • Requirements, including keyboards and other accesiblity concerns.

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Topics: Common Core Assessments

Free Resource: "Strengthening SBAC Skills: 10 Key Online Testing Terms"

by: Andrew Howard on Apr 4, 2015 11:45:00 AM

10_Key_SBAC_Testing_Terms_CoverThe Smarter Balanced (SBAC) companion to last week's Wowzers Online Math PARCC vocab resource has arrived! 

Published today, the Strengthening SBAC Skills: 10 Key Online Testing Terms eBook details ten must-know online action verbs that your students will see on the Smarter Balanced Math Assessments during the official 2014-2015 tests.

Read below the break to learn more about the new Wowzers Online Math resource and to receive a free download link!

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Topics: Common Core Assessments

What Devices Can Students Use to Take the Smarter Balanced Assessment?

by: Andrew Howard on Apr 3, 2015 2:00:00 PM

Smarter Balanced Device Requirements imageWith the beginning of the Smarter Balanced (SBAC) test just coming up quickly, we wanted to put this quick guide together to help educators identify if their school/classroom's devices (or students' devices, in a BYOD setting) are SBAC online assessment compatible.

Read below the break to learn more about the specific Smarter Balanced technology requirements for testing devices and how to ensure that your students’ devices meet the requirements.

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Topics: Common Core Assessments

What is the Big Difference Between PARCC and Smarter Balanced?

by: Andrew Howard on Apr 3, 2015 7:13:00 AM

blended learning progress

We know that there are two different Common Core-aligned assessment consortia, but what exactly makes them different? In this blog post we review the key elements of Smarter Balanced and PARCC assessments. What makes them similar? What makes them different? Read below the fold for more.

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Topics: Common Core Assessments