Formative Assessment Probes: Representing Microscopic Lifeby: Page Keeley

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This column focuses on promoting learning through assessment. This month’s issue discusses the formative assessment probe "Pond Water," which reveals how elementary children will often apply what they know about animal structures to newly discovered microscopic organisms, connecting their knowledge of the familiar to the unfamiliar through overgeneralization.

  • Elementary
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  • on Fri Oct 26, 2012 12:09 PM

Sometimes young children over generalize about living things and think that they have the same organs that humans have. This probe called “Pond Water” help understand how elementary children view microscopic one celled pond organisms. This sort of probe is what the author calls ‘a friendly talk’ probe where students are asked why they selected what they did and sometimes asked to draw what they think they would see if you could look inside a single cell organisms. Once data is compiled then the educator can use this information to decide how best of proceed with instruction to alter the misconceptions into more meaningful truths.

Adah  (San Antonio, TX)
Adah (San Antonio, TX)

  • on Thu May 03, 2012 6:07 PM

Page Keeley is author of numerous assessment probes and her book chapters can be found in the NLC (NSTA Learning Center). She is also writes a monthly column in the Science and Children journal. This article is about her probe for uncovering students’ misconceptions about single-celled organisms. The probe is shared in the column along with detailed explanations of how and why to use it. Ms. Keeley reminds us “if a picture is worth a thousand words, perhaps drawing and visualizing will help science students enhance their learning potential.”

Carolyn Mohr  (Buffalo Grove, IL)
Carolyn Mohr (Buffalo Grove, IL)

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