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Teacher Resources

CAASPP Teacher Guide: Smarter Balanced Assessments

Guides for teachers to deepen understanding of the Smarter Balanced Assessment, their alignment with the California Common Core State Standards, and their intended connection to classroom teaching.


English Language Arts/Literacy (ELA)

ELA, Grades 3–5 (PDF)

ELA, Grades 6–8 (PDF)

ELA, Grade 11 (PDF)



Math, Grades 3–5 (PDF)

Math, Grades 6–8 (PDF)

Math, Grade 11 (PDF)


These guides provide grade band specific information about the Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments for English language arts/literacy and mathematics. The guides are organized by grade span to highlight the changes in expectations as students move through the grade levels. They explain how student skills and knowledge are assessed and reported through collecting and scoring evidence. They also provide examples of the range and types of items that appear on the assessments. The Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments are part of the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) System.

California Common Core State Standards K-12

Framework Executive Summaries

Newly Published Framework Executive Summaries

The CDE Press has published two new tools for teachers and other educators: Executive Summaries for the Mathematics Framework and the ELA/ELD Framework. These new publications provide a glimpse into the frameworks and the guidance they provide for teachers. The executive summaries introduce teachers, administrators, and parents/guardians to the wealth of information offered by the frameworks. Copies of the executive summaries can accessed at Math and ELA.


Digital Library

Digital Library Featured Resource—Mathematical Modeling with Bananas


This month’s Smarter Balanced Digital Library featured resource, Mathematical Modeling with Bananas (Digital Library account required), was submitted byCalifornia State Network of Educators member Sean Nank, a high school mathematics teacher in the Oceanside Unified School District. It is designed for use with secondary mathematics students.


The lesson plan and corresponding video contained in this resource mirror how people use modeling in real-life situations. Students engage in modeling as they create a model with no initial mathematical constraints. All attributes of the formative assessment process are clearly identified, and the lesson plan is easy to follow and group-centered.

New Brochures Help Teachers Explain the California Common Core State Standards to Parents, Guardians, and Other Community Members

What kinds of things will my child learn in mathematics and English language arts in first grade? In high school? New brochures focused on the California Common Core State Standards for Mathematics and English Language Arts/Literacy help teachers and other educators answer such questions. The eight new brochures, four in each subject area, are organized by grade spans (K–2, 3–5, 6–8, 9–12) and provide insights into what students will be learning.

The brochures on the mathematics standards showcase example problems, and the brochures on the ELA/Literacy standards highlight the progression of learning through the grade levels. Each brochure also provides suggestions for parents/guardians to support their students’ learning and a list of additional resources.

The brochures can be downloaded from the Sacramento County Office of Education Web page individually:

w  English Language Arts/Literacy (Grades K–23–56–89–12)

w  Mathematics (Grades K–23–56–89–12)

The brochures were developed on behalf of the Consortium for the Implementation of the Common Core under the leadership of the Curriculum Frameworks and Instructional Resources Division of the California Department of Education and the Sacramento County Office of Education. For the best visual presentation, the brochures are designed to be printed two sided (flipped on the short edge) and then folded into thirds.

Achieve the Core

The Achieve the Core website offers many resources for English Language Arts and Math for lessons, planning, assessment, student samples, and other resources.


Two ELA/Literacy Resources from Achieve the Core

w  The Read Aloud Project: ELA/Literacy Lessons that Engage K–2 Learners

Kindergarten through grade two students may not be reading independently yet, but they can still answer text-dependent questions, learn new vocabulary, and build knowledge. The 80+ Read Aloud Project lessons on achievethecore.org use popular read-aloud texts to engage students as they build literacy strategies.

w  Text Sets: Building Knowledge and Vocabulary

Text sets build background knowledge that will help students read and understand more complex texts. Each text set includes carefully sequenced collections of texts of increasing complexity, graphics, videos, Web sites, and other multimedia that help build content knowledge and content-specific vocabulary. Text sets are available for students in kindergarten through grade 12 and include topics ranging from zombies to immigration to how television shows are made.

Teaching the Core

Common Core Video Exemplars 

To view the videos, an account has to be created, but there is no cost involved.


Teaching Channel

The Teaching Channel offers videos, Common Core resources and lesson plans.