Evaluation and Assessment

Using Science Notebooks for Assessment/Evaluation

I feel that science notebooks can be a great way to evaluate and assess students. Science notebooks give students a place to document their thinking and changes in their thinking during the learning process. As students document their thinking, teachers can check for understanding, which can then facilitate more discussion. Science notebooks provide a record of both student thinking and scientific investigations. Students’ notebooks can serve as assessments for learning, rather than assessments for grading. Teachers can continuously gather information on student teaching and learning with students’ notebooks in order to make data-informed decisions to plan or adjust instructional activities.

Julie Morales
Julie Morales
430 Activity Points

Hi Julie, I love what you said about science interactive notebooks serving as assessments for learning rather than assessments for grading. I see the importance of that statement because having a book of student's honest notes, drawings and thoughts is a great tool for teachers to use to track students' progress and know what lesson objectives need to be retaught. It is a great learning resource that can be used on a regular daily basis, and students can use it as a recollection of their own ideas if they need to study or remember something they forgot about. Personally, I understand things better when I write down my own notes and thoughts, and I can only believe students do the same when it is legible to them and made sense from the beginning. There are so many opportunities to store classroom activities and assignments in interactive notebooks as well, and that is a great way for students to have everything in one place. I have grown to become very fond on interactive notebooks because I have seen it work for so many teachers and students! Best of luck!

Naimah Urfi
Naimah Urfi
725 Activity Points

Hello Julie! You brought up a good topic. Interactive science notebooks can absolutely be a good form of evaluating and accessing learning, especially for the lower grades (K-2). It may be kind of challenging to give the little ones a set of questions (quiz) to complete, and then have to access there comprehensions based on that. It may also be difficult to give out questions because some students may not be proficient readers. Personally, I am a student teacher, planning a 5E science lesson over living and nonliving things. What I decided to do for the evaluation portion is that I will provide students with a sentence stem which they will complete in their interactive science notebook. Then I was planning to go back and read over what they wrote, and determine if what was taught was comprehended by them. If I was to notice that there sentences do not match up to what was taught, then as you said I could gather that information and make decision of re-teaching or adjusting future instruction.

Karina Herrera
Karina Herrera
295 Activity Points

I agree! I think science notebooks are absolutely essential for students. Students get to document investigations and write about what they learn after each lesson. I like how students get to be little scientists by taking notes and observations, and writing down scientific explanations in their own words. Science notebooks really help with their literacy as well. Students learn how to communicate and think clearly when they write things down. I think science notebooks are especially important because it helps students to review what they learned, and retain more information this way. It is also great for teachers because we can check science notebooks as formative assessment. 

Minnu Messiahdas
Minnu Messiahdas
7020 Activity Points

Hi Julie, I actually found an article in the Learning Center that speaks to your point! Check it out at the link below: http://common.nsta.org/resource/?id=10.2505/4/sc05_043_03_28 Let me know what you think! Megan

Megan Doty
Megan Doty
7837 Activity Points

Hi Julie! I am currently in a class at UNI and we have digital science notebooks, I love when students get to write in an actual science journal, but the digital notebooks I think could be fun for older students so that they can take pictures and practice their technology uses in the classroom. It also gives them an outlet and other options if they don't like handwriting or drawing out what they observed. It also allows them to take videos and go back to what exactly happened in the lesson. Just another creative option to think about! Thank you for your great thoughts on science notebooks! Kia

Kia Widen
Kia Widen
3658 Activity Points

Hey Julie, I think interactive notebooks are great. Keeping a science notebook encourages student to reflect on inquiry observations, activities and investigations. It is a great way for students to demonstrate their understanding of science concepts and for teachers to provide feedback. It's a good way for students to use writing as a process for discovery. They help students appreciate the process of scientific inquiry and it is a unique way of assessing student learning and organization.

Krystal Brea
Krystal Brea
4080 Activity Points

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