Glossary of Terms to Promote a Common Language


The results of an assessment are generalizable when the score on one assessment can accurately predict a student score on a different assessment covering the same knowledge or skill. Generalizability across time is promoted by ensuring that assessments focus on general level concepts or strategies, not on facts, topics, or skills, which are found only at one grade, or in one classroom.

The extent to which the performances sampled by a set of assessment items/tasks are representative of the broader domain being assessed.

generalization or essential understanding:
Two or more concepts stated as a relationship-essential learnings or understandings; the "big ideas"related to the critical concepts and topics of study. Generalizations differ from principles in that they may use qualifying terms such as often, may, or can." Angles may distort the perceived dimensions of a structure" is an essential understanding within the context of mathematics, art, and design technology. "Electromagnetic waves, such as radio waves, microwaves,light waves, x-rays, and gamma rays differ only in frequency," is an essential understanding within the context of physics, electronics technology, communication and physical science. "Family and society share a reciprocal relationship," is an essential understanding within the context of social studies and family and consumer sciences.

generative knowledge:
Knowledge used in solving problems; contrast with inert knowledge, knowledge that is not used.

grammar-translation approach:
The historically dominant method of second language acquisition in school. Students were expected to memorize vocabulary and verb declensions, learn rules of grammar and their exceptions, take dictation, and translate written passages. The emphasis was on literacy development rather than the acquisition of oral/aural skills.

guided reading:
The small group or individualized part of a comprehensive and balanced reading program where the teacher has matched the student to an appropriately challenging text level. A brief introduction or "picture walk" is given that varies according to the students' interests, needs and the characteristics of the text. The teacher supports the students' reading the whole text to themselves, making teaching points during and after the reading.

guided writing:
Flex group
instruction, part of the Writers Workshop process, that addresses specific strategies and skills.

guiding, essential questions:
Specific, open-ended,thought-provoking questions that probe the factual and conceptual levels of understanding. The role of guiding questions is to create interest and a "need to know," leading toward deeper understanding of the generalizations and principles that structure the knowledge of a discipline.

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