Michelle Dean, Director of Curriculum and Professional Development; Regional School District 18 (CT)

Three Tips for Getting Started with IABs

Renee Basick Features

Bite-size advice on using Interim Assessment Blocks from a district that made it happen

Michelle Dean, Director of Curriculum and Professional Development; Regional School District 18 (CT) discusses interim assessment blocks in a recent interview.

Michelle Dean, Director of Curriculum and Professional Development; Regional School District 18 (CT)

Michelle Dean, Director of Curriculum and Professional Development at Lyme Consolidated School District in Connecticut, worked with educators in her district to implement the Smarter Balanced system of assessments over the past two years.

She offers these words of wisdom for schools and districts who are starting to use Smarter Balanced Interim Assessment Blocks (IABs), which focus on smaller sets of related concepts and provide more detailed information for instructional purposes.

“I have three pieces of advice for integrating Interim Assessment Blocks,” she says.

“One, really remembering they are short! They are brief assessments that can yield a lot of data that can inform instruction.

Watch the full video detailing Lyme Consolidated School District’s experience implementing Smarter Balanced interim assessments.

“The second piece of advice is I would have teachers be directly involved in the administration of the interim assessment because one, ownership is really important in this process and two, it allows teachers to really understand and conceptualize how they might be able to bring this language or the models back into the classroom so that they are sharing the experience with their students.

“The third piece of advice would be to look internally at the curriculum as to how model questions can be built in so that this isn’t something that is done in isolation, but is integrated into the school year.”

For more resources on how to get started using interim assessments, visit Smarter Balanced Ready, a collection of eight big ideas for implementation.