Tag Archives: assessment

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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Student writing in science






My mentor and I are discussing if we should grade science notebooks, lab reports, and assessments for correct usage, punctuation, and spelling. Or should we ignore these errors and just grade for content?  —G., Maryland My contribution to your discussion would fall toward the content end of the continuum. It’s important to assess students’ content […]

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Finding out what students know and can do






I teach sixth grade science, and my students come from five district elementary schools and several private schools. Some schools emphasize science more than others, so it’s hard to know what knowledge and experience each student has. My principal suggested giving a pretest at the beginning of the year or for each unit, but that […]

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Teaching for Conceptual Understanding in Science






Author Richard Konicek-Moran spent years studying and researching children’s alternative conceptions in science and author Page Keeley acquired her passion for improving conceptual understanding using formative assessment tools. They realized that their respective work had so much in common that they decided to put their thoughts and ideas gleaned from their experiences, research findings, and […]

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Reviewing during a unit






Do you have any suggestions on how to help students review and apply what they learn during a unit? I’ve tried creating games and contests, but the students don’t seem to get much out of them.   —C., Minnesota Many teachers have special review sessions prior to a test. With my middle and high school students, […]

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The Power of Questioning: Guiding Student Investigations






“Children are full of questions every day: “Why? How does that work? Why? How do you know?” The science classroom is the perfect place to take advantage of this natural curiosity. Questioning cultivates student engagement and drives instruction throughout the learning process.” This introduction to NSTA Press authors’, Julie McGough and Lisa Nyberg, new book […]

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Uncovering Student Ideas in Science Workshops at NSTA’s Area Conferences This Fall






“Uncovering Student Ideas is highly recommended for teachers at every level; it contains a set of essential tools that cross discipline, grade, and ability levels. There’s no better way to guide your planning and decision-making process.” —from Juliana Texley’s review of Uncovering Student Ideas in Science, Vol. 4 Research has shown that the effective use […]

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Displaying Student Work






I inherited a classroom-lab from a retired teacher, and I want to replace some of the generic posters with displays of student work. One of my colleagues says this is not a good idea. She didn’t explain her reasons, but now I’m not sure what to do. —Therese, Charlotte, North Carolina I’ve worked on statewide […]

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Scheduling make-ups






At the end of a unit, there are always students who haven’t completed some assignments. Coming in before or after school is not an option for most of my students. Rather than moving on to the next unit, knowing they’ll fall even further behind, I’d like to provide some class time for this make-up work. […]

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