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Formative Assessment for Secondary Science Teachers
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Formative Assessment for Secondary Science Teachers

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June 2009 | 176 pages | Corwin

"This book places students center stage in the discussion of how we know what students know. Using formative assessment to understand student learning is a theme grounded in good teaching and good assessment!"
—Jo Topps, Regional Directorth
K–12 Alliance/WestEd

"This book incorporates current research and not only provides an explanation of the necessity of formative assessment, but offers a system for planning lessons and a variety of tools to implement formative assessment in the classroom."
—Susan Leeds, Science Department Chair and Gifted Studies Teacher
Howard Middle School, Winter Park, FL

Use this powerful tool to enhance science teaching and learning!

Research has shown that when teachers use formative assessments effectively, they have a clearer understanding of what students know and are better able to design instruction that meets learners' needs. This practical guide shows teachers how to create and implement formative assessments in their middle and high school science classrooms.

Grounded in extensive and solid research, this guide covers all science content areas—physics/physical science, life science/biology, earth and space science, and chemistry—as well as five types of formative assessments: big idea questions, concept maps, evidence-to-explanation, predict-observe-explain, and multiple choice. Teachers will find additional support in:

  • Richly detailed, concrete examples of the five types of assessments
  • In-depth guidelines for implementing the assessments
  • Brief case studies with transcript excerpts that demonstrate how teachers have used formative assessments
  • Easy-to-use templates to help analyze lessons in current units and identify places for inserting formative assessments

With this easy-to-use, hands-on guide, any teacher can learn how to use formative assessment strategies to improve student achievement in science!

 
List of Figures and Tables
 
Preface
 
Acknowledgments
 
About the Author
 
1. What Is Formative Assessment?
Where Are You Going, and How Are You Going to Get There?  
What Is Formative Assessment?  
Effectiveness of Formative Assessment  
Overview of the Book  
 
Part I. Defining the Feedback Loop
 
2. Step One: Setting Learning Goals
The Importance of Setting Learning Goals  
What Is a Learning Goal?  
Multiple Types of Learning Goals  
Identifying Science Content  
Bringing Goals Together: Planning for Formative Assessment  
 
3. Step Two: What Do the Students Know Now?
Where Are the Students Now?  
Strategies for Making Students? Thinking Explicit  
Determining What Counts as Evidence  
Planning for Formative Assessment: Finding Out What Students Know  
 
4. Step Three: Anticipating Feedback
Feedback: Plotting a Learning Course for Students  
Anticipating Students? Alternative Conceptions  
Providing Feedback  
Anticipating Feedback  
Putting It All Together: Planning the Steps in the Feedback Loop  
 
Part II. Formats for Formative Assessment
 
5. Big Idea Questions
What Is a Big Idea Question?  
When Should I Use Big Idea Questions in My Unit?  
How Can I Develop My Own Big Idea Asssessment?  
How Can I Enact Big Idea Questions in My Classroom?  
Big Idea Question Example 5.1: Scientific Questions  
Big Idea Question Example 5.2: Work and Energy  
 
6. Concept Maps
What Is a Concept Map?  
When Should I Use Concept Maps in My Unit?  
How Can I Develop My Own Concept Maps?  
How Can I Enact Concept Maps in My Classroom?  
Concept Map Example 6.1: Pollutants in the Atmosphere  
Concept Map Example 6.2: Electricity  
 
7. Predict-Observe-Explain (POE) Assessments
What Is a POE?  
When Should I Use POEs in My Unit?  
How Can I Develop My Own POEs?  
How Can I Enact POEs in My Classroom?  
POE Example 7.1: Sinking and Floating  
POE Example 7.2: Air Pressure  
 
8. Evidence-to-Explanation Assessments
What Is an Evidence-to-Explanation Formative Assessment?  
When Should I Use Evidence-to-Explanation Assessments in My Unit?  
How Can I Develop My Own Evidence-to-Explanation Assessments?  
How Can I Enact Evidence-to-Explanation Assessments in My Classroom?  
Evidence-to-Explanation Example 8.1: Natural Selection  
Evidence-to-Explanation Example 8.2: Phase Changes in Water  
 
9. Multiple-Choice Questions
What Is a Multiple-Choice Formative Assessment?  
When Should I Use Multiple-Choice Questions in my Unit?  
How Can I Develop My Own Multiple-Choice Questions?  
How Can I Enact Multiple-Choice Questions in My Classroom?  
Mulitple-Choice Question Example 9.1: Uniform and Nonuniform Motion  
Multple-Choice Question Example 9.2: Diffusion  
 
Resources
 
Glossary
 
References
 
Index

"This book places students center stage in the discussion of how we know what students know. The vignettes and examples of student work illustrate the text and make the author’s points resonate with real teachers. Using formative assessment to understand student learning is a theme grounded in good teaching and good assessment!"

Jo Topps, Regional Director
K-12 Alliance/WestEd

"Timely, relevant, easy to read and follow, with real examples from the classroom about different approaches to assessment in science classes."

Ellen Osmundson, Senior Researcher
CRESST, University of California, Los Angeles

"This book incorporates current research and not only provides an explanation of the necessity of formative assessment, but offers a system for planning lessons and a variety of tools to implement formative assessment in the classroom. It will help educators rethink the methods and the type of content they deliver in the classroom."

Susan Leeds, Science Department Chair and Gifted Studies Teacher
Howard Middle School, Winter Park, FL

Sample Materials & Chapters

Preface

Chapter 1


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