I spent the day creating testlets. Yeah . . . I didn’t know what that was either when I first heard it. A testlet, if you’re that curious, is short for Extended Analysis Question.

Great. What’s that?

Extended Analysis Questions are what the University of Kansas is using to create the state Social Studies pilot assessment. An Extended Analysis Question is basically what students will be messing with when they take the test. And I think it’s gonna be pretty cool. A couple of documents, some guiding questions, a graphic organizer, and two writing prompts.

The whole idea being that this can measure historical thinking skills. And if tests really do drive instruction, my hope is that all teachers will begin to focus on the process of social studies rather than just the content.

I can’t share a lot cause, well . . . I signed some sort of agreement. I didn’t read all of it but I’m pretty sure it involved black helicopters and bright lights in my eyes if I say too much.

I can share that we’re using lots of primary sources. So much of my day revolved around tracking down documents to incorporate into my testlets. It was both good and bad. Good because I was able to find lots of primary sources online. Bad because I was able to find lots of primary sources online.

The cool thing?

I found some new sites that I haven’t ran across until today. So I figured I would share some of them with you. I added a couple of places I’ve mentioned before and a few sites that are just fun to visit.

Fun to visit:

Lists of primary source sites: