edTPA Secondary History/Social Studies Assessment Handbook
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document-based argument, then appropriate language features could include written
essays with specified formats and pattern sentences such as “The two main causes
of were and . For example, the
(author of) (document) stated that ” (citation).
syntax: The set of conventions for organizing symbols, words, and phrases together
into structures (e.g., sentences, graphs, tables).
language supports: The scaf
folds, 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/symbols, language function, and discourse or syntax) to deepen content
aligned: Consistently addressing the same/similar learning outcomes for students.
analysis: Detailed examination of the elements or structure of something: the process of
separating something into its constituent elements.
arguments: Use evidence to support claims about a historical event, topic/issue, or social
studies phenomenon. Evidence comes from analysis and/or interpretation of history/social
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
the 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, for example, student questions and
responses during instruction and teacher observations of students as they work or perform.
Formal assessments may include, for example, quizzes, homework assignments, journals,
projects, and performance tasks.
assets (knowledge of students):
personal: Refers to specific background information that students bring to the
learning environment. Students may bring interests, knowledge, everyday
experiences, family backgrounds, and so on, which a teacher can draw upon to
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
Analysis. (n.d.) In Oxford Dictionaries Online. Retrieved
Black, P., & Wiliam, D. (1998). Inside the black box: Raising standards through classroom assessment. Phi Delta Kappan,