School Improvement in Maryland

This Week’s MSA Item

MSA Items of the week can be used in a variety of ways by teachers, students, parents, tutors and other interested parties. They may be used as warm-up activity at the beginning of the class or as a review at the end of instruction. Students and parents can use them as an ongoing review to ensure that students have mastered and retained the content they are expected to learn.

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Use your mouse to select a grade from the subject categories below. This week’s MSA Item for that category will appear at right.




Student Handout with Answer Key, and Objective Information.

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Monitoring Reports

Students can keep a record of their progress on these assessment items by using the Monitoring Report, a tool that lists of of the grade level objectives assessed on MSA. The Monitoring Report contains space for entering multiple assessment results and diagnostic comments.

Monitoring Report for Science Grade 4

MSA Item of the Week

This item is one of the many resources available in the Science State Curriculum Toolkit.

Science Grade 4

Use the information below to answer the following question.

Mount Rushmore is located in the Black Hills of South Dakota. The heads of four former presidents—George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln—are carved into Mount Rushmore as a monument. The monument rises to 1,745 meters above sea level.

Mount Rushmore is granite, one of the most common rocks on Earth, and took millions of years to form. The sculptor chose to carve the monument in granite because granite erodes at a rate of about 2 centimeters every 10,000 years.

Question Image

Over the next 20,000 years, Mount Rushmore will most likely

  1. melt because of volcanic explosions
  2. erode because of water and wind
  3. crumble because of hurricanes
  4. freeze because of glaciers

View answer and objective assessed