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Preparing Students for the Common Core Assessments (K-12)

Do the Common Core assessments cause you stress and anxiety? This onlne course is designed for K-12 teachers who want to understand the basics of the Common Core assessments. By the end of this course, teachers will understand the impact that the Common Core assessments have had on the teaching profession, including how they have influenced teaching strategies, curriculum design, and non-summative assessment methods. The course also provides detailed information on important shifts from standardized testing to the next generation of assessments that impact the way lessons are developed and taught. Detail about the state consortia involved in the administration, delivery, and support of the Common Core assessments, along with technology requirements for testing, are included in the course. Teachers also gain important strategies for helping students prepare for the Common Core assessments, including study and test-taking tips. A multitude of resources, including sample test items, are included as well to ensure that teachers have the tools and information necessary to help students prepare for the Common Core assessments. This course is worth 3 ⅓ semester units/5 quarter units from UC San Diego Extension. For detailed information on university credit, click here.

"This course had fabulous content and truly gave a solid overview of the CCSS, the two tests that will be given (as well as others that might be given), and an excellent introduction to formative assessment." - Christopher Forest


Enrollment Options

Register] Course Registration Only $135 with the 10% discount

Register]Course Plus Credit from UC San Diego Extension Only $342


Required Resource Book: This course has a modestly-priced required resource book (available in both new and used versions) that can be purchased through Amazon using the following link. Note that you can begin and participate in your course before the book arrives.

Embedding Formative Assessment: Practical Techniques for K-12 Classrooms” by Dylan Wiliam and Siobhan Leahy


If you are registering for multiple courses, use the following link to access the book list for all PDI courses with direct purchase links through Amazon. PDI Course Resource Book List


Topical Outline / Click here to request a copy of the detailed syllabus

PDI Course Number: 47T02

UCSD Course Number: EDUC41535

Unit One

  • Introduction to the Common Core State Standards
  • Introduction to the Common Core State Standards Assessment for ELA and Mathematics
  • Understanding the Common Core State Standards
  • Assignment #1: Write an autobiography
  • Test #1

Unit Two

  • State-Approved Assessments
  • Shifting from Standardized Testing to the New Assessments
  • Interim and Mid-Year Assessment
  • Assignment #2: Article reflection
  • Test #2

Unit Three

  • Building Students' Critical-Thinking Skills
  • Preparation Through Everyday Instruction
  • Developing an Action Plan for Formative Assessment
  • Assignment #3: Share your expertise
  • Test #3

Unit Four

  • Navigating the ELA Summative Assessments
  • Navigating the Math Summative Assessments
  • Alternate Assessments for Students with Significant Cognitive Disabilities
  • Alternate Assessments for English Language Learners
  • Test #4

Unit Five

  • Assessment Tools for K-2
  • How Professional Learning Communities Can Help
  • New Technologies Used for Assessment
  • Test #5

Unit Six

  • Assessing Mastery Prior to Testing
  • Preparing Students for Testing
  • Preparing Students for Common Core Assessments—A Resource Guide
  • Assignment #4: Develop a summative assessment plan
  • Assignment #5: Reading/Learning Log (Based on required resource book)