Sample Tasks To Measure 'New Standards' in Math, Literacy

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The following are drafts of tasks developed by mathematics and literacy teachers and curriculum specialists as part of the New Standards Project's workshop in Snowmass, Colo., last month.

Working in groups according to their subject-matter specialty, teachers from 15 states and 6 school districts developed performance tasks, portfolio exercises, and projects that could form the building blocks of a national assessment system.

Over the next year, the tasks will be tried out in classrooms and reviewed by outside experts. The refined tasks may then become part of a pilot national examination system next spring.


The new Ninja Turtle cereal is offering a collector's set of four Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle figures. Each specially marked box has only one figure: Donatello, Leonardo, Michelangelo, or Raphael. In order to get all four figures, you can collect one from each box of cereal, or you can send in one box top and $15.

If each box of cereal costs $2.39, what would be the cheapest way to collect all four figures? A. Send one box top and $15, or B. Purchase boxes of cereal until you have a completed set.

Design an experiment to determine how many boxes of cereal you must buy to get a complete set of four different figures. Did your test support your prediction?


Imagine that four of the characters from the literature you have read this year have gathered in one place. Work in groups of four. Each group will:

  • Choose the four characters and the setting.
  • Develop an interesting script that reflects the personality of the characters. The script will deviate from the plots of the works where the characters originally appeared.
  • Prepare to perform this script in front of your classmates. Consider casting, staging, scenery, costuming, and props.
  • Perform your scene for your classmates.
  • Evaluate the scenes of other classmates.
  • Write a reflective essay about your experiences in this project.

Vol. 11, Issue 01, Page 1

Published in Print: September 4, 1991, as Sample Tasks To Measure 'New Standards' in Math, Literacy
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