Chemistry

3-Dimensional Assessments in Chemistry

Many of my high school chemistry students struggle with the application of science practices to laboratory experience – planning experiments and using mathematics – especially when integrated with crosscutting concepts of cause/effect and scale/proportion required in a quality 3-dimensional assessment.  What are some things that you’ve found successful to support the translation of student skills from other settings to the science classroom and beyond?   

Anne Krebs
Anne Krebs
325 Activity Points

     I try to deterimine what skills my students are bringing into my classroom.  Students' skill sets vary from student to student so having a good pre-assessment is important.  For instance, this year, I discovered a number of students were bringing in a serious misconception in graphing -- more than one student understood 1/2 to mean between 1 and 2, not 0.5 on the number line.  I would have thought they wouldn't have gotten so far with this misconception, but with graphing now being done more frequently on calculators they hadn't had sufficient experiences to correct this error.

     Helping students access and apply skills from other discipline is often hindered by a vocabulary barrier.  Words often have different implications (or meanings) in each discipline and this creates confussion for my students.  I have found talking with the math teachers and English teachers in my building have helped me bridge the vocabulary barrier between disciplines that often confound students.  For example, the vocabulary a science teacher uses to talk about something like cause/effect is often different than that used by an English teacher, but the moves are quite similiar.  Knowing how my colleagues discuss these skills allows me to bridge to vocabulary gap between the disciplines for my students so that they don't have to learn the same skill twice.  

     Hope this helps.

Brian Hamilton
Brian Hamilton
670 Activity Points

Brian,

Thanks for your thoughts!  I've always been mindful of the link between my instruction and student math confidence/experience.  I appreciate your reminder that it's not just a math/science link, but the language and context must be explored and utilized in science instruction.  Another thing to discuss during building PD time (or in the hallways between classes).

Anne

Anne Krebs
Anne Krebs
325 Activity Points

Post Reply

Forum content is subject to the same rules as NSTA List Serves. Rules and disclaimers