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New Stimulus-Based NY Global History and Geography Questions Now Available

August 15, 2017

/ by

Ellen Greenberg


The Castle Learning Social Studies team has great news for New York Global History & Geography I & II teachers who are getting ready to return to school and prepare your students for the Regents exam. We know times are changing, and we are adapting, too! Over the past year, we have been working on the new question types that are specifically based on the new framework and revised Regents exam. Our goal is to help you save time while still providing a rigorous, skills-driven review so that your students will continue to be well-prepared for the exams.


The Castle Learning team has been researching, writing, re-writing, editing, and working relentlessly to create quality multiple-choice items that teachers can use immediately to help students gain valuable experience answering the evidence-centered questions that will fill the revised Regents exam. You will see existing stimuli with newly written questions, plus brand new stimuli sourced by our team. Each stimuli has a minimum of three questions per set, featuring at least three different Task Models.


We are using information released from the State Education Department and Board of Regents (including the NYS K-12 Social Studies Framework, prototype item document, and newly released task models list) and experienced NYS certified teachers to thoroughly research and develop material that reflects the structure of new questions on the upcoming exams. We know what teachers need because we work directly with teachers!


Each new multiple-choice question was created with a stimulus and a “Task Model” in mind. Our Castle Learning authors are using the same process that NYSED has published:When writing multiple-choice questions for the new Regents Examination in Global History and Geography II, item writers identify a social studies skill they want to test. They then determine which Task Model best elicits that skill. Last, they determine which content from the Framework best works with that Task Model. Using this system, each multiple-choice item marries skills with content.- EngageNY Resources at


Each new Castle Learning question is categorized by content area and time period. Our new items feature questions from both pre-1750 and post-1750. This way, both 9th and 10th grade can benefit from practicing with Castle Learning’s updated item bank. In addition, the new questions still include all the same helpful hints, vocabulary words, and explanations that students and teachers already love to see in. Similarly, you will still have access to the same search options and categorization as our existing question bank, including: topic, theme or “tag,” difficulty level, Webb’s Depth of Knowledge level, Bloom’s Cognitive Process Dimension level, Bloom’s Knowledge Dimension level, and type of stimulus or “attribute”; as well as the new easy-to-use Keyword Search!


The first questions developed by our author/educators focused on events that occurred before 1750, because we know incoming 9th grade users will be the first students to take the New Global History and Geography II Regents in June 2019. Ninth grade teachers can use these multiple choice questions to review the content in the Global History and Geography I curriculum, while simultaneously preparing the students to use the stimuli and Task Models presented in each and every question. Next, we turned our efforts to post-1750 events so that tenth grade teachers can familiarize both their students and themselves with the process of answering these question types. Our team also noticed that the June 2017 Regents exam was full of exemplars that could be imitated in the future (questions 44 to 48 in particular) on the new exams. 


For the next few months, the Castle Learning Social Studies team will continue to prioritize the inclusion of recent Regents exams into our database, as always. But we are also determined to help teachers save time by creating original items based on the new exams with the same quality you expect, so that you and your students are well-prepared for the changes. We plan to make the full list of Task Models will eventually be a searchable category when NYSED finalizes it. We will also add new stimulus-based, short constructed-response items as well as document-based, Enduring Issues Essay questions, as more information is released by the state.


We welcome any and all suggestions from all our New York teachers out there as we adapt to the changing exams. Do not hesitate to contact us with ideas that will help you save time while preparing your students for success. Help us help you help your students!

Teachers can find the new questions by searching the Public Assignments in the course:Social Studies –> Global History and Geography –> Castle Assignments –> New York as shown below: image blog task models.jpg 

image blog task models.jpg


Click on the checkbox and then the “Import” button.  The assignment will now appear on your Global History and Geography assignment list! 


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