The Start of Another Year.....

Chad Husting explains how he used two hands on activities to get a sense of where his students were at within the realm of labwork and the scientific process as school began. 

What do we want to know about our students' thinking? Categorizing chemistry formative assessments with ACCT.

Formative assessment questions provide a useful lens into students' minds regarding what they are thinking about chemistry. By ascertaining what students are thinking, teachers can make decisions regarding what to do with what they learn. The members of ACCT (Assessing for Change in Chemical Thinking) presented a ChemEd X Talk on the topic on May 26th. You can watch the edited recording of this Talk and find more resources here.

What informs the grade a student earns in your class? w/ Erica Posthuma

Grades should provide feedback to students, parents, and teachers as to the progress students are making toward learning targets. Meaningful grades require good assessment practices. Erica Posthuma presented a ChemEd X Talk on May 11th, 2021, providing an overview of effective assessment design. She discussed writing and communicating learning goals, developing targeted questions and prompts, and scoring using a standards-based approach. You can watch the edited recording of Erica's Talk here.

What do you want to know about your students' chemical thinking? Categorizing chemistry formative assessments

In order to teach chemistry effectively, we must ascertain what our students are thinking about chemistry and make a decision regarding what to do with what we learn. Formative assessment questions provide a useful lens into students' minds regarding what they are thinking about chemistry. Let us consider then, how categorizing formative assessment questions could help us plan out our classes more deliberately, in order to better design purposeful written formative assessments that align with our curricular goals. 

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.