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Uncovering Student Ideas in Primary Science, Volume 1: 25 New Formative Assessment Probes for Grades K–2

by: Page Keeley

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Winner of the Distinguished Achievement Award from PreK-12 Learning Group, Association of American Publishers!

What ideas do young children bring to their science learning, and how does their thinking change as they engage in “science talk”? Find out using the 25 field-tested probes in the newest volume of Page Keeley’s bestselling Uncovering Student Ideas in Science series, the first targeted to grades K–2. This teacher-friendly book is:

Tailored to your needs. The content is geared specifically for the primary grades, with an emphasis on simple vocabulary as well as drawing and speaking (instead of writing). The format of the student pages uses minimal text and includes visual representations of familiar objects, phenomena, or ideas.
Focused on making your lessons more effective. The assessment probes engage youngsters and encourage “science talk” while letting you identify students’ preconceptions before beginning a lesson or monitor their progress as they develop new scientific explanations.
Applicable to a range of science concepts. This volume offers 8 life science probes, 11 physical science probes, and 6 Earth and space science probes that target K–2 disciplinary core ideas.
Ready to use. The book provides grade-appropriate reproducible pages for your students and detailed teacher notes for you, including clear and concise explanations, relevant research, suggestions for instruction, and connections to national standards.

Uncovering Student Ideas in Primary Science is an invaluable resource for classroom and preservice teachers and professional development providers. This age-appropriate book will help you teach more effectively by starting with students’ ideas and adapting instruction to support conceptual change.

Table of Contents



About the Author


Section 1: Life Science Probes

Concept Matrix

1. Is It Living? (characteristics of life, living and nonliving things)

2. Is It an Animal? (animals, classification)

3. Is It a Plant? (classification, plants)

4. Is It Made of Parts? (parts and wholes, structure, systems)

5. Seeds in a Bag (seeds, needs of living things, germination, closed system)

6. Do They Need Air? (animals, needs of living things, breathing)

7. Senses (senses, information processing, plant tropisms)

8. Big and Small Seeds (seeds, germination)

Section 2: Physical Science Probes

Concept Matrix

9. Sink or Float? (sinking and floating, physical properties)

10. Watermelon and Grape (sinking and floating, physical properties)

11. Is It Matter? (matter, states of matter, solids, liquids, gases)

12. Snap Blocks (weight, conservation of matter, parts and wholes)

13. Back and Forth (physical change, chemical change)

14. When Is There Friction? (friction, forces)

15. Marble Roll (motion, describing motion)

16. Do the Waves Move the Boat? (waves, motion)

17. Shadow Size (light, shadows)

18. Rubber Band Box (sound, vibration, pitch)

19. Big and Small Magnets (magnetism, magnets)

Section 3: Earth and Space Science Probes

Concept Matrix

20. What Makes up a Mountain? (mountains, Earth materials, rock)

21. Describing Soil (soil, Earth materials)

22. Is a Brick a Rock? (rocks, Earth materials, human-made materials)

23. When Is My Shadow the Longest? (Earth-Sun system, shadows)

24. What Lights up the Moon? (Moon, reflection, moonlight, Sun-Earth-Moon system)

25. When Is the Next Full Moon? (lunar cycle, Moon phases, Moon, Sun-Earth-Moon system)


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