middle school science

Session 8 at a Glance

The goal for session 8 is to focus on the formative assessment enactment model. Teachers revisit the formative assessment enactment model and reflect upon its versatility and value for classroom use. This session uses videos of student discourse to help participants grapple with the critical aspects of the Formative Assessment Enactment Model. Participants explore a spectrum of teacher decision-making in the moment with regard to questioning students. Participants examine and analyze the following:  eliciting moves;  how to narrow or open up student responses; advancing moves; and whether to use directing or responding questions. 

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 6 at a Glance

Session 6 focuses on cognitive interviewing as a formative assessment strategy that is conducted between a teacher and one student to elicit students’ thinking. The teacher interviews one student at a time with a set of probing questions that uncovers conceptual understanding. Key elements to consider in developing and using cognitive interviewing with a formative assessment are: the questions are open ended, you are not assessing whether the student answers are right or wrong, it is not a time to correct student thinking (it is a time for noticing, not for teaching) and provides an opportunity to listen to students’ thinking to collect data. Teachers will have time during the session to practice thinking like a student. 

Session 5 at a Glance

This 3 hour session continues to build a collaborative learning community and deepen understanding of students’ chemical thinking by comparing different teaching moves and how these moves promote the development of sense-making with chemistry concepts. The session begins with  teachers reviewing classroom videos that were submitted for homework from a past ACCT cohort. Teachers bring three copies of de-identified student work samples from a recent formative assessment. Using a looking at student work protocol small groups of teachers look for evidence of chemical thinking and note what ideas are revealed and generated in the student’s written work. The small group discussions align with the overarching goal of increasing capacity for interpreting the assumptions about chemistry underlying student ideas based on written work samples that are reviewed. 

Session 4 at a Glance

The 3 hour session includes time for teachers to share their experiences, engage with student work and explore the formative assessment cycle. The session encourages teachers to deepen their understanding of the formative assessment cycle by looking at student work and reviewing videos looking for eliciting moves. Teachers will work collaboratively to notice and interpret student thinking and discuss the similarities and differences between student responses and our interpretations of them. Time will be spent introducing the teacher dilemma program component and examining one to discuss possible strategies to address this challenge. There will also be time at the end of the session to modify/revise their formative assessment to make ready to give to students. 

Session 3 at a glance

In this 3 hour session the overarching goals are to 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. This session also offers a brief introduction to the NGSS core expectations.  The emphasis will be on increasing participants’ ability to notice how students use chemistry knowledge to make sense of problems that chemistry allows us to address. Participants put on a “student hat” to use four formative assessments to consider the accessibility of each prompt and what specifically the formative assessment would reveal about students’ chemical thinking. Participants are introduced to a quadrant continuum graphic organizer and asked to place each of the four formative assessments on the continuum. The quadrants are labeled revealing/accessible, not revealing/accessible, revealing/not accessible, not revealing/not accessible. After reviewing the formative assessment as students, participants apply their ideas and reasoning for placing the four formative assessments in the quadrants. Participants apply chemical ideas through the chemical thinking questions and consider various purposes for using a specific type of formative assessment in a particular learning situation. There is also time for participants to offer specific changes to the four formative assessments to modify them to be either more accessible and/or more revealing. 

ACCT Formative Assessment and Chemical Thinking course

The Assessing for Change in Chemical Thinking (ACCT) group has created materials for chemistry teachers nationwide to employ in order to deliver professional development in your schools, districts, and professional organizations.  The ten sessions constitute a full course of professional development, which we used to deliver over the course of an entire school year back in Boston. The design of the professional development is based upon three critical frameworks, each of which is a pillar that the PD rests upon. These three pillars are Chemical Thinking, the Formative Assessment Enactment Model and the Teaching Dilemmas. Understanding how these three pillars collectively support the ACCT model of professional development is critical to be able to deliver professional development sessions effectively. More information about each framework is linked above their respective infographics. Session at at glance pages for each of the nine sessions give an overview of what facilitators and participants should expect from each ACCT session. 

Journey with Standards Based Grading with Chad Husting

Chad Husting presented in a ChemEd X Talk and spoke about how he has transitioned to standards based grading during a pandemic! He shared some tips that have solved many of the problems that teachers struggle with including having a mix of face to face and virtual students and keeping up with late work, make-up work and missing assignments! You can watch the edited recording of Chad's Talk here.