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Formative Assessment Probe Essay

1131 words - 5 pages

In Ms. Hall’s seventh period ESL freshman biology class I chose to do a write around or pass a question formative assessment probe. I came up with three different questions and printed each one on an individual sheet of paper. The three questions were; 1. What is one thing you were surprised to learn about the past few weeks about genetics, what is one thing you wish you could learn more about related to genetics, what was the hardest topic for you to learn or that you are still confused about? I started the class by talking about what the purpose of the write around activity was. I informed them that this activity was an opportunity for them to reflect and talk about the lesson they were ...view middle of the document...

” These are key skills emphasized in the science classroom and formative assessments are one way for students to gain experience using and thinking about these skills. Students who are uncovering their ideas within the science classroom are able to relate to the science content in a new way which in turn makes the content more assessable. When discussing data within the science class students can use the formative assessment process to help themselves interpret and evaluate the data they have gathered. Furthermore they can use the process to build their reasoning and analyzing skills to help make claims, provide evidence and explain the connection between the two. Uncovering student ideas in the science classroom can also help with consolidation, providing an opportunity for student to solidify their understandings of an investigation or concept. Formative assessments are one of the many tools in which to uncover student ideas that can result in the development of key educational skills.
The write around activity provide a full range of student responses. There was a small trend of students who thought that everything about genetics was difficult or that nothing in the unit confused them. This may indicate a lack of participation or may also reflect lack of interest within the unit and the activities that occurred within it. For the most part there were longer and more thoughtful responses. Many students made connections that they understand genes determine what a baby looks like but wanted to know how a baby is actually conceived. There was one full Hispanic group of students that were talking in Spanish while writing their responses. After looking at which responses belong to that group I was thrilled at the length and interconnectedness of their responses. One student brought up how they were surprised how they are 50% mom and 50% dad even though they though being in the womb would increase the mother’s effect on the child. A student then responded by adding how they are curious how the genes actually come together and can be a mix of some sort. The third response then added how they want to know how much of the grandparents they are how much of affect to their grandparents genes have an effect on them. This response really helped me see how students can work together to build thoughtful and deep questions...

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