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.

Students visited the Morris W. Offit telescope located at the Maryland Space Grant Observatory in Baltimore. They learned about the stars, planets, and moon.

The students recorded the information below.

  • Star patterns stay the same, but their locations in the sky seem to change.
  • The sun, planets, and moon appear to move in the sky.
  • Proxima Centauri is the nearest star to our solar system.
  • Polaris is a star that is part of a pattern of stars called the Little Dipper.

The apparent change in the location of a star pattern is related to

  1. sun flares
  2. the season
  3. the weather
  4. moon phases

View answer and objective assessed