Formative Assessment Probes: The Mitten Problemby: Page Keeley

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This column focuses on promoting learning through assessment. In this month’s issue, the theory of "immaculate insulation" is prevalent among students. This formative assessment probe will help students overcome this misunderstanding by allowing them to test their predictions and muddle through uncertainties until they find a new explanation.

  • Elementary
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  • on Fri Oct 26, 2012 11:44 AM

The probe in this article is what Page Keeley calls a P.O.E. probe (Predict, Observe, and Explain). Some students believe that some materials create heat and thus warm us when we wear articles of clothing made from these materials. The article refers to this misconception as the “theory of immaculate insulation”. Allowing students to prove or disprove this misconception would be an excellent way to initiate conceptual change. Reading how a teacher accomplishs this change will provide an excellent example of student lead investigations.

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

  • on Wed May 02, 2012 11:00 PM

Page Keeley, the author of the formative assessment probes book series, shares how she became enthralled with how to uncover students’ misconceptions using probes. She tells of how her teaching was transformed after reading about a lesson written up in Phi Delta Kappan about heat and its behavior. Now she has transformed the way thousands of teachers across the nation approach student learning. Her assessment probes cover a variety of science concepts, and the books are available for purchase at the NSTA store. She includes “The Mitten Problem” probe in this article. Be prepared to look at teaching and learning in a new light after reading this article.

Carolyn M  (Buffalo Grove, IL)
Carolyn M (Buffalo Grove, IL)

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