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  • 1.  K-2 Social Studies Assessments

    Posted 05-24-2019 09:54:00 AM
    As our district works to address the marginalization of social studies in elementary grades, I've come up against a gap in my own knowledge. Does anyone in the Assessment or Early Childhood Elementary Community have perspectives to share about social studies assessments in Kindergarten, 1st, and 2nd grade? In particular, I would be curious to know what research may have been done about considerations for content-based assessments for students who are just learning to read. Examples of anyone assessing social studies in these grades would also be extremely helpful. 

    As I've discussed this topic with a few people, a few trends have emerged:
    • I've heard anecdotal examples of performance-based social studies assessments in K-2 and we have some examples in our curriculum. Aside from the obvious challenges of writing stimulus-based multiple choice items for early elementary, are there reasons in support or opposition to that idea?
    • If we were to write some multiple choice items for K-2, what considerations should we keep in mind? (e.g., length/type of stimulus, number of answer choices, etc.) 
    • Are there special considerations on testing environment to consider? (e.g., teacher reading questions to whole class if students can't read them). 

    Appreciative of any thoughts on this topic.

    Scott Abbott
    Director, Social Studies
    District of Columbia Public Schools
    Washington DC

  • 2.  RE: K-2 Social Studies Assessments

    Posted 05-27-2019 10:00:00 AM
    Hello Scott,

    In Alberta, teachers are able to administer a "Student Learning Assessment" for literacy and numeracy. However, the contexts used for the application of a student's skills in literacy and numeracy can include social studies contexts.

    For practice questions and samples of digital assessments and performance tasks, including assessment rubrics, please visit this webpage

    I invite you to visit this website for links to more information about Alberta's Student Learning Assessments.


    Keith Millions

    Keith Millions
    Senior Manager, Social Studies
    French Language Education Services, Alberta Education
    Edmonton AB