Formative Assessment Probes: When Equipment Gets in the Wayby: Page Keeley

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This column focuses on promoting learning through assessment. This month’s issue discusses how to elicit students' initial ideas about how to light a bulb with a battery and a wire.

Grades
  • Elementary
Publication Date
3/1/2013

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Reviews (1)
  • on Mon Mar 04, 2013 7:50 PM

It is mind boggling to me that Harvard grads could not light a bulb in the Private Universe Project using just a battery, bulb and a piece of wire. This demonstrates that ALL classroom instruction needs to include formative assessment as a critical component of all instruction. The formative assessment probes found in the Uncovering Students’ Ideas book really get to the heart of the matter. Probing children’s thinking is so important. By using a probe such as Battery, Bulb and Wire, the teacher is able to get a picture of the students’ conceptual knowledge. Reading the explanation the students wrote or the picture the student drew helps the teacher know where to go next. Understanding the thinking of the student around this concept should determine the next sequence of instruction. This column can help any teacher getting ready to teach a unit on electricity. When do the materials help and when do they get in the way when planning instruction around the concept of electricity? In the column , Page Keeley provides food for thought around this question. I think this column is well worth reading even if you aren’t planning a unit on electricity!!!

Kathy Renfrew  (Barnet, VT)
Kathy Renfrew (Barnet, VT)


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