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NSTA Press Releases Book to Help Teachers Determine Students' Mistaken Ideas About Science

NSTA Press Releases Book to Help Teachers Determine Students' Mistaken Ideas About Science

Before teachers can provide meaningful learning experiences for their students, it is imperative for them to understand the preconceived ideas their students bring with them to science class. Recently published by NSTA Press, What Are They Thinking? Promoting Elementary Learning Through Formative Assessment helps teachers assess what elementary school children know-or think they know-about the natural world so that they can adjust teaching techniques and provide quality instruction to their students.

What Are They Thinking? is a compendium of 30 "Formative Assessment Probes" columns from NSTA's elementary-level journal Science and Children. Each column provides:

  • A sample probe, a set of interesting questions that root out commonly held, often mistaken ideas. Geared to elementary students, topics range from why the moon is visible in the daytime to where water goes when it evaporates. Students' answers will help teachers figure out how to guide them from where they are conceptually to where they need to be.
  • Accompanying teacher notes with easy-to-grasp explanations, plus advice on how to encourage evidence-based discussion and monitor students' progress.
  • Study group questions written especially for this compendium by columnist Page Keeley, author of NSTA's award-winning, bestselling Uncovering Student Ideas in Science series.

"Many [mistaken] ideas will follow students into adulthood if they remain hidden from the teacher and unresolved," said Keeley. "The challenge for teachers is to find ways to elicit these ideas and then use appropriate strategies to move students' learning forward."

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