Formative assessment tasks

More than a decade ago, the Charles A. Dana Center began work on collections of assessment tasks that could be used by teachers at many grade levels to enable them to assess student learning continually as they enacted science instruction. These assessments, developed in collaboration with science educators, are designed to make clear to teachers, students, and parents what is being taught and learned about the most central science concepts at each grade or in each course. Published by the Dana Center as a series of books, these collections of assessments eventually encompassed tasks for Biology and Chemistry.

These tasks have been used and tested by tens of thousands of educators and their students. Now the Dana Center has published a selection of these tasks in new editions: STAAR Biology: Assessment Activities for the Texas Readiness Standards, Formative Assessment Activities for High School Chemistry, and Formative Assessment Activities for Middle School Physical Science. To support the implementation of the TEKS for Science, the Dana Center is pleased to make available through this site sample tasks from each of these resources.

For more information on these tasks, please contact Barbara Taylor at or Shelly LeDoux at     

Student Middle School Physical Science Formative Assessment Activities

Student STAAR Biology Assessment Activities Sample

Student Chemistry Formative Assessments Sample