Alignment Charts for Grade 4, 8, and Grade 11
These charts identify the alignment between each released item for that grade and a specific GE or Target. Content Domain and DOK levels are also provided.
Depth of Knowledge Descriptions (DOK)
These materials provide an overview of the levels of cognitive complexity that classroom questions and assessment items might address. The question, "How deeply are students interacting with the science content?" can be answered.
Grade Expectation Alignment
To identify Grade Expectation alignment information for each assessment item, see specific GEs for a selected science domain: PS=Physical Science, LS=Life Science, ESS=Earth/Space Science. The item code and a description of the assessment target is found in the box above each item. In the Grade Expectations chart the assessment codes are displayed in the left-hand column in red.
Guidelines for the Development of Science Inquiry Tasks
This document was developed by the science team from New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont to define and clarify the components of inquiry for the NECAP Science inquiry tasks. Teachers may also find this a valuable tool to assist in designing inquiry tasks and incorporating inquiry-based instruction into their classrooms.
Science Target Document
This document includes the Grade 4, Grade 8 and Grade 11 targets that are used for development of the NECAP Science assessment items. These seven targets are based on the Vermont Grade Expectations and the National Science Education Standards.
- Targets Aligned to Vermont Grade Expectations (GEs)
The attached document indicates the Vermont Science content GEs at each grade cluster that are ‘fair game’ for state assessment items. Also included is the ceiling depth of knowledge (DOK) level for each of these GEs. No items will appear on the NECAP Science Assessment with a DOK greater than 3. However, a DOK of 4 is encouraged for grades 5-8 and 9-12 in local assessment tasks. NOTE: This document is designed to be printed on legal size paper (8.5"x14").
Science Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
As a result of educators' questions during the Fall 2008 Science Network meeting regarding NECAP Science concerns, this FAQ was created and is available on the department's Web site at This information may be helpful in your discussions with educators and community members about NECAP Science.
Test Taking Strategies
This document contains a list of tips for teachers to share with students in preparation for the NECAP Science Assessment.
Unifying Themes: Six Classroom Perspectives on Understanding of Science
The science concepts addressed by the NECAP Science Assessment can be classified into six Unifying Themes, or big ideas of science. These categories appear in many national science standards documents and represent broad ways of thinking about science (in any content area), rather than specific theories or discoveries. This document provides a summary of these six themes.