edTPA Middle Childhood Mathematics Assessment Handbook
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translated into words), graphic representation (which is shorthand language for
complex sets of data), and narrative (e.g., to describe or compare). If the language
function is to prove, then appropriate language structures include formal two-column
proofs as well as informal explanations that begin with a statement of the problem
and known information, followed by a series of statements, such as, “And then, I
know because ,” ending with what is to be proved.
syntax: The set of conventions for organizing symbols, words, and phrases together
into structures (e.g., sentences, graphs, tables).
language supports: The scaffolds, representations, and pedagogical strategies
teachers provide to help learners understand, use, and practice the concepts and
language they need to learn within disciplines (Santos, Darling-Hammond, Cheuk,
The language supports planned within the lessons in edTPA should directly
support learners to understand and use identified language demands (vocabulary
and/or symbols, language function, and discourse or syntax) to deepen content
aligned: Consistently addressing the same/similar learning outcomes for students.
artifacts: Authentic work completed by you and your students including lesson plans,
copies of instructional and assessment materials, video clips of your teaching, and student
work samples. Artifacts are submitted as part of your evidence.
assessment (formal and informal): “[R]efer[s] to all those activities undertaken by
teachers and by their students . . . that provide information to be used as feedback to modify
teaching and learning activities.”
Assessments provide evidence of students’ prior
knowledge, thinking, or learning in order to evaluate what students understand and how they
are thinking. Informal assessments may include such things as student questions and
responses during instruction and teacher observations of students as they work or perform.
Formal assessments may include such things as quizzes, homework assignments, journals,
projects, and performance tasks.
assets (knowledge of students):
personal: Refers to specific background information that young adolescents bring to
the learning environment. Students may bring interests, knowledge, mathematical
dispositions, everyday experiences, backgrounds, and so on, which a teacher can
draw upon to support learning.
cultural: Refers to the cultural backgrounds and practices that students bring to the
learning environment, such as traditions, languages and dialects, worldviews,
literature, art, and so on, that a teacher can draw upon to support learning.
community: Refers to common backgrounds and experiences that students bring
from the community where they live, such as resources, local landmarks, community
events and practices, and so on, that a teacher can draw upon to support learning.
Zwiers, J. (2008). Building academic language: Essential practices for content classrooms. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
Santos, M., Darling-Hammond, L., & Cheuk, T. (2012). Teacher development to support English language learners in the
context of common core state standards. Stanford University Understanding Language. Available at
Black, P., &
Wiliam, D. (1998). Inside the black box: Raising standards through classroom assessment. Phi Delta Kappan,
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