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Standards, Benchmarks and Grade Level Indicators

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Standards

In Iowa school districts and teachers must meet many standards of quality. We have standards for district accreditation, for programs, for teaching, and for student performance.

However, conversations about standards in education that occur across the state and nation today are most often about content standards. In other words, what knowledge and skills our students should acquire in the classroom.

Iowa has statewide mandated core content standards in reading, math, and science. They were enacted when the Iowa legislature passed Senate File 588 in 2007.

These content standards are broad statements that identify the knowledge and skills that students should acquire and they remain constant throughout K-12. What changes is the difficulty of the content and the complexity of student work.

In Iowa, our goal is to continue to build on our heritage of outstanding education and enhance student achievement. Content standards can not do this alone. They require a system of supports, which include benchmarks, grade level expectations, curriculum, teacher professional development, and assessments.

Each component is an essential piece to ensure rigor and to challenge current student performance.

Iowa Core Content Standards

Literacy Content Standard
1. Students can comprehend what they read in a variety of literary and informational texts.

Math Content Standards
1. Students can understand and apply a variety of math concepts.
2. Students can understand and apply methods of estimation.
3. Students can solve a variety of math problems.
4. Students can interpret data presented in a variety of ways.

Science Content Standards
1. Students can understand and apply skills used in scientific inquiry.
2. Students can understand concepts and relationships in life science.
3. Students can understand concepts and relationships in Earth/space sciences.
4. Students can understand concepts and relationships in physical science.

Benchmarks 

Iowa has statewide mandated core content standards in reading, math, and science. While these standards are broad definitions, the supporting benchmarks provide detail in identifying the knowledge and skills that students should acquire in the classroom.

In general, benchmarks provide a learning target for a span of grades, such as grades 3-5. The Iowa Core Content Benchmarks are aligned with the Iowa Core Content Standards.

Iowa Core Content Benchmarks

Literacy

Grades 3-5 Benchmarks
1. Students can comprehend what they read in a variety of literary and informational texts.
A. Students can understand stated information they have read.
B. Students can determine the meaning of new words from their context.
C. Students can draw conclusions, make inferences, and deduce meaning.
D. Students can infer traits, feelings, and motives of characters.
E. Students can interpret information in new contexts.
F. Students can interpret nonliteral language used in a text.
G. Students can determine the main idea of a text.
H. Students can identify the writer’s views or purpose.
I. Students can analyze style or structure.

Grades 6-9 Benchmarks
1. Students can comprehend what they read in a variety of literary and informational texts.
A. Students can understand stated information they have read.
B. Students can determine the meaning of new words from their context.
C. Students can draw conclusions, make inferences, and deduce meaning.
D. Students can infer traits, feelings, and motives of characters.
E. Students can interpret information in new contexts.
F. Students can interpret nonliteral language used in a text.
G. Students can determine the main idea of a text.
H. Students can identify the writer’s views or purpose.
I. Students can analyze style or structure.

Grades 10-12 Benchmarks
1. Students can comprehend what they read in a variety of literary and informational texts.
A. Students can understand stated information they have read.
B. Students can determine the literal meaning of specific words.
C. Students can draw conclusions, make inferences, and deduce meaning.
D. Students can infer traits, feelings, and motives of characters or individuals.
E. Students can make predictions based on stated information.
F. Students can interpret nonliteral language used in a text.
G. Students can determine the main idea, topic, or theme and make generalizations.
H. Students can identify the author’s views or purposes.
I. Students can distinguish among facts, opinions, and assumptions.
J. Students can recognize aspects of a passage’s style and structure and can recognize literary techniques.

Math

Grades 3-5 Benchmarks
1. Students can understand and apply a variety of math concepts.
A. Students can understand and apply number properties and operations.
B. Students can understand and apply concepts and procedures of algebra.
C. Students can understand and apply concepts of geometry.
D. Students can understand and apply concepts of measurement.
E. Students can understand and apply concepts in probability and statistics.
2. Students can understand and apply methods of estimation.
A. Students can understand and apply concepts and procedures of standard rounding, order of magnitude, and number         sense.
3. Students can solve a variety of math problems.
A. Students can solve math problems.
B. Students can understand and apply problem-solving approaches and procedures.
4. Students can interpret data presented in a variety of ways.
A. Students can use tables and graphs to locate and read information.
B. Students can interpret data from a variety of sources.

Grades 6-9 Benchmarks
1. Students can understand and apply a variety of math concepts.
A. Students can understand and apply number properties and operations.
B. Students can understand and apply concepts and procedures of algebra.
C. Students can understand and apply concepts of geometry.
D. Students can understand and apply concepts of measurement.
E. Students can understand and apply concepts in probability and statistics.  
2. Students can understand and apply methods of estimation.
A. Students can understand and apply concepts and procedures of standard rounding, order of magnitude, and number         sense.
3. Students can solve a variety of math problems.
A. Students can solve math problems.
B. Students can understand and apply problem-solving approaches and procedures.
4. Students can interpret data presented in a variety of ways.
A. Students can use tables and graphs to locate and read information.
B. Students can interpret data from a variety of sources.

Grades 10-12 Benchmarks
1. Students can understand and apply a variety of math concepts.
A. Students can understand and apply number properties and operations.
B. Students can understand and apply concepts and procedures of algebra.
C. Students can understand and apply concepts of geometry and measurement.
D. Students can understand and apply concepts in probability and statistics.
2. Students can understand and apply methods of estimation.
A. Students can understand and apply concepts and procedures of standard rounding, order of magnitude, and number         sense.
3. Students can solve a variety of math problems.
A. Students can solve math problems requiring multiple steps and operations.
B. Students can reason quantitatively.
4. Students can interpret data presented in a variety of ways.
A. Students can make inferences based on data presented in a variety of ways.
B. Students can interpret data from a variety of sources.

Science

Grades 3-5 Benchmarks
1. Students can understand and apply skills used in scientific inquiry.
A. Students can understand and apply the processes and skills of scientific inquiry.
B. Students can analyze and interpret scientific information.
2. Students can understand concepts and relationships in life science.
A. Students can understand structures of living things.
B. Students can understand life cycles.
C. Students can understand environmental interaction and adaptation.
3. Students can understand concepts and relationships in Earth/space sciences.
A. Students can understand ideas about Earth’s composition and structure.
B. Students can understand changes in and around Earth.
C. Students can understand concepts relating to the universe.
4. Students can understand concepts and relationships in physical science.
A. Students can understand and apply concepts related to mechanics, forces, and motion.
B. Students can understand and apply the concept of energy.
C. Students can understand and identify properties and changes of matter.

Grades 6-9 Benchmarks
1. Students can understand and apply skills used in scientific inquiry.
A. Students can understand and apply the processes and skills of scientific inquiry.
B. Students can analyze and interpret scientific information.
2. Students can understand concepts and relationships in life science.
A. Students can understand structures of living things.
B. Students can understand life cycles.
C. Students can understand environmental interaction and adaptation.
3. Students can understand concepts and relationships in Earth/space sciences.
A. Students can understand ideas about Earth’s composition and structure.
B. Students can understand changes in and around Earth.
C. Students can understand concepts relating to the universe.
4. Students can understand concepts and relationships in physical science.
A. Students can understand and apply concepts related to mechanics, forces, and motion.
B. Students can understand and apply the concept of energy.
C. Students can understand and identify properties and changes of matter.

Grades 10-12 Benchmarks
1. Students can understand and apply skills used in scientific inquiry.
A. Students can understand and apply the processes and skills of scientific inquiry.
B. Students can analyze and interpret scientific information.
2. Students can understand concepts and relationships in biological science.
A. Students can make inferences and predictions from data.
B. Students can analyze scientific investigations.
C. Student can analyze and evaluate the adequacy and accuracy of information.
3. Students can understand concepts and relationships in Earth/space sciences.
A. Students can make inferences and predictions from data.
B. Students can analyze scientific investigations.
C. Student can analyze and evaluate the adequacy and accuracy of information.
4. Student can understand concepts and relationships in physical science.
A. Students can make inferences and predictions from data.
B. Students can analyze scientific investigations.
C. Student can analyze and evaluate the adequacy and accuracy of information.

Grade Level Indicators

The statewide mandated Iowa Core Content Standards provide broad definitions that identify the knowledge and skills that students should acquire and Iowa Core Content Benchmarks support those standards with learning targets for a span of grades, such as grade 3-5. Grade Level Indicators provide even further detail by showing us what those learning targets look like for each grade.

Iowa Grade Level Indicators

Grade 3 - Standards, Benchmarks and Grade Level Indicators (2008-02-28)
Grade 4 - Standards, Benchmarks and Grade Level Indicators (2008-02-28)
Grade 5 - Standards, Benchmarks and Grade Level Indicators (2008-02-28)
Grade 6 - Standards, Benchmarks and Grade Level Indicators (2008-02-28)
Grade 7 - Standards, Benchmarks and Grade Level Indicators (2008-02-28)
Grade 8 - Standards, Benchmarks and Grade Level Indicators (2008-02-28)
Grade 9 - Standards, Benchmarks and Grade Level Indicators (2008-02-28)
Grade 10 - Standards, Benchmarks and Grade Level Indicators (2008-02-28)
Grade 11 - Standards, Benchmarks and Grade Level Indicators (2008-02-28)
Grade 12 - Standards, Benchmarks and Grade Level Indicators (2008-02-28)

 

Printed from the Iowa Department of Education website on March 27, 2015 at 8:22am.