Are you wondering what your students are thinking in chemistry?

ACCT logo student inside triangle of text: Chemical Thinking Assessment

Join New England middle and high school science teachers and researchers in a professional development program to examine how formative assessment can foster students' chemical thinking.

This year-long series of workshops focuses on the use of formative assessment to elicit and uncover students’ disciplinary thinking about important chemistry ideas. Teachers will learn and practice approaches for noticing students’ thinking, interpreting students’ ways of thinking in the discipline, and planning ways to act on what is noticed. Design and adaptation of formative assessments for these approaches and interpretation of classroom discourse are emphasized. A cohort of middle and high school teachers will be accepted for this professional development opportunity, which requires commitment to participate in 9 workshops during 2020-2021 and the completion of homework assignments.

Applications will be accepted through May 22, 2020.

The application deadline may be extended by a week depending on the number of applications. Reach out to  if you have questions about extending the deadline.

The Assessing for Change in Chemical Thinking project is an NSF-funded professional development and research partnership between the Boston Public Schools (BPS) and UMass Boston.

We are seeking high school chemistry teachers and middle school science teachers from New England and New York that teach chemistry in their classes.

This engaging series of workshops taking place during the 2020-2021 school year offers teachers opportunities to investigate multiple forms of formative assessment and their usefulness for uncovering student thinking. Participants will reflect upon and enhance their teaching moves for advancing student thinking with the disciplinary core ideas and practices in chemistry. The leadership team includes BPS science teacher leaders, the BPS Science Department staff, a UMass chemistry professor and researchers. This team has been developing and refining a model of teacher-led PD for 7 years; this model is transitioning to a national American Chemical Society model.

Seeking New England high school chemistry teachers and middle school science teachers who teach some chemistry content and have 3 or more years of teaching experience.

Participants will:

  • Attend two face to face sessions (one in August and one in June). There is the possibility there will be a third face to face session as part of a retreat during the school year.
  • Participate in 6-7 online sessions during a scheduled timeframe.
  • Complete all assignments
  • Have the option to receive EITHER a $1,500 stipend OR six graduate credits in chemistry from UMass


Teachers who are accepted are expected to complete participation in a full-year course of PD that includes approximately 9 workshops between late August of 2020 and early June 2021. There will also be assigned work that involves video recording brief episodes of formative assessment activities in your classroom, designing formative assessment tasks and analyzing student work. For more information, contact us at:

Workshop topics include:

Designing Chemistry Learning Experiences: Develop and use accessible formative assessment activities during chemistry instruction.

The Chemical Thinking Framework: Adapt existing formative assessments to focus on chemical thinking, and notice and interpret students’ ways of thinking in chemistry.

The Formative Assessment Enactment Model: Clarify purposes of formative assessment, and recognize and plan questions to uncover and advance students' chemical thinking.

Cognitive Interviewing Strategies and Skills: Uncover and advance students’ notions about chemistry.

Classroom Discourse: Examine videos from your own and others' classrooms during use of formative assessments to identify productive teaching moves.

Teaching dilemmas: Analyze situations that teachers negotiate as we grow teaching practices and strategies to address them.

Applicants must teach in a New England or New York school to be considered for the 2020-2021 cohort.

Part 1: Complete the online application:  

Part 2: Download the Formative Assessment Template below. (Due by May 22)

 Use the template to complete the application as a Word document and submit by email: If you include images in the Word doc, please do not downsize, i.e., keep them as high resolution, and make sure to submit Part 2 as a Word doc (not as a PDF).


For more information, contact us at: .

Event: More Information
Event Type: 
professional development program
Sunday, February 16, 2020 - 10:47 to Friday, May 22, 2020 - 22:59