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Before your students can discover accurate science, you need to uncover the preconceptions they already have. This book helps pinpoint what your students know (or think they know) so you can monitor their learning and adjust your teaching accordingly. Loaded with classroom-friendly features you can use immediately, the book is comprised of 25 “probes”—brief, easily administered activities designed to determine your students’ thinking on 44 core science topics (grouped by light, sound, matter, gravity, heat and temperature, life science, and Earth and space science).
The probes are invaluable formative assessment tools to use before you begin teaching a topic or unit. The detailed teacher materials that accompany each probe review science content; give connections to National Science Education Standards and Benchmarks; present developmental considerations; summarize relevant research on learning; and suggest instructional approaches for elementary, middle, and high school students. Other books may discuss students’ general misconceptions about scientific ideas. Only this one provides probes—single, reproducible sheets— you can use to determine students’ thinking about, for example, photosynthesis, moon phases, conservation of matter, reflection, chemical change, and cells. Each probe has been field-tested with hundreds of students across multiple grade levels, so they’re proven effective for helping your students reexamine and further develop their understanding of science concepts.
Can It Reflect Light? Is It Matter?Is It Made of Molecules?The Rusty NailsTalking About GravityThe Mitten ProblemObjects and TemperatureIs It an Animal?Is It Living?Is It Made of Cells?Human Body BasicsApple in the DarkFunctions of Living ThingsWet JeansBeach SandMountain AgeGazing at the MoonGoing Through a PhaseBirthday CandlesMaking SoundIce Cubes in a BagLemonadeCookie CrumblesSeedlings in a JarIs It Melting?
• Need for Formative Assessment Tools in Science
• Development and Use of the Probes
• Next Steps
• About the Authors
• Classroom Assessment
• What Is a Formative Assessment Probe?
• Assessment Probe Design and Features
• Formative Assessment Probes in This Book
• Using the Probes
• Teacher Notes That Accompany the Probes
• Elementary School: Using the Probe “Is It an Animal?”
• Middle School: Using the Probe “Wet Jeans”
• High School: Using the Probe “Is It Matter?”
• Concept Matrices and Probe Set
Physical Science Assessment Probes
• Concept Matrix
• 1 Can It Reflect Light?
• 2 Apple in the Dark
• 3 Birthday Candles
• 4 Making Sound
• 5 Ice Cubes in a Bag
• 6 Lemonade
• 7 Cookie Crumbles
• 8 Seedlings in a Jar
• 9 Is It Melting?
• 10 Is It Matter?
• 11 Is It Made of Molecules?
• 12 The Rusty Nails
• 13 Talking About Gravity
• 14 The Mitten Problem
• 15 Objects and Temperature
Life, Earth, and Space Science Assessment Probes
• Concept Matrix
• 16 Is It an Animal?
• 17 Is It Living?
• 18 Is It Made of Cells?
• 19 Human Body Basics
• 20 Functions of Living Things
• 21 Wet Jeans
• 22 Beach Sand
• 23 Mountain Age
• 24 Gazing at the Moon
• 25 Going Through a Phase
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