Formative Assessment Probes: When Is the Next Full Moon? Using K–2 Concept Cartoonsby: Page Keeley

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This column focuses on promoting learning through assessment. This month’s issue uses concept cartoons to assess students' ideas about the moon.

  • Elementary
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  • on Tue Sep 24, 2013 9:54 AM

Author Page Keeley presented a concept cartoon as a formative assessment. She discusses how this probe can be used in the classroom. Using the probe gives teachers an idea of the students’ initial ideas which then can lead into a discussion about the ideas. From there students can investigate their ideas and revisit their initial ideas using evidence from their investigations to check their ideas. This concept follows the NGSS disciplinary core ideas that patterns of the motion of the Sun, Moon, and stars in the sky can be observed, described, and predicted. This article is clearly written and easy to follow.

Betty Paulsell  (Kansas City, MO)
Betty Paulsell (Kansas City, MO)

  • on Fri Sep 06, 2013 10:20 AM

Page Keeley provides a methodical way to use a simple cartoon to help uncover young students’ misconceptions about a science concept. Using her easy to follow instructions, one can turn any appropriate cartoon into an effective formative assessment tool. She suggests types of cartoons to look for (visual format with minimal text, characters talking to each other, etc.); she explains how to use the cartoons in the classroom; and she describes how to give the appropriate feedback. Using a cartoon about moon phases, Ms. Keeley models how to gain access to our students’ ideas and steps to engage their thinking as they develop their own corrected understandings about core science ideas. The article shows how easy it might be to use this strategy as a probe for students of all ages and abilities.

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

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