Is It Made of Molecules?by: Page Keeley, Francis Eberle, and Lynn Farrin

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The purpose of this assessment probe is to elicit students’ ideas about molecules. The probe is designed to find out whether students recognize that various examples of both physical and biological matter, ranging from objects to materials, can be made of molecules. It also helps determine whether students recognize a hierarchy of structure in the composition of matter ranging from molecules to single atoms to parts of an atom.

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Reviews (4)
  • on Mon Mar 31, 2014 3:39 PM

All of these chapters are great to begin units or lessons. If the students actually do these you learn some of there preconceived ideas and how to address them.

James  (El Paso, TX)
James (El Paso, TX)

  • on Tue Aug 23, 2011 2:45 PM

In this book chapter, students engage in an assessment probe to help them determine what things are made of molecules. Students then describe the "rule" or reason why they selected their answers. The author includes teacher notes including content background, curricular and instructional considerations for elementary, middle school and high school levels. The author also includes suggestions for administering and assessing the probe and related research and publications. This is an excellent tool for addressing student misconceptions of molecules.

Maureen Stover  (Seaside, CA)
Maureen Stover (Seaside, CA)

  • on Mon Feb 14, 2011 8:51 AM

I found this to be an interesting pre-assessment of student’s knowledge of molecules and the hierarchy of structure. Although at first it seemed simplistic, the exercise does give insight into student’s prior conception of molecules in both physical and biological matter. I really like the section on Suggestions for Instruction and Assessment—which offer very helpful ideas.

Kathy Sparrow  (Delray Beach, FL)
Kathy Sparrow (Delray Beach, FL)

  • on Thu Feb 10, 2011 4:05 PM

This chapter actually includes the preface and introductory information to put the formative assessment probe about the molecular structure of matter into clear context and to offer information about the understanding that students have at a variety of age levels. It is one specific probe with a great deal of information about how to use formative assessment probes and what others are available.

Bambi Bailey  (Tyler, TX)
Bambi Bailey (Tyler, TX)

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