The Virus Debateby: Page Keeley

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The purpose of this assessment probe is to elicit students’ ideas about characteristics of life. Viruses are used as a context to uncover students’ ideas about what determines whether something is considered a living or a nonliving thing. This sample chapter also includes the Eggs Assessment probe, Table of Contents and Index

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  • Middle
  • High
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Reviews (3)
  • on Wed Feb 08, 2012 8:15 PM

I love using probes in my high school classes. This activity forces students to support their thinking about viruses with biological principles. I love the analogy that compares the virus to a Wild West outlaw.

Ruth Hutson  (Westmoreland, KS)
Ruth Hutson (Westmoreland, KS)

  • on Sun Apr 17, 2011 8:43 PM

As usually, the probes written by Page Keeley provide an excellent way for a teacher to find out what students are thinking. The probe asks if a virus is living or non living. The support information is as important as the probe itself and needs to be carefully read prior to providing students an opportunity to complete the probe. The topic is for older students (middle school or higher) who have a deeper understanding of cells.

Susan German  (Hallsville, MO)
Susan German (Hallsville, MO)

  • on Tue Oct 23, 2012 8:52 PM

The preface and rationale for these assessment probes are didactic resources that make educators think about how they assess their students for understanding of content and what they are assessing, but the more interesting part of the probe for understanding viruses, probe 17, begins on page 125. It is after an educator examines the probe and then refers to the teacher notes and standards correlations that the nature of the probe springs to life. I would suggest going immediately to the probe, think about how you believe your students would answer the questions and then consult the teacher notes provided by the authors. Ultimately, the teacher should structure probes specific for individual classrooms by incorporating what the authors have provided, but not necessarily lift the probe as is from the chapter. Application and extension craft the probe for specific learning environments and student assessment. This may be most helpful.

Patricia  (Arlington, VA)
Patricia (Arlington, VA)

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