Performance Tasks and Rubrics for Upper Elementary Mathematics : Meeting Rigorous Standards and Assessments book cover
2nd Edition

Performance Tasks and Rubrics for Upper Elementary Mathematics
Meeting Rigorous Standards and Assessments

ISBN 9781138906969
Published March 18, 2016 by Routledge
194 Pages

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Book Description

Performance tasks are highly effective tools to assist you in implementing rigorous standards. But how do you create, evaluate, and use such tools? In this bestselling book, educational experts Charlotte Danielson and Joshua Dragoon explain how to construct and apply performance tasks to gauge students’ deeper understanding of mathematical concepts at the upper elementary level. You’ll learn how to:

  • Evaluate the quality of performance tasks, whether you’ve written them yourself or found them online;
  • Use performance tasks for instructional decision-making and to prepare students for summative assessments;
  • Create your own performance tasks, or adapt pre-made tasks to best suit students’ needs;
  • Design and use scoring rubrics to evaluate complex performance tasks;
  • Use your students’ results to communicate more effectively with parents.

This must-have second edition is fully aligned to the Common Core State Standards and assessments and includes a variety of new performance tasks and rubrics, along with samples of student work. Additionally, downloadable student handout versions of all the performance tasks are available as free eResources from our website (, so you can easily distribute them to your class.

Table of Contents


Meet the Authors

Foreword by Jay McTighe



Chapter 1: Introduction: What Is Performance Assessment?

Chapter 2: Why Use Performance Assessment?

Chapter 3: Making an Evaluation Plan

Chapter 4: Understanding Quality Performance Tasks

Chapter 5: Creating and Adapting Performance Tasks

Chapter 6: Using Rubrics to Evaluate Complex Performance

Chapter 7: Creating and Adapting Rubrics

Chapter 8: Upper Elementary Mathematics Performance Tasks

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Charlotte Danielson is an educational consultant now based in San Francisco, California. She has taught at all levels from kindergarten through college, and has worked as an administrator, a curriculum director, and a staff developer.

Joshua Dragoon began his career in education as an elementary school classroom teacher. In addition to teaching, Joshua has served as a school administrator and district instructional coach. Most recently, he has led large-scale mathematics professional development initiatives across New York City for teachers at all grade levels.


“The book provides an excellent overview of the rationale for, and the strengths and limitations of, the use of performance tasks to assess student achievement and progress in mathematics. [The authors] offer a user-friendly, field-tested process for developing performance tasks and rubrics, along with practical advice for evaluating student work, selecting "anchors," and establishing performance standards. Finally, the sample tasks, rubrics and student work samples provide tried and true resources for immediate use, while serving as models to guide development of additional tasks and scoring tools.” --From the Foreword by Jay McTighe, Educational Author and Consultant

“In this series, the authors offer a sharply focused description of performance assessments for teaching and learning mathematics. The structure and content of the books is very strong, centering on the specifics of task development, rubric refinement and integration of the methodology into instruction.  Our challenge is to help teachers develop the assessment literacy needed to manage assessment effectively day to day in the classroom. This series helps us meet that challenge.” --Rick Stiggins, Assessment Consultant, Portland, Oregon

“This book challenges everyone to analyze classroom assessment strategies and adapt their performance tasks to make them more current. The content is practical and includes an explanation of why performance assessments provide valuable data for educators to take learning to a deeper level.” --Kara M. Chism, Ed.D, Assistant Principal, Rocky Ridge Elementary, Hoover, Alabama

“The second edition of the Danielson series on performance tasks and rubrics brings clarity to the complex but important responsibility of creating and using authentic assessments in the classroom.  Advocating the complementary roles both of traditional tests and performance tasks in a balanced assessment system, Danielson and her colleagues provide practical guidelines for and useful examples of performance tasks in K-12 mathematics.  Their focus on the rigorous yet fair and engaging assessment of authentic performance tasks is as timely as it is timeless to teaching.” --Chris Gareis and Leslie Grant, authors of Teacher-Made Assessments: How to Connect Curriculum, Instruction, and Student Learning (2nd ed.)


"I was hooked from the opening chapter. From the title alone, I felt that the book was a perfect fit for my needs, but it got even better when I opened the book to the first chapter. I was hooked from the opening paragraph which sums up the book in just a couple of sentences." -Barb Rock, MiddleWeb,