Uncovering Student Ideas in Science, Volume 2: 25 More Formative Assessment Probes

NSTA Press Book (also see downloadable pdf version of this book)

If Hollywood filmed this sequel, the studio would call it “Probes II: More Battles Against Misunderstandings.” Like the blockbuster before it, Volume 2 will reveal the surprising misconceptions students bring to the classroom—so you can adjust your teaching to foster a sound understanding of science.

The popular features from Volume 1 are all here. The field-tested probes are short, easy to administer, and ready to reproduce. Teacher materials explain science content and suggest grade-appropriate ways to present information. But Volume 2 covers more life science and Earth and space science probes. New topics include forms of matter, changes in matter, living things and life processes, rocks and landforms, the day/night cycle, and objects in the night sky. Volume 2 also suggests ways to embed the probes throughout your instruction, not just when starting a unit or topic.

This new classroom tool will help you not only uncover students’ existing ideas, but also use that knowledge to improve your teaching and advance student understanding of science concepts.

  • Elementary
  • Middle
  • High
Publication Date

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Reviews (7)
  • on Mon Sep 01, 2008 9:09 PM

I like how these books are tutorials with different "teacher talk" for the audience, elementary, middle, and high school. I like this so much I had every teacher in my PD class buy them. I will be buying the third one.

Nora McDevitt  (Youngstown, OH)
Nora McDevitt (Youngstown, OH)

  • on Wed Jul 16, 2008 7:05 AM

The assessments in this book are great to assess students misconceptions as well as their knowledge. I found many of them to be helpful when assessing prior knowledge and determining the structure for my lessons.

Jody  (Camden, SC)
Jody (Camden, SC)

  • on Tue Jul 15, 2008 12:45 PM

I was very happy to see that Volume 2 in the Uncovering Student Ideas in Science series stuck with the format and ideas of the first volume. Keep'em coming!

Robert Gilmore  (Milford, MA)
Robert Gilmore (Milford, MA)

  • on Mon Jul 14, 2008 1:06 PM

The probes have given my teachers some real insight into their students thinking. It is a great way to spur discussions about instruction and learning.

Amy  (Newark, DE)
Amy (Newark, DE)

  • on Wed Nov 07, 2007 11:18 AM

Both volumes of the Probes are a great resource for the classroom teacher or for professional development. Before working with a group of teachers have them select and give a probe to their classes. The student responses are truly eye opening and begin to foster real discussions about real student learning and how to structure lessons and units. Teacher often assume the concepts in the probes are "easy" and spend little time on them. Using multiple choice assessments as the only form of assessment leads teachers to assume language difficulties and lazyness are the reason for low acheivement. The probes often reveal that the problem is deep misunderstandings about scientific concepts.

Peter A'Hearn  (Palm Springs, CA)
Peter A'Hearn (Palm Springs, CA)

  • on Sun Nov 04, 2007 12:34 PM

I bought the first book and loved it. I have used vol 1 and vol 2 as both pre and post assessment. The pre-assessment for differiated instruction which is a district goal. Writing is also a district goal the probes help with that as well. Each probe has implications for each grade level whihc I found helpful.

Christine G  (Wilbraham, MA)
Christine G (Wilbraham, MA)

  • on Thu Jul 24, 2008 7:32 AM

I used the series Uncovering Student Ideas in Science in two of my workshops on lecture-free teaching. These sessions were for high school and middle school science teachers. In one instance, the teachers (with whom I had worked previously) picked one of the formative assessments, tried it in their classrooms before the scheduled workshop date, and reported to the rest of the group about how it worked. In the second instance, I brought the books to the workshop and gave the teachers about 30 minutes to find an assessment appropriate for one of their classes, make copies for the other participants, and try the assessment on the workshop participants. In both cases each presentation was followed by critique and suggestions from other workshop participants.

Bonnie Wood  (Presque Isle, ME)
Bonnie Wood (Presque Isle, ME)

$26.84 - NSTA Members

$33.55 - Nonmembers

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