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Archive: Book Beat Live! Students’ Ideas Matter! Linking Formative Assessment Probes to Instructional Sequence, November 16, 2022

Students’ Ideas Matter! Linking Formative Assessment Probes to Instructional Sequence teaching is all about creating conceptual coherence for learners to better prepare them for future careers.

Written for K–5 educators, this practical book combines effective, research-based approaches from two popular NSTA resources. One is the Uncovering Student Ideas in Science book series by Page Keeley, which uses formative assessment probes to elicit students’ initial ideas and use them as starting points for instruction. The other is the Instructional Sequence Matters book series by Patrick Brown. It promotes active learning through the “explore-before-explain” teaching method.

In this session, you’ll meet Brown and Keeley, who will discuss their new book and provide approaches to uncover students’ ideas to inform a sequence of instruction in science/STEM teaching, including the following:

  • How to do it. Model lessons encourage you to teach in ways that allow for active meaning-making—precisely what three-dimensional instruction requires. You will learn how to engage students’ prior knowledge ideas, which can seamlessly transfer into firsthand experiences with data that serve as evidence for sensemaking.
  • What you need to do. You’ll get an overview of essential planning considerations, including how to become an “explore-before-explain” teacher who supports student sensemaking.
  • Why sequence matters. During a concise review of cognitive science and science education research, you’ll hear why the order in which you structure your lessons is critical, and how an “explore-before-explain” sequence naturally translates into the three dimensions advocated by contemporary science standards.

All individuals receive a certificate of participation and 100 NSTA activity points for attending the live seminar and completing the end-of-program survey. A certificate of participation is not awarded for watching the recorded version of the program.

We invite you to register for upcoming web seminars at NSTA.

View the Archive Video

To view the presentation slides from the web seminar and related resources, visit the resource collection. Continue discussing this topic in the community forums.

Below are comments from individuals who attended the seminar:

  • "I loved watching the students in the videos. Also, hearing how we as teachers can make our lesson plans more exciting and engaging to students so they retain more information was valuable."
  • "I was very interested in the "explore before explain" concept which allows students to learn science by doing science. The lessons that were intertwined were extremely helpful."
  • "It was very practical and easy to understand. I plan to use the information immediately in my classroom."
  • "This was fun, I liked the breakout room as well as the example about the watermelon and grape."

A certificate of attendance was deposited into participants' account page for completing the evaluation form at the end of the program.

For more information contact: [email protected]


  Page Keeley
Patrick L. Brown

Grade Levels



General Science

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