Horizon Charter Schools Provides a Host of CAASPP Testing Tips and Assistance to Prepare Students for Assessments
Each year, public school students across California are required to take the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress — or CAASPP — tests. That includes Horizon’s homeschool, independent study, virtual learning, and Montessori students in third through eighth grades and juniors in high school.
The CAASPP tests are just one measurement of performance and a part of a student’s overall educational plan. The assessment is designed to show progress or growth from year to year, and help identify gaps in comprehension or skills early on so students can get the support needed to be successful in school. The CAASPP system utilizes computer adaptive tests and performance tasks that allow students to show what they know and are able to do. This system is based on the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for English/language arts (ELA) and mathematics.
Often students and parents alike become nervous when it’s time to take a test. Just the word can make people sweat or get butterflies. The first step towards conquering this fear is to take a deep breath and relax. Remember this isn’t a life or death situation, and no one is going to yell at you or judge you if there is information you or your students don’t know.
Look at these tests as a way to prove what a great job you are doing and to learn what areas you need to work on in the future. That’s really what they are. So think positively. Have a good attitude. Be confident in your abilities. Turn these tests from a stressful situation into a meaningful learning experience.
Testing Tips for Parents and Students
Horizon Charter Schools’ Assessment Department has put together some great information, resources and tips to help make testing less frightening. We’ve summarized some of their materials below and included some highlights. Horizon families can access a lot more information and practice tests on the Hub. Horizon’s supervising teachers (STs) will provide additional information and support to their families, including testing dates, times, and locations.
Here are some general tips to help prepare for CAASPP testing and keep your stress level at bay:
- Students should get plenty of rest the night before. Staying up late to “cram” before a test is a poor strategy — either you know the information or you don’t.
- Plan to have a healthy breakfast before heading off to testing. Your mind and body both need fuel to be at peak performance.
- Families should arrive early so you don’t feel rushed and frantic when you get there.
- Bring a book or quiet activity, a snack and water for break and downtime. This will help keep students fueled between tests and take their minds off of the testing. Minds need a break, too!
- Encourage students to take their time and not rush. This strategy will help ensure accurate and useful test results. Horizon provides alternate dates and locations to finish testing if needed.
- Practice ahead of time. Visit the CAASPP practice test site at http://www.caaspp.org/practice-and-training/index.html and try your hand at some of the sample questions so you and your child will know what to expect and feel more confident on test day.
Horizon Charter Schools Testing Information
This year, Horizon students will take the following online test(s):
- Students in grades three through eight and high school juniors (11th grade) will take the Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments for English language arts/literacy and mathematics.
- Students in grades five and eight and high school juniors (11th grade) will also take the California Science Test (CAST). If a high school senior (12th grade) has not previously taken the CAST test, s/he will be assessed senior year.
Be sure to check with your supervising teacher (ST) if you have any questions or need more information. Also, please be aware:
- Students who will be walking home must provide a completed permission form.
- No cell phones are allowed in the testing area.
- Ear buds will be provided, but you may bring your own if you prefer.
- Proper dress code is required (refer to Horizon Charter Schools’ Student Handbook).
- Due to the sensitivities of many of our students, please do not bring foods containing nuts and/or major allergens.
- Tobacco and nicotine products are prohibited on school facilities and at school activities (refer to Horizon Charter Schools’ Student Handbook).
- Extra test sites and days are available for students who need more time to finish their test(s).
- Contact your ST with questions related to days, times, and locations.
- Test results will be available approximately eight weeks after the close of our testing window. Student results will be available in the student/parent portal.
Specific Test and Grade Level Information and Resources
Below are resources and more information about individual tests to help prepare parents and students for testing.
California Science Tests (CAST) 2019
Horizon students in grades 5, 8 and 11 will be taking the California Science Test (CAST) this year. Here are a few helpful suggestions:
- Practice using the Desmos calculators
- Review the periodic table for grades 8 and 11
- Review the reference sheet for grade 8 and high school
- Check out the Parent Guide to CAST
- View available resources for CAST
- Take the CAST practice tests
- Take the CAA practice tests
- Check out Horizon’s Hub for additional information
English Language Arts/Literacy (ELA)
View video tutorials about the embedded universal tools by clicking the links below:
- Digital notepad
- English dictionary
- English glossary
- Expandable text
- Line reader
- Spell check
Check out the calculators available to students. When in a test, students will see “calculator available” and can then use the calculator in the testing system. It isn’t cheating!
- Grades three through five: No calculator used for on-screen Smarter Balanced assessment
- Grade six: Four-function Calculator
- Grades seven and eight: Scientific Calculator
- High school/grade eleven: Graphing Calculator
More information on using Desmos with CAASPP Smarter Balanced assessments is available on the Desmos + Smarter Balanced web page.
SBAC Academic Vocabulary Grade Level Lists for English Language Arts/Literacy (ELA) and Math
ELA Grade 3
- Supporting Details
Math Grade 3
- Equation; multiply; divide
- Product; quotient
- Round to the nearest…
- Graphs: bar graph; picture graph; line plot
- Shapes: circle; triangle; pentagon
- Less than; greater than
ELA Grade 4
- Order of events
Math Grade 4
- Sum; difference; factor
- Meters; centimeters
- Mass; volume
- Angle; ray; line
- Hexagon; Octagon
ELA Grade 5
- Main Idea
Math Grade 5
- Dividend; divisor
- Ordered pairs; sequence
- Equivalent fractions
- Weight; length; time
- Mixed number
- Coordinate plane; x-axis/y-axis
- Line segments; parallel; perpendicular
ELA Grade 6
- Accurate information
- Author’s intent
- Credible sources
Math Grade 6
- Ratio; rate; ordered pairs
- Greatest common factor
- Least common multiple
- Associative property
- Range; mean; median
ELA Grade 7
- Character’s relationships
Math Grade 7
- Percent; unit rate
- Absolute value
- Associative property
- Scale; proportion
- Pi; radius; diameter
- Quadrilateral; trapezoid
- Variation; prediction
ELA Grade 8
Math Grade 8
- Rational number
- Square root; radical
- Scientific notation
- Function; slope; constant
- Pythagorean Theorem; leg; hypotenuse
- Volume; cylinder; cone; sphere
- Cluster; data; rate of change
- X-axis; y-axis; x-intercept; y-intercept
ELA Grade 11
- Explanatory article/text
- Sensory Language
- Text structures (compare/contrast; cause/ effect; pro/con)
Math Grade 11
- Exponent; radical
- Square units; cubic units
- Factors; coefficients
- Monomial; binomial; polynomial
- Quadratic formula
- Domain; range; function
- Trigonometry; sine; cosine; tangent
- Standard deviation
A Few Last Words About Testing
- Remember CAASPP practice test are available here: http://www.caaspp.org/ta-resources/practice-training.html
- Contact your supervising teacher (ST) with any questions. They are always ready to help families succeed.