Evaluation Rubrics

Twig Science scores highly on NGSS-based rubrics such as NextGen TIME Paper screen evaluation. See below for materials that show exactly how we meet these criteria:


Student Work

Student Progress

Teacher Support


Student Progress Analyze Evidence

Developed in partnership with Stanford University’s SCALE team, the Twig Science 3-D assessment framework supports teachers to evaluate student attainment of the NGSS’s three dimensions and Performance Expectations using a variety of measures. The rubric here explains our assessment framework with details of where you can find evidence of our assessments across the program. The short video provides a visual tour. Module-specific rubrics are below.

For example, in Grade 4 Module 4, students meet the PE ESS2-2. The Analyzing Maps Benchmark Assessment (DQ2 TE pp. 89–91, and online) requires students to take on the role of engineers to analyze earthquake data in maps and look for patterns helping them solve the problem of where to build a theme park that is at a low risk of damage from earthquakes.

Grade 4 Module 4 DQ2 Analyzing Maps Benchmark Assessment TE p. 89

All the assessments in Twig Science have been carefully designed to be multi-dimensional.


Students use the three dimensions to make sense of phenomena and solve problems. They articulate their reasoning and explanations through written and drawn explanations, discussions, and presentations.


Of particular note are the Summative Performance Tasks, which are present in all modules and wrap up instructional blocks, requiring students to demonstrate their ability to meet specific PEs. For example, in Grade 1 Module 1 (DQ3L6 Investigate TE p. 114), students meet the PEs 1-LS1-1, K–2-ETS1-2, and K–2-ETS1-3. They do this by comparing different seeds, gathering information of how seeds disperse, and solving the engineering design problem by designing, building, and testing their own a seed model that can be dispersed by the wind.


Every Module in Grades 3–6 also contains Benchmark Assessments, developed in partnership with the Stanford Center for Assessment, Learning, and Equity. Students are challenged to apply the skills and knowledge acquired in the module to new contexts.

Grade 1 Module 1 DQ3L6 Investigate TE p. 114

Formative Assessment (Informal Assessment)

Quick and easy informal assessments are embedded into all lessons. They are often found in the Reflect section of the lesson, and include a wide variety of formats. For example, in Grade 4 Module 4 Earthquake Engineering, following an investigation about waves in the ropes, students have a class discussion about where the energy comes from that makes the waves, and how and why the size and frequency of waves change (DQ1L3 Report TE p. 25).


Summative Performance Tasks

These highly engaging assessment tasks include written reports, posters, oral presentations, and collaborative engineering projects. For example, in Grade 4 Module 4, students have followed the engineering design process to solve the problem of how to reduce the damage caused by earthquakes. They have designed and built their own earthquake-resistant structures and tested them using a shake table. After analyzing the tests, they redesigned their structure with improvements. Here they communicate their designs in a poster and presentation. They use a rubric to self-assess their design and poster, as well as their peers’.

DQ1L3 Report TE p. 25

Benchmark Assessments

Designed to assess students’ ability to apply the three dimensions in a new context, the Benchmark Assessments include video and data analysis, hands-on activities, as well as design problems to solve. For example, in the Grade 3 Module 1 What Are Magnetic Forces? Benchmark Assessment, students are assessed on their ability to use what they have learned throughout the module about magnetism to solve a real-world problem. After watching a video about how magnets can clear up an oil spill in a small laboratory tank, they have to figure out how this cause-and-effect relationship in the laboratory setting might work in an ocean environment.

What Are Magnetic Forces? Benchmark Assessment

Pre-Explorations (Diagnostic Pre-Assessments)


These pre-assessments include multiple choice and constructed responses (both written and drawn). For example, in Grade 3 Module 1 (DQ2L1 Reflect TE p. 119 / DQ2L1 Reflect TB p. 39).

Grade 3 Module 1 DQ2L1 Reflect TB p. 39

Ongoing Formative Assessments are embedded in each module and provide frequent informal opportunities to quickly assess how students are progressing, using a variety of means. For example, in Grade 1 Module 1 (DQ4L4 TB p. 44), students connect images of young plants to images of how they will look as adult plants, and then to images of their parent plants.

Grade 1 Module 1 DQ4L4 TB p. 44

Performance Tasks, Benchmark Assessments, and Multiple Choice Assessments are tied to specific PEs. Data from these assessment items allow teachers to track student mastery of these PEs and their three dimension across the module and across the grade.

Grade 6 Multiple Choice Assessment Section B and Data Alignment

All modules contain diagnostic pre-assessments called Pre-Explorations at strategic points in the module that assess prior knowledge and enable teachers to identify misconceptions. Notes in the Teacher Edition and the Progress Tracker support teachers to track students' mastery of their misconceptions and the three dimensions throughout the module. Guidance is also given for how to tailor instruction for students whose misconceptions persist. For example, in Grade 4 Module 4, students complete a Pre-Exploration in DQ1L1 Reflect TB p. 19 and DQ3L1 Reflect TE p. 103.


A version of the Twig Book with sample answers is provided to support teachers to know what success looks like. A redux of this is also included at point of use in the Teacher Editions.

Grade 4 Module 4 DQ1L1 Reflect TB p. 19
Grade 4 Module 4 DQ3L1 Reflect TE p. 103

SP1. Three-Dimensional Performances

SP2. Variety of Measures

SP3. Student Progress Over Time

Across all modules, assessments of the three dimensions are multimodal and include multiple choice, writing, drawing, physical models, posters, and oral presentations. This allows all students to access a range of assessment types to suit their learning style and/or reading level.

Constructed Response in Grade 3

Rubrics for the upper grade Performance Tasks and all Benchmark Assessments have four levels: Emerging, Developing, Proficient, and Advanced. This allows all students to demonstrate their current level of attainment.

Leveled Rubric in Grade 4

The summative Benchmark and Multiple Choice Assessment targeting different DOK levels. Multiple Choice assessments contain an extended Part C to further challenge GATE students.

Multiple Choice Assessment

Writing, Reading, Listening, and Speaking Domain tasks are dedicated to assessing science-relevant English language development, and are integrated into the core instructional resources and the Leveled Reader lessons in Chapter 3 Second Read.

Writing, Reading, Listening and Speaking Domain tasks in Grade 4

The Twig Science Digital Twig Books and digital assessment items (Benchmark Assessments, Multiple Choice Assessments, and Student Rubrics) have a text-to-speech function, which allows students of all reading levels to access the assessments.

Digital Twig Books

SP4. Equitable Access