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Providing Additional Supports During USNS Interviews

For the written components of the midyear and spring assessments, grade-level guidance is provided for when students should be provided access to manipulatives, such as counters, for students in early elementary grades, as well as those students requiring accommodations. Calculators are not allowed for the USNS assessments.

For the interview-based assessments, visual supports are included in the assessment guide for certain tasks. Do not provide additional supports beyond those written into the assessments. This includes providing students with pencil and paper to support problem-solving during the interviews. The following rationale explains the reason for this recommendation:

  • The fall assessments are all written to be solved mentally. When children solve problems like this without paper and pencil, it helps to reveal how they are making sense of the problems and the numbers involved.
  • Providing paper and pencil and/or manipulatives will slow down the assessments significantly.
  • The rubrics are written assuming that students are solving the tasks without additional supports. Providing them will cause inconsistencies in scoring.
  • If, after completing the assessments, you wish to have some or all the children try the tasks with paper and pencil and/or manipulatives to see how they would solve them,
    that might be helpful.

Learn about more best practices for administering the USNS assessments on the USNS Project Resource page here.

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