Announcing the launch of interactive modules on formative assessment in the Smarter Balanced Digital Library!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Understanding Language is excited to announce the launch of our professional development resources in the Smarter Balanced Digital Library. We produced five formative assessment modules, each with a dual focus on content and language, and each designed around a language analysis tool initially created for our Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs).  The tools cover different modalities of student language output—reading, conversation, and writing—as well as core skills, such as mathematical reasoning and argumentation. These modules have been created to support the Common Core State Standards, and are suitable both for teachers who are working with English language learners as well as those who are not. To learn more about these resources, please check out our overview video at

You now can find these modules in the Smarter Balanced Digital Library (check here to see if you are in a member state). To celebrate the launch of these resources, our experts who were involved with the production are also hosting online forums to answer any questions from the users. Links and a schedule of the modules and their public forums can be found below. We look forward to talking to you there!

WEEK ONE: Monday, March 16th

·      Focal module 1: Developing Constructive Classroom Conversations In Grades K-2

Forum discussant(s): Kenji Hakuta and Sara Rutherford-Quach

·      Focal module 2: Formative Assessment Of Written Language In Grades 6-8

Forum discussant(s): David Pearson, Alison Baily, Ixchel Samson, and Elsa Billings

WEEK TWO: Monday, March 23rd

·      Focal module 3: Focusing On Language To Support Middle School Math Argumentation

Forum discussant(s): Jack Dieckmann

·      Focal module 4: Developing The Language Of Mathematical Reasoning In Grades 3-5

Forum discussant(s): Jeff Zwiers and Sara Rutherford-Quach

WEEK THREE: Monday, March 30th

·      Focal module 5: Supporting Ideas & Language In Text Analysis In Grades 3-5

Forum discussant(s): David Pearson, Alison Bailey and Neil Hasser