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Uncovering Student Ideas in Life Science, Volume 1: 25 New Formative Assessment Probes

by: Page Keeley

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Winner of the Distinguished Achievement Award from Association of Educational Publishers!

Author Page Keeley continues to provide K–12 teachers with her highly usable and popular formula for uncovering and addressing the preconceptions that students bring to the classroom—the formative assessment probe—in this first book devoted exclusively to life science in her Uncovering Student Ideas in Science series.

In this volume, Keeley addresses the topics of life and its diversity; structure and function; life processes and needs of living things; ecosystems and change; reproduction, life cycles, and heredity; and human biology. Using the probes as diagnostic tools that identify and analyze students’ preconceptions, teachers can easily move students from where they are in their current thinking to where they need to be to achieve scientific understanding. At the same time, use of the probes deepens the teacher’s understanding of the subject matter, suggests instructional implications, and expands assessment literacy. Using the student-learning data gained through the probes to inform teaching and learning is what makes the probes formative.

Each probe is supported by extensive Teacher Notes, which provide background information on the purpose of the probes, related concepts, explanations of the life science ideas being taught, related ideas in the national science standards, research on typical student misconceptions in life science, and suggestions for instruction and assessment.

Table of Contents

Foreword by Julie Luft



About the Author


Section 1

Concept Matrix………

Life and Its Diversity

1. Cucumber Seeds

2. The Virus Debate

3. No Animals Allowed

4. Is It an Amphibian?

Structure and Function

5. Pond Water

6. Atoms and Cells

7. Which One Will Dry Out Last?

8. Chlorophyll

9. Apple Tree

Life Processes and Needs of Living Things

10. Light and Dark

11. Food for Corn

12. Pumpkin Seeds

13. Rocky Soil

Section 2

Concept Matrix………

Ecosystems and Change

14. Is It a Consumer?

15. Food Chain Energy

16. Ecosystem Cycles

17. No More Plants

18. Changing Environment

Reproduction, Life Cycles, and Heredity

19. Eggs

20. Chrysalis

21. DNA, Genes, and Chromosomes

22. Eye Color

Human Biology

23. Human Body

24. Excretory System

25. Antibiotics


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