Thursday, June 14, 2012

Probes Are Not Based Around Grade Levels....

From Keeley's article about classroom assessment

I think one of the best parts of this article was how they kept explaining the the formative assessment probes are not for one grade level, but they can be adapted to fit almost any grade level and level of understanding. The teacher just needs to take the time to speak with the students to see where they are with their understanding, knowledge, and misconceptions to base the lessons from. Then they can use the probes correctly to educate the students.
The probes in this book are not limited to one grade level in the way that summative assessments are. Instead, they provide insights into the knowledge and thinking that students in your school may have a s they progress from one grade level to the next. Ideas are included that students may not encounter until later in their education (e.g., high school), but teachers in the later grades will come to understand where and how ideas originate. Some of the probes can be used in grades K-12; other may cross over just a few grade levels. Teachers in two different grade spans (e.g., middle and high school) might decide to use the same probe and come together and discuss their findings.

I think it is imperative to be open to educating students based on their level of understanding and their interests, not on the textbooks guidelines. If a student in a younger grade is excited and questioning more complex science information, (and if they are able to understand the new information) then the teacher should work with them with the complex ideas. They should not tell the students, "Oh just wait until you are in (enter a higher grade level here) and then you will learn about it. You don't need to know about it until then." This may discourage the student into the subject, and this is something you do not want to happen. Instead of them getting bored with the lesson, because they already know the information, challenge them into learning a more complex lesson. You can use other teachers as sources, and you can work together to be able to work with the student.

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