4247 Views
  1. Robert Huie
  2. Teacher
  3. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  4. Boston Public Schools
  1. Timothy Abell
  2. Postdoctoral Researcher
  3. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  4. University of Massachusetts Boston
  1. Scott Balicki
  2. Science teacher
  3. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  1. Greg Banks
  2. Science Teacher
  3. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  4. Boston Public Schools
  1. Michael Clinchot
  2. Teacher
  3. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  4. Boston Public Schools
  1. Marianne Dunne
  2. Senior Project Coordinator
  3. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  4. Boston Public Schools
  1. Rebecca Lewis
  2. Chemistry Teacher
  3. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  4. Hingham Public Schools
  1. Hannah Sevian
  2. http://www.seviangroup.org
  3. Professor of Chemistry
  4. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  5. University of Massachusetts Boston

Supporting Chemistry Teachers to Assess and Foster Chemical Thinking

NSF Awards: 1621228

2020 (see original presentation & discussion)

Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12

Formative Assessment with a Bang
Formative assessment is when teachers work on enhancing student learning while students are learning. This video showcases the work of the Assessing for Change in Chemical Thinking project in supporting middle and high school teachers of chemistry to support their students' growth in chemical thinking through intentionally planned formative assessment activity. An example of excellent chemistry teaching using the exploding Pringles can design challenge is featured in the video. This formative assessment activity focuses students on controlling a combustion reaction to produce a bang. What is effective about the teaching is analyzed based on research that the project has conducted, including the teaching moves that the teacher makes. The narration focuses specifically on the chemical control thinking that the teacher notices, and how the teacher elicits students' chemical control thinking and advances students toward scientific views. We have over 20 formative assessments developed by the ACCT leadership team of teachers and researchers, as well as cohorts of teachers who have completed our yearlong PD. These materials are free for download and can be found, along with other resources, at the following link:

https://www.chemedx.org/acct

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Original Discussion from the 2020 STEM For All Video Showcase
  • Icon for: Alan Peterfreund

    Alan Peterfreund

    Facilitator
    May 4, 2020 | 05:21 p.m.

    Very simple but elegant demonstration.   How have you evaluated learning outcomes?   

  • Icon for: Hannah Sevian

    Hannah Sevian

    Co-Presenter
    May 4, 2020 | 09:07 p.m.

    Thanks for your question, Alan, and so nice to see you! Our view of formative assessment emphasizes enhancing student learning during the learning (we follow a definition of formative assessment by Bell & Cowie). Our project is about studying chemistry teachers’ formative assessment practices. In our professional development, we support experienced chemistry teachers in expanding their repertoires and intentional choices in designing tasks, launching formative assessment, implementing activities that maintain high intellectual rigor, and evaluating student work during formative assessment and following up to support students’ development of chemical thinking. We focus on designing tools and studying the tools that chemistry teachers develop for revealing students’ resources for learning chemistry, and we study how the assessment practices of chemistry teachers change through engagement in the professional development.

    Our project builds from substantial prior work that has shown that effective formative assessment by teachers improves student learning. Research has also shown that complete attribution of learning and other student outcomes to professional development is difficult to accomplish, especially in the short timeline of one year. However, in line with our chemical thinking framework, we are examining several lines of study related to measuring student outcomes. First, for some of the teachers who are participating in closer case studies, we look at students’ progression of ways of thinking and speaking about particular chemical thinking questions, to examine how the students’ manifolds of thinking diversify and become more nuanced and qualified over time. Second, we are studying relationships between teachers’ intentions in their teaching moves during formative assessment activity and the ways in which students increase their agency in sense-making about chemistry. Third, we are studying the specific struggles that arise as groups of students engage in chemical thinking and how these students develop productive outcomes in analyzing, synthesizing and transforming matter, which will give us a socioculturally based way of examining progress in student learning aligned with the chemical thinking framework.

     
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    Edenia maria ribeiro do Amaral
  • Icon for: Hannah Sevian

    Hannah Sevian

    Co-Presenter
    May 4, 2020 | 06:15 p.m.

    Thank you for visiting our video! The Assessing for Change in Chemical Thinking (ACCT) project is a research-practice partnership co-led by teachers of chemistry and chemistry education researchers in Boston. We take a design-based approach to our work together. This means that teachers and researchers collaborate on equal footing to design professional development for chemistry teachers, collect and analyze data about our teaching and our students' learning, develop and test the validity of findings, and create resources that provide principled and practical tools for chemistry teachers to enhance all of our teaching practices.

    We welcome you to visit our new ACCT website on the American Chemical Society’s ChemEd Xchange, www.chemedx.org/acct, which we have opened in conjunction with the launch of the STEM for All Video Showcase! You can find many more resources to support you in enacting formative assessment to strengthen students’ sense-making and develop students’ chemical thinking -- resources like the Pringles can design challenge which we highlight in our Showcase video here, which is designed to reveal students' thinking about how to control chemical processes.

    Our video is specifically aimed for the audience of teachers of chemistry (middle school and high school), but we certainly welcome other visitors, especially undergraduate chemistry faculty and chemistry/science education researchers. We are hoping to engage teachers of chemistry in discussing the following questions:

    • The NGSS challenges us to support students in three-dimensional learning, and the ACCT project builds on the chemical thinking framework to organize the discipline of chemistry as answering questions that chemistry is uniquely positioned to answer, such as how do we identify substances, how do we control chemical processes, and how do we evaluate the consequences of transforming matter. What overlaps do you see between the NGSS and ACCT for your own teaching?
    • What resources around formative assessment in chemistry would be most useful to you? How can we support you in expanding your own repertoire for more intentional formative assessment in your chemistry or science classroom that gets your students doing sense-making?
     
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    Edenia maria ribeiro do Amaral
  • Icon for: Susan Kowalski

    Susan Kowalski

    Researcher
    May 4, 2020 | 09:26 p.m.

    I love how you stated, "My students are always putting forward productive ideas that I can build on." That is so true - and we lose out (and our students lose out) when we don't build on their productive ideas!

     
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    Renee Cole
    Edenia maria ribeiro do Amaral
  • Icon for: Michael Clinchot

    Michael Clinchot

    Co-Presenter
    May 4, 2020 | 09:35 p.m.

    Thanks, Susan!  I think as teachers we get so caught up in whether the student is right or wrong in that moment that we miss the opportunities to help students evolve from their current understanding of certain science concepts.  I find students are more willing to grapple with the concepts when you meet them where they are instead of where you think they should be.  

     
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    Hannah Sevian
    Edenia maria ribeiro do Amaral
  • Icon for: Edenia maria ribeiro do Amaral

    Edenia maria ribeiro do Amaral

    Researcher
    May 5, 2020 | 07:43 a.m.

    Congratulations, Hannah, Greg and all collaborators!! This is an amazing tool to promote productive discussion, formative assessment and learning. 

  • Icon for: Greg Banks

    Greg Banks

    Co-Presenter
    May 5, 2020 | 08:48 a.m.

    Thank you Edenia, and it is so nice to hear from you!  The collaboration that led to the work shown in the video has been transformative for us all.  For K-12 teachers, it can be easy to get swept up in the demand for test-score success.  Too often this pushes us to assess students through a content-strand approach where students show they can enact the "right formula" or give the "right fact".  While testing is a demand under which we all live, it is not what is most important about learning science.  Part of the power of ACCT is the creation and use of formative assessments that both demand rigorous, connected science knowledge and that are inherently engaging/accessible to students, compelling them to think deeply about a question.  They are closer to "doing science" than "learning science".  As teachers, we got into the field because we love science, and the ACCT formative assessment approach engages students at that level while being deeply revealing of what they can actually DO with what they have learned.  They serve as both learning experiences for students and as tools to uncover student thinking for teachers. 

     
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    Hannah Sevian
    Edenia maria ribeiro do Amaral
  • Icon for: Edenia maria ribeiro do Amaral

    Edenia maria ribeiro do Amaral

    Researcher
    May 5, 2020 | 12:01 p.m.

    Hi, Greg. It is great to hear from you. I got delighted as you described your experience in applying this tool to teach students. Wonderful !! This shows us how you teachers are engaged in science teaching in order to build chemical/scientific thinking for students. Congrats!!

     
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    Greg Banks
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    RITA OLIVEIRA

    Researcher
    May 5, 2020 | 08:42 a.m.

    Olá Hanna,

    Sou Rita aluna da professora Edenia. Gostei muito do trabalho. Acho tão complexo avaliar o pensamento químico não é? Mas o trabalho foi simples e assim talvez a firma dos alunos expressarem fique mais explícito. Parabéns!

  • Icon for: Hannah Sevian

    Hannah Sevian

    Co-Presenter
    May 5, 2020 | 09:26 a.m.

    Muita obrigada, Rita! Sim, definitivamente, uma das peças principais que descobrimos em avaliações formativas bem projetadas é que elas são simples com a pergunta feita e são de natureza aberta, para que os alunos possam trazer muitos de seus recursos para responder - ou, neste caso, fazer o química. Isso nos mostra como os alunos estão pensando usando o conhecimento e as habilidades de química que eles conhecem.

    In English: Thanks so much, Rita! Yes definitely, one of the key pieces we have found in well-designed formative assessments is that they have a simple question posed, and they are open-ended in nature so that students can bring many of their resources toward answering – or in this case – doing the chemistry. This gives us windows into how students are thinking, using the chemistry knowledge and skills that they know.

     
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    Edenia maria ribeiro do Amaral
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    Eduardo Mortimer

    Researcher
    May 5, 2020 | 09:19 a.m.

    Hi Hannah, congratulations, nice video and nice experiment as well. It was good to see Greg and Rob giving their thoughts on formative assessment. 

     

     
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    Greg Banks
    Edenia maria ribeiro do Amaral
    Timothy Abell
  • Icon for: Robert Huie

    Robert Huie

    Lead Presenter
    Teacher
    May 5, 2020 | 10:19 a.m.

    Hi Eduardo!  Thanks so much for checking out the video!!  I think it is so important to listen to the ideas of our students and focus on the way they are thinking.  It not only helps us guide our teaching, but honestly the students become more engaged when they feel heard and not necessarily judged on being right or wrong.  The relationship that we are building is invaluable!!

     
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    Greg Banks
    Edenia maria ribeiro do Amaral
  • Icon for: Hannah Sevian

    Hannah Sevian

    Co-Presenter
    May 5, 2020 | 07:01 p.m.

    Thanks also Eduardo, for highlighting how important it is that the teachers who co-lead the ACCT work (Rob, Greg, Michael, Scott, and Becca) are central in many ways. One of these is that they know what is important for supporting experienced teachers in continued growth toward greater excellence. The research ideas come from what the teachers in our collaboration know is most important to study, and the professional development that is designed with teachers as peer leaders is synchronized with the importance of these ideas. 

    I also want to say how grateful we are for your guiding light, in your collaborations also with Phil Scott, in developing how meaning making happens in science classrooms through both authoritative and dialogic discourse. This is a core dimension that all of the teachers who participate in the professional development learn to use as a lens that guides their own decision making as teachers. 

  • Small default profile

    Eduardo Mortimer

    Researcher
    May 6, 2020 | 12:56 p.m.

    Thank you Hannah, it is a honour being recognised by your group. Thank also to Rob for his answer to my comment.

    You do a great job!!!

  • Icon for: Orlando Aguiar Jr

    Orlando Aguiar Jr

    Researcher
    May 5, 2020 | 09:22 a.m.

    Hannah and colleagues, thanks for sharing this video and the group’s reflections on formative assessment in teaching practice in chemistry / science classrooms. I believe that the main message is to create opportunities for students to present and test their ideas in the face of proposed challenges and that they can be guided to discuss such ideas (both scientifically correct and incorrect) in a productive way. You are doing an amazing work in teacher professional development.

     
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    Hannah Sevian
    Greg Banks
    Edenia maria ribeiro do Amaral
  • Icon for: Scott Balicki

    Scott Balicki

    Co-Presenter
    May 5, 2020 | 09:35 a.m.

    Thank you Orlando!  You hit the nail on the head; giving students the opportunity to test and discuss their ideas in a laboratory setting is absolutely critical.  Students bring so many productive ideas to their science classrooms, so we believe it is very important to give them a setting to develop these ideas through conversations with their teachers and peers.

  • Icon for: Michael Clinchot

    Michael Clinchot

    Co-Presenter
    May 6, 2020 | 02:10 p.m.

    Hi, Orlando!  I agree and would add that when students are given this opportunity to explore their ideas rather than just being told they are right or wrong, the understanding is more permanent benefitting the student in the future.

  • May 5, 2020 | 09:28 a.m.

    Hannah and colleagues, This video captured the value of the laboratory in promoting the curiosity and space to explore science and research. Thank you for sharing. 

     
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    Hannah Sevian
    Marilu Lopez Fretts
  • Icon for: Scott Balicki

    Scott Balicki

    Co-Presenter
    May 5, 2020 | 10:26 a.m.

    I agree Michelle.  Curiosity is such an important part of the process of doing science, whether it be in a formal laboratory setting or a classroom.  Thank you for your ideas.

  • Small default profile

    Martin Berryman

    K-12 Teacher
    May 5, 2020 | 09:39 a.m.

    Congratulations to everyone! Such great work.

     
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    Timothy Abell
  • Icon for: Scott Balicki

    Scott Balicki

    Co-Presenter
    May 5, 2020 | 10:25 a.m.

    Thanks Martin!  We hope that you find the video to be a helpful overview of how open ended formative assessments are productive for students and teachers alike.

  • Small default profile

    João Tenório

    Researcher
    May 5, 2020 | 10:03 a.m.

    Very nice experiment!! I remember from the paper presented in Recife.

    It is an opportunity to explore students' ideas and follow the pathway of the meaning making process. Congrats! 

     
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    Edenia maria ribeiro do Amaral
  • Icon for: Hannah Sevian

    Hannah Sevian

    Co-Presenter
    May 5, 2020 | 10:13 a.m.

    Thank you, João. We are so grateful for your and Edenia's excellent work on studying ways that students think about chemical processes. It helps us a lot in both analyzing data and creating resources for teachers on strategies for attending to the meaning making processes of students when the students engage in challenges -- like the Pringles can explosion design -- where they need to put their ways of thinking about chemistry to work to face the challenge. 

     
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    Edenia maria ribeiro do Amaral
  • Icon for: ALEXSANDRO ALBERTO DA SILVA

    ALEXSANDRO ALBERTO DA SILVA

    Undergraduate Student
    May 5, 2020 | 10:18 a.m.

    Hi, teacher Hannah and pairs. I am Alexsandro, master' student of the teacher Edenia. In the last year I worked with STEAM at the public state school. It's a metodology of teaching and learning that create habilities so important to our knowleadge. Thanks for the share your experience! We can talk about this some day. So send me an e-mail to alexbullom@hotmail.com   I will share in my social network. I Hope so much you win. 

     

     

  • Icon for: Scott Balicki

    Scott Balicki

    Co-Presenter
    May 5, 2020 | 12:25 p.m.

    Hello Alexsandro.  Teaching methodologies are so important to developing effective habits of learning in our students.  We hope that you have found open ended formative assessments to be useful for your practice.  If you would like to learn more, here is a recent blog post about the exploding Pringles can activity: https://www.chemedx.org/blog/exploding-pringles-design-challenge-formative-assessment-bang.  Thank you for you contact information, we look forward to communicating more in the future.

     
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    ALEXSANDRO ALBERTO DA SILVA
  • Icon for: Patrick Honner

    Patrick Honner

    Facilitator
    May 5, 2020 | 03:13 p.m.

    This looks like a engaging and thought-provoking task for students to explore. What's your approach to developing and providing these resources to teachers in a way that makes them more than just projects or labs to replicate? 

  • Icon for: Scott Balicki

    Scott Balicki

    Co-Presenter
    May 5, 2020 | 04:31 p.m.

    Good question Patrick.  The Assessing for Change in Chemical Thinking (ACCT) group has run yearlong professional development cohorts in Boston and surrounding communities for the past four years.  Cohort meetings have provided an opportunity for participants to engage in formative assessment activities like the exploding Pringles design challenge, as well as develop their own formative assessments. If you would like to learn more about formative assessments designed by the ACCT team and past cohort participants, you can check out our website at ChemEdX: https://www.chemedx.org/article/resources-doing-formative-assessment-classroom.  We will also be leading a remote cohort for teachers next year, open to teachers in the US in EST and CT.  You can find out more on our program application here: https://www.chemedx.org/event/are-you-wondering-what-your-students-are-thinking-chemistry.  

     
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    Hannah Sevian
    Patrick Honner
    Greg Banks
  • Icon for: Greg Banks

    Greg Banks

    Co-Presenter
    May 5, 2020 | 05:40 p.m.

    Good point Scott, and I would add that the PD introduces a formative assessment model that allows teachers to look more closely at how formative assessment works in the classroom.  The end goal is to enable teachers to be more intentional about the way they elicit, advance, notice, and interpret when interacting with their students.  For example, during the PD, teachers engage in looking at videos of their own formative assessments (and those of fellow participants) to see how they are noticing student ideas.  By reflecting on the moves they made in the context of the model, teachers gain insights they can use in all class discussions.  So, while the particular formative assessments we have developed (such as the Pringles Challenge) are a part of the PD, the ACCT training is really designed to expand the toolkit of skills available to the teacher in any interaction with students.

     
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    Hannah Sevian
    Patrick Honner
    ALEXSANDRO ALBERTO DA SILVA
  • Icon for: Nathan Auck

    Nathan Auck

    Facilitator
    May 6, 2020 | 03:55 p.m.

    Allowing teachers the time and space to consistently formatively assess student thinking requires student centered tasks like this that are low-threshold, high ceiling experiences with multiple pathways to success (all of which you mention in your video). I’m wondering what methods you use to differentiate for different levels of student background knowledge and to ensure that every student in the classroom meets the learning objectives for the day?

  • Icon for: Michael Clinchot

    Michael Clinchot

    Co-Presenter
    May 6, 2020 | 04:29 p.m.

    Good question, Nathan!  We look at formative assessments along a continuum of accessibility and revealing student thinking.  Using a formative assessment like the Pringles Challenge which is highly accessible and highly revelatory enables a teacher to identify the differences in levels of background knowledge and understanding.  From there, a teacher can more readily meet a student at their current understanding and help move their thinking forward to help them meet the learning objective(s) of the day, lesson, unit both during the assessment and beyond.  It may be helpful to look at our Formative Assessment Enactment Model  to get a better understanding of important teacher moves during a formative assessment https://www.chemedx.org/article/formative-assessment-enactment-model

     
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    Hannah Sevian
  • Icon for: Nathan Auck

    Nathan Auck

    Facilitator
    May 6, 2020 | 03:57 p.m.

    As an aside, the language and techniques I see you referencing remind me of Peg Smith’s 5 Practices for Orchestrating Productive Discussions, first released for Math ecosystems and later for science. I wonder if this book played a role in your methodologies? It was definitely one of the most influential books I read when I was a fledgling teacher!

     
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    Marianne Dunne
  • Icon for: Scott Balicki

    Scott Balicki

    Co-Presenter
    May 6, 2020 | 04:23 p.m.

    Hi Nathan.  In response to your first question, the ACCT team has developed a set of questions to accompany the open ended design challenge.  You can read these questions at ChemEdX, who we have partnered with to share all of our content.  This link will take you to our page for the Exploding Pringles can design challenge: https://www.chemedx.org/article/pringles-design-challenge.  As you will see on the handout linked to the bottom of the page, the student question sets ask students questions that investigate their thinking both before and after various stages of the challenge.  Carefully noticing and interpreting individual student's writing at the beginning of work period 1 (please refer to the handout) is an excellent way to establish an individual "baseline" for each student, and doing the same for their responses at the end of the work period (again, refer to the handout) could help you gauge process towards learning objectives.

    In response to your second question, I have not myself read either of those books.  Thank you for the recommendations.  These books are not on my reading list!

    Thanks for the thoughtful question and helpful recommendation!

  • Small default profile

    Lawrence Spezzano

    K-12 Teacher
    May 6, 2020 | 05:04 p.m.

    Well done!  Awesome work and useful model for assessing understanding!  I'm curious about whether/to what degree students themselves are mindful of how this model is applied in real STEM/professional careers...bacteriologist: "my culture would grow better if..."  Dentist: "...adjusting amalgam ratios", etc.  Thanks!

     

     
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    Marilu Lopez Fretts
  • Icon for: Hannah Sevian

    Hannah Sevian

    Co-Presenter
    May 6, 2020 | 05:35 p.m.

    What a great question! YES! That’s the whole point of chemical thinking. Chemistry is a science whose major aim is to improve the human condition. Chemistry is one of the oldest disciplines, and it derives from the practical arts - blacksmithing, ceramics, baking, even early medicinal arts. Chemistry serves to answer questions that chemistry is uniquely positioned to answer, and the practice of chemistry involves asking a small set of questions, like: What is this substance? What accounts for its reactivity patterns? How do we design more efficient ways of synthesizing it? How do we deal with, reduce, or avoid the byproducts? When we ask students to grapple with questions that there is a reason why it’s worth figuring out an answer, it shifts how students think. For example, consider these two ways of posing a problem.

    Option 1: Which substance, aspirin or ibuprofen, would have a higher melting point? Justify your prediction.

    Option 2: If you want to send medication to a medical outpost in a very hot climate, which medicine would have a better shelf life: aspirin or ibuprofen?

    Option 1 cues students to use canonical content knowledge, and also teachers are more likely to evaluate it as correct or incorrect. Option 2 gives students much more access to answering the question because they can also draw upon expertise they have from other areas of their lives (what we might call common sense). It also opens windows for teachers to learn more about how students think, and what they think is relevant. By asking the question from a chemical thinking perspective, which issues from the practical nature of chemistry, we make the task more accessible and more revealing, which gives us more ways to support student sense making. It also puts students in touch with ways that chemistry is useful in different professions.

     
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    Marilu Lopez Fretts
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    Paula Lemons

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 7, 2020 | 05:07 p.m.

     Hi Hannah, very nice video and work. I value your focus on student thinking and working as equal partners with K-12 educators to privilege student thinking.

     
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    Hannah Sevian
  • Icon for: Hannah Sevian

    Hannah Sevian

    Co-Presenter
    May 7, 2020 | 09:30 p.m.

    Thanks so much, Paula, for your kind appreciation. It is an incredible honor to get to work with such an amazing group of collaborators. The teachers on our team teach and inspire me every day, as they do their students and the teachers who participate in our ACCT professional development. It is astounding to watch how much the teachers care for their students -- for their education, their ability to be educated, and their access to education. I admire how carefully they work on attending to how their students think as well as what matters to the students. They are devoted to teaching as the work of supporting students to build their own resources for their futures -- and to be people who use science to make sense of the world as they evaluate situations and make good decisions for the rest of their lives. They bring these values to the professional development that they design and lead, as well as to the research that they want to do because it is worthwhile for teachers to be the best possible teachers.

    It is an honor to have the privilege to be partners together with the teachers in this work. This afternoon/evening, three teachers who went through our yearlong ACCT program have been collaborating as facilitators to lead this year's yearlong PD with a cohort of seven chemistry teachers from seven different school districts. We never expected to move the PD to online this year, but the facilitators turned on a dime and did it. This afternoon, for the second time since school shutdown, they led a three-hour PD session which was totally amazing. At the end, the participating teachers shared out what was helpful to them in today's PD. One of the things they talked about was that having the PD planned and led by teachers for teachers was so valuable to them because we are all in this together. They appreciated getting to share ideas with each other about how they are doing formative assessment now, since everyone (even those who have been teaching for 30 years) feel like first-year teachers again learning how to teach. I was glad to be observing with my video not showing so that they could not see me crying. Yes, I totally agree with you, being equal partners with K-12 educators works for privileging student thinking, and for so many other valuable outcomes too.

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    Kristen Cacciatore

    K-12 Teacher
    May 7, 2020 | 08:13 p.m.

    This video really highlights two ways in which your work is expanding upon the traditional view of formative assessment -- the use of an open-ended hands-on task rather than a pencil-and-paper "probe" and the lens of understanding student thinking and using it as a resource for learning rather than a method for identifying errors to correct.  I am excited to learn more about this work and think about how I can apply it to my own practice.  Thank you to all of the teacher leaders for doing this work and sharing it with the chemical education community.

  • Icon for: Michael Clinchot

    Michael Clinchot

    Co-Presenter
    May 7, 2020 | 09:47 p.m.

    Thanks, Kristen.  You have definitely highlighted some of the important aspects of the research.  The goal of a formative assessment should not be identifying whether a student is right or wrong but rather reveal how a student understands a particular concept so that a teacher can meet students where they are at in order to move their science thinking forward.  More information about the project can be found here http://www.chemedx.org/acct.

  • May 7, 2020 | 09:35 p.m.

    Lots of great resources here.  Thank you for sharing the link to the resources. 

    Are the activities always suggested and then students can work within the constraints of the activity, or can students propose the activities?  I am interested in how the criteria are established for the activities.

  • Icon for: Michael Clinchot

    Michael Clinchot

    Co-Presenter
    May 7, 2020 | 10:00 p.m.

    Thanks, Dermot!  The Pringles Challenge, as well as the other formative assessments, are presented to students and have been developed by the researchers/teachers.  We look at formative assessments along two continua:  accessibility and revealing student thinking.  The criteria for the formative assessments are that they be highly accessible and that they reveal how students are thinking as they complete the assessment.

    It's an interesting idea to have students propose the activities.  How would you envision this happening?

  • Icon for: Hannah Sevian

    Hannah Sevian

    Co-Presenter
    May 8, 2020 | 08:21 a.m.

    My thanks also, Dermot, and I'd like to connect some resources to Michael's reply. In supporting teachers in our ACCT program with task design, we rely heavily on the excellent work of the Ambitious Science Teaching (AST) project. One of the workshops in our ACCT series introduces the accessibility and revealing dimensions through examining many formative assessment tasks from different chemistry curricula and from papers in the chemistry education literature (e.g., in Journal of Chemical Education). The teachers in our PD read some of the outstanding resources shared by AST, in this case their "Planning for Engagement" tools. Teachers in our PD then bring in some of their own formative assessment tasks, and the facilitators bring some of their own, and together they consider the potential for these tasks to be accessible to students and to reveal students' chemical thinking. We all acknowledge that there are definitely times in our teaching when using a formative assessment that is less accessible or less revealing is appropriate (such as practicing the skill of drawing Lewis structures), but there are also times when more accessible and revealing tasks are appropriate (such as asking students to develop guidelines for which ways of modeling chemicals -- e.g., chemical formulas, Lewis structures, VSEPR model, ball & stick models, electrostatic potential maps [e.g., the Chemagic tool], students can add to these -- are more useful in figuring out what kinds of intermolecular forces contribute to various properties of substances). Because developing tasks that are more accessible and revealing is harder to do, and teachers have less experience with it, that is why it's worth spending time working on it. 

    I notice that you are interested in laboratory-based activities where students have more freedom to propose and investigate their own questions. To add to Michael's question in his reply, I wonder how you see the role of teacher and the role of student in a chemistry (or science, or elementary science) classroom. I think we probably agree that the teacher's role includes -- among many other things -- bringing expertise in the discipline as well as expertise in designing, launching, implementing and evaluating student work during class activity, and also that the student's role includes -- among many other things -- having agency in learning and doing sense making. I think should be plenty of space for students to propose their own ideas in open-ended formative assessment activities that are accessible and revealing, but I wonder whether you are asking more about independent student-directed learning.

  • May 8, 2020 | 02:53 p.m.

    Thank you Michael and Hannah.  

    @Michael: I think most examples I see model the approaches first while setting expectations that students will eventually take over responsibility.  It serves both as a way to engage students and to also further illustrate student thinking with gaps in understanding becoming evident.

    @Hannah: Ambitious Science Teaching is a great resource.  By accessibility, are you referring to the construct validity of the assessment or are you defining it differently? 

    I think the role of the instructor is critical in any type of classroom, but certainly, the nature of role takes on different functions based on the activities and is dependent on the goals for instruction.

  • Icon for: Hannah Sevian

    Hannah Sevian

    Co-Presenter
    May 8, 2020 | 03:31 p.m.

    Agree! AST is a fantastic resource. By "accessible", we're not talking about research validity in analyzing data. We're referring to task design, meaning that there are entry points for many students to engage in meaningful work. Increasing the accessibility of a formative assessment task for students not only includes more students, but also diversifies the ways students can think about the task at hand, as the students then determine what they consider to be relevant to think about and do. In turn, this increases possibilities of a task to reveal students' ways of thinking that the teacher can notice. The nature of the questions or problem framing also contributes to how revealing a task can be.

  • May 8, 2020 | 01:25 p.m.

    Its great to see formative assessments that give credit to the intermediate learning before full conceptualization and working with teachers to notice and guide students thinking.  It is good to see that there are measures of student learning in formative assessments as well as tracking progress among teachers, especially as a PD tool for the values of formative assessments.  Is there a theoretical framework that postulates the components and skills that teachers look for in student learning (e.g., learning Complex Information Processing (Klahr et al.) and or Variable Isolation Strategy (Kuhn et al.))?  And similarly, a framework for assessing teachers learning and progress?  

  • Icon for: Hannah Sevian

    Hannah Sevian

    Co-Presenter
    May 8, 2020 | 02:19 p.m.

    Thanks for your challenging question, Michael. It’s difficult to write a short response to your question. We approach this research from a sociocultural perspective rather than a cognitive perspective. Learning chemistry, especially in laboratory work, tends to be more collaborative in nature than mathematics can often be. In particular, the social and collaborative nature of laboratory learning environment is both well documented and challenging for instructors and researchers alike, because individual assessment is often not realistic. There are many inputs that complicate it, including curriculum design, laboratory instrument operation, student-instructor goals/differences, and domains and levels of reasoning in chemistry (e.g., laboratory vs. multiple simultaneous particle-level models vs. ways of representing these). A major theoretical framework that guides our design as well as analysis is activity theory. This theory is based on theoretical foundations laid by Vygotsky and Leontyev, claiming that knowledge acquisition and human development occur in the social plane through interactions with mediating artifacts. Thus, we privilege discourse (a mediating tool) as a major window into looking at student learning and teachers’ progress in enacting formative assessment in increasingly intentional ways that make use of the entire authoritative-to-dialogic range. In one of our open access papers (Dini et al., 2020), we gave this background:

    • The role of discourse has been studied extensively. Discourse is widely hypothesized as central to science learning. This hypothesis is predicated on Vygotsky's (1987/1934) idea of word meanings, as learners develop regulation of their talking behavior from “outside” to impose the social language on inner speech. Education researchers have studied the nature of discourse (Lemke, 1990; Mortimer & Scott, 2003), as well as promoted it in various ways in the classroom through pedagogical strategies like Accountable Talk (Michaels, O'Connor, & Resnick, 2008). Broadly speaking, teachers' coordination of classroom conversation—with individuals, in a small group or whole class varieties—has been shown to positively impact students' scientific reasoning (Ballenger, 2009; Engle, 2006; Michaels et al., 2008; Mortimer & Scott, 2003). The extent of that impact depends on the nature of the discourse patterns that emerge.
    • Our positioning includes the assumption that teachers interact in different ways, and can modulate these ways differently with different students, as well as at different times in whole‐class teaching. Mortimer and Scott (2003) parse teachers' communicative approaches by examining sets of utterances according to their degree of interactivity (interactive vs. noninteractive) and the viewpoints allowed (authoritative vs. dialogic), with shifts among these different modes driven by the teacher's purpose at a given point in a lesson (Scott, Mortimer, & Aguiar, 2006). These distinctions are based on linguistic and learning theories developed by Bakhtin (1983)/1934), Wertsch (1991), Vološinov (1986)/1929), Vygotsky (1987)/1934), and others, who proposed that existence, language, and thinking are in dialogue, that understanding requires orienting oneself to another's utterances, and that learning is a process of meaning‐making that takes place in the social plane of the classroom as well as in internal dialogue in learners' minds.

    We have worked on developing ways to characterize, from this theoretical perspective, how and what teachers look for in student learning, and also how teachers grow in their practices and how students learn. For example, we pay attention to the words and phrases that teachers pay attention to (in the formative assessment tasks that they design or choose to use, in the classroom as they interact with students, and in students’ written work that they evaluate) as well as what they choose to ignore, and the meanings teachers attribute to what they latch onto. Likewise, when looking at student learning, we look at students’ ways of speaking about chemistry, ways of doing chemistry, and ways of thinking in chemistry, to understand how the conceptualizing they are doing is becoming more diversified and well qualified. The conceptual profile theory (Mortimer & El Hani, 2014), based on the same theoretical underpinnings, is useful in this. Activity theory guides us in paying attention in our analysis to other tools and mediating artifacts (besides dialogue) that are used, the division of labor in the classroom and lab, the rules and routines, the community that includes the learners and the teacher, the individuals and the object of learning, and the goals and motivations that influence the outcomes.

  • Icon for: Sonya White Hope, DMA

    Sonya White Hope, DMA

    Researcher
    May 9, 2020 | 01:20 p.m.

    Bravo, bravo, bravo!

    Great work team: you are articulate, concise, grounded in competent research, and engaging! You even offer a genuine, cross-disciplinary reference by setting your credits to the cannon explosions in Tschaikowski's 1812 Overture! Your students are truly blessed to have you -- scientists who teach the tools for thinking in and through science. Bravo!

  • Icon for: Scott Balicki

    Scott Balicki

    Co-Presenter
    May 9, 2020 | 01:25 p.m.


    Wow, thanks for the kind words Sonya!  If you would like to learn more about other formative assessments that we, the Assessing for Change in Chemical Thinking (ACCT) group have developed, please visit our collection on the Chemical Education Xchange: https://www.chemedx.org/article/resources-doing-formative-assessment-classroom.  They are great to read while listening to classical music!


  • Icon for: Robert Huie

    Robert Huie

    Lead Presenter
    Teacher
    May 9, 2020 | 02:49 p.m.

    Hi Sonya!!

    Thanks so much for the view and noticing the Overture!!  Perhaps next time we'll have you play it for us!!  We are all studying this formative assessment so that we are able to truly bond with and figure out student thinking.  It is a win win situation!  Thanks!

  • Icon for: ADAN COLON-CARMONA

    ADAN COLON-CARMONA

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 9, 2020 | 01:43 p.m.

    Love the simplicity!

  • Icon for: Hannah Sevian

    Hannah Sevian

    Co-Presenter
    May 9, 2020 | 04:01 p.m.

    Thanks Adán! Simplicity is key in a formative assessment task that is accessible and revealing. We find there to be a strong relationship between when teachers want to specify a lot and when they are looking for only correct vs. incorrect answers. We've found that great starter questions for accessible and revealing formative assessments are: What is the best substance for (a certain use)...? How can you optimize the reaction...? What are three changes you could make to decrease the production of...? It's important for students to choose what they deem relevant to solving a problem, because then we learn more about how they think.

  • Icon for: Alan Peterfreund

    Alan Peterfreund

    Facilitator
    May 10, 2020 | 10:25 a.m.

    Hannah and team   What a great dialogue.  Thank you for your very thoughtful responses.

  • Icon for: Robert Huie

    Robert Huie

    Lead Presenter
    Teacher
    May 10, 2020 | 10:57 a.m.

    Thank you Alan!  We have lively discussions about the research amongst ourselves also!  This has been a great collaborative group where we are able to share thoughts with each other along with the cohorts of teachers that have participated in our professional development!  We are glad that you enjoyed the video and responses.

  • Icon for: Hannah Sevian

    Hannah Sevian

    Co-Presenter
    May 10, 2020 | 11:05 a.m.

    Adding to Rob's reply - we are so grateful to TERC and collaborators for giving us this opportunity to share our work, have stimulating conversations, and extend the reach of resources, and to NSF for supporting all the excellent work that is shared in these videos that give windows into the projects. Also thankful to great facilitators, to other presenters, and to visitors for stimulating discussions. And this week, during Teacher Appreciation Week, especially recognizing teachers for so much dedication, expertise, creativity, resilience, and care for our children, which is substantial and even more important now in these difficult times. And on Mother's day, a special appreciation for being the root of all possibility.

  • Small default profile

    Vicente Talanquer

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 11, 2020 | 10:43 a.m.

    Congratulations to all for your excellent work and thank you for your relentless commitment to transforming the teaching and learning of chemistry to make it more meaningful to all students.

  • Icon for: Scott Balicki

    Scott Balicki

    Co-Presenter
    May 11, 2020 | 02:06 p.m.

    Thanks for the kind words Vicente.  The Assessing for Change in Chemical Thinking group would not exist without your research contributions to establish the chemical thinking framework and characterize maps of learning pathways in each of the 6 chemical thinking questions.  We deeply appreciate how your research and continuous support help us advance our mission to help teachers make chemistry meaningful for all of their students.

  • Icon for: Michael Clinchot

    Michael Clinchot

    Co-Presenter
    May 11, 2020 | 02:56 p.m.

    I just wanted to echo, Scott!  You've been an invaluable part of the project!

  • Icon for: Robert Huie

    Robert Huie

    Lead Presenter
    Teacher
    May 11, 2020 | 03:10 p.m.

    Huge thanks to you Vicente!!  We all appreciate all your work with the research project.  Your effort has influenced not only our teaching, but also the teaching of the many cohorts that we have led Professional Development with. Your work will influence countless students who will be learning from all the teachers who have been in our PD cohorts.  

    We want to continue to provide resources to teachers that will help enhance their ability to guide their students in making meaning of chemistry.  Any teacher that wants to learn more about these resources is welcome to investigate our collection on the ChemEd Xchange :https://www.chemedx.org/ACCT.  Additionally, high school chemistry teachers and middle school science teachers in the Eastern and Central time zones in the US who teach chemistry in their classes are encouraged to apply to be part of our fourth professional development cohort via this link: https://www.chemedx.org/event/are-you-wondering-what-your-students-are-thinking-chemistry.  Applications will be accepted through November 6, 2020 for the professional development cohort set to begin in January 2021.

  • Icon for: Jackie DeLisi

    Jackie DeLisi

    Researcher
    May 11, 2020 | 03:40 p.m.

    Great video. Thanks for sharing! I love the focus on understanding students' thinking beyond the right/wrong answers. Have you done any research to understand whether this translates to any changes in instructional practice?  

  • Icon for: Hannah Sevian

    Hannah Sevian

    Co-Presenter
    May 11, 2020 | 04:57 p.m.

    Hi Jackie - Thanks for your interest. Yes, our research on impacts on instructional practice is in motion. As you know, the pace of research is slower than immediate, especially for qualitative research, and also since the teachers in our cohorts participate for a full year. We have three papers on this under review at the moment, two of them are in R1 so hopefully will be moving along shortly. Briefly, the papers report on ways that chemistry teachers notice, interpret, and act on students' written work from chemical thinking-based formative assessment, what are ways that chemistry teachers design formative assessment tasks and then carry them through implementation and written work evaluation, and what are ways that students talk in increasingly complex and diversified ways about chemical substances across a unit as their teachers employ chemical thinking-based formative assessments. We also have a few more manuscripts that are nearly ready for submission for the review process, and a few more that are in preparation (in particular, case studies following teachers across three years of before-during-after participation for a year in ACCT PD). So, hopefully within a few months to 2 years (the pace of reviewing and publishing is also not immediate) you'll start to see more research findings on changes in instructional practice. In the meantime, we have a lot of published work already that you can find here, and as new publications become available, they will show up here also: https://www.chemedx.org/article/acct-publications

  • Small default profile

    Seán Kelleher

    K-12 Teacher
    May 11, 2020 | 04:17 p.m.

    An interesting activity, using simple equipment, that draws out many levels of experimental thinking. Looking forward to trying this, when Covid-19 lockdown if finished & I collect enough Pringles tubes!!

  • Icon for: Robert Huie

    Robert Huie

    Lead Presenter
    Teacher
    May 11, 2020 | 09:47 p.m.

    Hi Sean!  Thanks for viewing our video!  Yes it is simple, but students are so engaged and willing to talk about their strategies and thinking!!!  BTW, they will eagerly help you empty the Pringles cans....for the benefit of the class of course!!  Stay safe!

  • Small default profile

    Eilish McLoughlin

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 12, 2020 | 10:08 a.m.

    Fantastic recognition and awareness of student's ideas and focus on developing and assessing student thinking.

  • Icon for: Scott Balicki

    Scott Balicki

    Co-Presenter
    May 12, 2020 | 11:08 a.m.

    Thank you Eilish!  I think you have highlighted the importance on focusing on the ideas that the students generate, rather than those generated by the teacher. If you are interested in learning more about resources that the Assessing for Change in Chemical Thinking (ACCT) group has developed to prompt students to share their thinking with formative assessments that are accessible and reveal student ideas, please visit our collection on the Chemical Education Xchange: https://www.chemedx.org/ACCT

  • Icon for: Hannah Sevian

    Hannah Sevian

    Co-Presenter
    May 12, 2020 | 11:19 a.m.

    Also adding my thanks, Eilish. And appreciation of you, whose work also has been influential in how we develop formative assessments that enable looking for how students think. The ways that you and collaborators looked at how students approach problem solving in the "cow problem", for example, in your IJSE paper gives excellent guidance for ways teachers can notice and interpret how students draw upon the many resources they have when solving an ill-structured and open-ended problem that requires making assumptions and developing a quantitative argument. 

  • Icon for: Kenneth Huff

    Kenneth Huff

    Teacher of Science
    May 12, 2020 | 10:35 a.m.

    Like the idea of building on students thinking and deepening conceptual knowledge through formative assessment in this project. This is a phenomenon students can use multiple core ideas to develop their explanation. Well done.

  • Icon for: Rebecca Lewis

    Rebecca Lewis

    Co-Presenter
    May 12, 2020 | 03:35 p.m.

    Thank you for your comment Kenneth! It has been very interesting as a teacher using this formative assessment with students, and seeing the range of different productive ideas they bring to the picture. Often, it can be challenging at first for students to determine which different academic ideas they can apply to an open-ended scenario. The more experiences like this, that our students get to engage with, the better they get at seeing the applications of the disciplinary core ideas, and how to use them to accomplish a real goal.

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