Session 7 at a Glance

Session 7 returns to cognitive interviewing as a formative assessment strategy and focuses on noticing and interpreting student thinking during the interview process. The session begins with participants examining their cognitive interviews with a partner. They are asked to notice the chemistry content that the students are grappling with and the connections to the chemical thinking framework. The focus is to analyze teacher questions to consider if they are eliciting ideas or advancing students' thinking toward a correct answer.  During this session participants consider three ways that students typically frame a discussion with a teacher -- as inquiry, oral examination, or expert interview. Participants practice identifying which frame a student is assuming, to consider the way asking a question could influence how a student responds. Discussion leads to revisiting the teaching dilemmas (conceptual, pedagogical, cultural, and political) that come up when employing formative assessments that aim to strengthen students’ chemical thinking.

Session objectives

In session 7, teachers will:

  • Strengthen the ability to plan for learning about students’ chemical thinking using formative assessments that elicit students’ ideas, particularly focusing on the nature of questions.
  • Increase ability to notice how students use chemistry knowledge to make sense of problems that chemistry allows us to address.
  • Discuss and explore dilemmas that arise in teaching as practices change and brainstorm how to grow as an educator in the context of existing realities.

Participant agenda

  1. Presentation & Overview: Welcome & Connecting activity 
  2. Discussion: Review Cognitive Interview recordings 
  3. Break
  4. Introduce Student Framing & Video Discussion
  5. Teaching Dilemmas Discussion
  6. Exit ticket & Homework


Full download (zipped folder)


Misconceptions About Temperature

Veritasium video: Misconceptions about temperature



ACCT Program Components focused on in this session


Chemical Thinking Thread: Structure-Property Relationships



Formative Assessment Enactment ModelEliciting and Advancing



Teacher Dilemmas: Political