Tag Archives: assessment

A“Fair Test”

I’m starting to plan some formal assessments but, because it’s my first time, I’m not exactly sure if I’m creating a test correctly. Do you have any advice? —L., Nebraska The notion of a fair test is an important tenet in science and we strive to teach our students how to develop unbiased data collection for […]

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Seeking a New Way to Assess Science at All Levels

The word assessment can prompt feelings of dread, mistrust, or outright hate in many teachers. That’s distressing, as quality instruction includes quality assessment. Unfortunately, we have allowed assessment to become the “tail that wags the dog.” The development of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) was a tremendous step forward in attempting to change that […]

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Kentucky’s Systems Approach to Assessing Three-Dimensional Standards

One thing is clear about our multi-dimensional standards: They require a complex and thoughtful approach to assessment. No single, conventional, summative test can be expected to provide reliable data sufficient enough to satisfy the demands of all possible audiences. To say a student truly understands all dimensions of a multi-year set of Performance Expectations (PEs) […]

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Ed News: Teacher Shortages Affecting Every State As 2017-18 School Year Begins

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This week in education news, federal data shows that every state is dealing with shortages of teachers in key subject areas; the University of North Carolina in Charlotte has launched an on-campus high school for aspiring teachers; several districts and states have begun eliminating K-12 standardized tests; CA bill proposing creation of state-run STEM school […]

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Students’ Self-Assessment and Reflection

Do you have ideas on how to help my middle school students become more thoughtful, independent learners? —J., Michigan In my experience, self-assessment and reflective activities gave students ownership in their learning. Self-assessment is more than students “correcting” their own papers. When students self-assess, they reflect on the results of their efforts and their progress […]

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Explore the Power of Investigating

How can a teacher build and maintain a learning environment that will help students investigate meaningful questions? That’s the central question of The Power of Investigating: Guiding Authentic Assessments by Julie V. McGough and Lisa M. Nyberg. The pedagogical picture book for K–5 teachers provides practical advice for building investigations that integrate both STEM and […]

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Ed News: Idaho Releases Revamped Science Standards Proposal

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This week in education news, Idaho releases revamped science standards proposal; two University of Florida professors explain how the taunting of minority students in a robotics competition are part of a cultural idea that minority students don’t belong in STEM classes; new 3-minute videos highlight new research in STEM education; next-generation science tests slowly take […]

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Science education “trifecta”

I’m looking for creative ways for students to share what they know, other than traditional written reports or essays.  —K., Michigan The creative process in science involves novel ways of thinking, problem solving, and communicating. When students are given the opportunity, encouragement, and support, their creativity can be astounding. I found reworking information and/or experiences […]

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The Feedback Loop

There’s a lot of talk about using data to drive teaching and learning, but what data and how should these numbers be used? Are you confused? So were the authors of NSTA Press’ new book, The Feedback Loop: Using Formative Assessment Data for Science Teaching and Learning.  Erin Marie Furtak, Howard Glasser, and Zora Wolfe, […]

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My students don’t study!

I struggle with getting my biology students to prepare for assessments. What are your thoughts?  — J., Arizona This is not an uncommon problem and J. was able to provide some additional details: “I give them study ‘helps’ that outline the concepts to be tested and extra points if they complete them. I do flashcards […]

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