Tag Archives: misconceptions

What Are Very Young Students’ Ideas About Science? Page Keeley Can Help You Find Out

When I wrote about Uncovering Student Ideas recently, I didn’t know that a new volume was in the works specifically designed for K-2 students. What a marvelous idea! The eighth book in the series, Uncovering Student Ideas in Primary Science: 25 New Formative Assessment Probes for Grades K-2 is the first one that exclusively targets young children’s ideas. The [...]

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Early learning experiences build toward understanding concepts that are hard to teach

We all have seen how children begin making sense of the world before they have any formal or informal teaching about a concept or topic…discovering through exploration that the world has textures, some things are for eating and some are not, objects can be moved and some appear to move by themselves, light comes and [...]

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Addressing misconceptions in science

A significant challenge that science teachers face is how to help students successfully navigate the bridge from their existing ideas about science concepts to scientifically accepted views. A teacher who uncovers students’ preconceptions about key concepts can use that knowledge to provide learning experiences that support students as they develop richer conceptual understanding. The March [...]

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“Can It Reflect Light?” and other probing questions

Can it reflect light? Is it a plant? Is it made of cells? These questions are among more than 100 formative assessment probes developed by Page Keeley and her colleagues to help teachers elicit information about what students think about key science concepts. A capacity crowd at Keeley’s Seattle conference session turned out to learn [...]

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What do students already know?

Last year, I started giving pretests at the beginning of each unit. The students were upset because they didn’t know many of the answers, even though I explained I didn’t expect them to know everything and the pretest wouldn’t count as a grade. Are there other ways to find out what students know about a [...]

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Overcoming misconceptions

Along with notebooks and pencils, students bring some common misconceptions to science class. It’s hard to tell where students learn these misconceptions: from their friends, parents, television, movies, the Internet, or other media. They may not realize that their ideas are incorrect, and simply telling the students that their ideas are wrong won’t help them [...]

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Autumn bits and pieces

Yesterday afternoon was one of those beautiful fall days here in the Northeast—clear blue skies, low humidity, a cool breeze, and leaves starting to change color. So what was I doing? I was logged in to a webinar that was a joint presentation by NSTA and ISTE: Planning for Technology Integration in the Science Classroom [...]

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What do scientists do?

I am really looking forward to this year’s Science & Children journal. Many of us teach with themes or essential questions that focus our instruction, and this year all of the issues of S&C will focus on aspects of using inquiry in the classroom. I would also encourage secondary teachers to browse through the articles [...]

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Science in the Cul de Sac

How does cartoonist Richard Thompson do such a splendid job of channeling the thoughts of preschoolers with their questions about the order of the world? In the world of Cul de Sac, Blisshaven Preschool reminds me of Every School where the goals of (us) teachers seem mysterious to children and often not aligned with their own. In [...]

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Diverse reading matter converges around “preconceptions”

My reading matter for the trip to the NSTA Portland conference is How People Learn: Brain, Mind, Experience, and School, Expanded Edition, (National Academy Press, 2000) and a fantasy novel, Dragonsbane by by Barbara Hambly (Del Rey, 1987). Both works relate how students (people) have preconceptions about how the world is supposed to be, and [...]

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