Resource Image Uncovering Student Ideas in Life Science, Volume 1: 25 New Formative Assessment Probes

by: Page Keeley
$25.56 - Member Price  
$31.95 - Nonmember Price


Type of Resource: NSTA Press Book (also see downloadable pdf version of this book)
Publication Title: None
Publication Date: 3/1/2011
Stock Number: PB291X1
ISBN: 978-1-93613-717-6
Grade Level: Elementary School, High School, Middle School


Winner of the Distinguished Achievement Award from Association of Educational Publishers!

Author Page Keeley continues to provide K–12 teachers with her highly usable and popular formula for uncovering and addressing the preconceptions that students bring to the classroom—the formative assessment probe—in this first book devoted exclusively to life science in her Uncovering Student Ideas in Science series.

In this volume, Keeley addresses the topics of life and its diversity; structure and function; life processes and needs of living things; ecosystems and change; reproduction, life cycles, and heredity; and human biology. Using the probes as diagnostic tools that identify and analyze students’ preconceptions, teachers can easily move students from where they are in their current thinking to where they need to be to achieve scientific understanding. At the same time, use of the probes deepens the teacher’s understanding of the subject matter, suggests instructional implications, and expands assessment literacy. Using the student-learning data gained through the probes to inform teaching and learning is what makes the probes formative.

Each probe is supported by extensive Teacher Notes, which provide background information on the purpose of the probes, related concepts, explanations of the life science ideas being taught, related ideas in the national science standards, research on typical student misconceptions in life science, and suggestions for instruction and assessment.

Ideas For Use


2 Week Elementary Lesson Plan on Human Body
Posted in Elementary Science by Arlene Jurewicz Leighton on Wed Oct 15, 2014 12:44 PM

Hi Michelle, As Paula mentioned this is a well thought out lesson. You did not mention what age level you were workin...
Formative Assessment in Life Science
Posted in Life Science by Claire Reinburg on Mon Feb 03, 2014 10:02 AM

Hello, All, For teachers who would like to read one of the formative assessment probes from Uncovering Student Ideas ...
Posted in Elementary Science by Maureen Stover on Tue May 07, 2013 2:10 PM

Hi Bethsabet, Identifying student misconception is an important step for any teacher. I always try to identify the m...
Interactions of Body Systems
Posted in Life Science by Arlene Jurewicz Leighton on Thu Mar 07, 2013 10:38 AM

Hi Andrea Noticed you are working with ninth graders I looked over some resources but found many that worked with...
Photosynthesis "Hook" or Discrepant Event
Posted in Life Science by Carolyn Mohr on Sun Sep 09, 2012 11:30 AM

There are a couple of Page Keeley probes on this topic, too. You can access the book chapters at these two places: [url...
Scaling: Cell Size and Volume Limitations
Posted in Life Science by Ruth Hutson on Wed Jul 18, 2012 8:30 PM

Hello ladies, I found two related resources as I was browsing the Learning Center. I plan to use the Science Starter...

Additional Info

Science Discipline: (mouse over for full classification)
Energy transfer
Food web
Asexual reproduction
Sexual reproduction
Life cycles
Intended User Role:Curriculum Supervisor, Elementary-Level Educator, High-School Educator, Middle-Level Educator, Teacher
Educational Issues:Achievement, Assessment of students, Classroom management, Curriculum, Educational research, Inquiry learning, Instructional materials, Professional development, Teacher content knowledge, Teacher preparation, Teaching strategies


This Title Also Available as Part of a Set:

Prodcut Preview Image Uncovering Student Ideas in Life Science, Volume 1: 25 New Formative Assessment Probes (Print and e-Book Set)
Member Price: $31.15 Nonmember Price: $38.94

Prodcut Preview Image Set: Uncovering Student Ideas in Science (set of 7 books)
Member Price: $168.45 Nonmember Price: $210.57

National Standards Correlation

This resource has 29 correlations with the National Standards.  

This resource has 29 correlations with the National Standards.  

  • Life Science
    • The characteristics of organisms
      • Organisms have basic needs. For example, animals need air, water, and food; plants require air, water, nutrients, and light. (K-4)
      • Organisms can survive only in environments in which their needs can be met. (K-4)
      • Each plant or animal has different structures that serve different functions in growth, survival, and reproduction. For example, humans have distinct body structures for walking, holding, seeing, and talking. (K-4)
      • The world has many different environments, and distinct environments support the life of different types of organisms. (K-4)
    • Life cycles of organisms
      • Plants and animals have life cycles that include being born, developing into adults, reproducing, and eventually dying. The details of this life cycle are different for different organisms. (K-4)
      • Plants and animals closely resemble their parents. (K-4)
      • Many characteristics of an organism are inherited from the parents of the organism, but other characteristics result from an individual's interactions with the environment. Inherited characteristics include the color of flowers and the number of limbs of an animal. (K-4)
      • Other features, such as the ability to ride a bicycle, are learned through interactions with the environment and cannot be passed on to the next generation. (K-4)
    • Structure and function in living systems
      • Living systems at all levels of organization demonstrate the complementary nature of structure and function (5-8)
      • Important levels of organization for structure and function include cells, organs, tissues, organ systems, whole organisms, and ecosystems (5-8)
      • The human organism has systems for digestion, respiration, reproduction, circulation, excretion, movement, control, and coordination, and for protection from disease. These systems interact with one another. (5-8)
    • Reproduction and heredity
      • Reproduction is a characteristic of all living systems; because no individual organism lives forever, reproduction is essential to the continuation of every species. (5-8)
      • Some organisms reproduce asexually (5-8)
      • Some organisms reproduce sexually. (5-8)
      • A human cell contains many thousands of different genes. (5-8)
      • Hereditary information is contained in genes, located in the chromosomes of each cell. (5-8)
      • Some traits are inherited and others result from interactions with the environment. (5-8)
    • Populations and ecosystems
      • A population consists of all individuals of a species that occur together at a given place and time. (5-8)
      • All populations living together and the physical factors with which they interact compose an ecosystem. (5-8)
      • Food webs identify the relationships among producers, consumers, and decomposers in an ecosystem. (5-8)
      • For ecosystems, the major source of energy is sunlight. (5-8)
      • Energy entering ecosystems as sunlight is transferred by producers into chemical energy through photosynthesis. (5-8)
      • Energy passes from organism to organism in food webs (5-8)
    • The cell
      • The genetic information stored in DNA is used to direct the synthesis of the thousands of proteins that each cell requires. (9-12)
  • Process Standards for Professional Development
    • Design
      • Uses learning strategies appropriate to the intended goal. (NSDC)
    • Learning
      • Build on the teacher's current science understanding, ability, and attitudes. (NSES)
  • Teaching Standards
    • Teachers of science plan an inquiry-based science program for their students.
      • Select teaching and assessment strategies that support the development of student understanding and nurture a community of science learners.
    • Teachers of science engage in ongoing assessment of their teaching and of student learning.
      • Analyze assessment data to guide teaching.
    • Teachers provide students with the time, space, and resources needed to learn science.
      • Create a setting for student work that is flexible and supportive of science inquiry.

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