In order to teach chemistry effectively, we must ascertain what our students are thinking about chemistry and make a decision regarding what to do with what we learn. Formative assessment questions provide a useful lens into students' minds regarding what they are thinking about chemistry. Let us consider then, how categorizing formative assessment questions could help us plan out our classes more deliberately, in order to better design purposeful written formative assessments that align with our curricular goals.
Scott Balicki's blog
The Exploding Pringles can design challenge is an open-ended formative assessment developed by the ACCT team, which tasks students with designing an explosion that produces the maximum boom within a Pringles container with a fixed volume.
As physical distancing continues and we persist in teaching our chemistry classes online, it behooves us as teachers to spend some time considering how we can purposefully observe and decipher the written work that our students submit.
As teachers, we can leverage fruitful discussions about chemical control with students to elicit more about students' initial ideas and ways of reasoning. From asking students to clarify their own thinking, we can identify students’ own productive ideas that we can capitalize on to advance their thinking.
By working with teachers nationwide, the ACCT team believes that they can help teachers re-imagine the way that they think about chemistry, and develop more purposeful and productive ways of interacting with their students to help them learn.