STEM Teaching Tools: These very short pieces highlight ways of working on specific issues that come up during STEM teaching.
USBE Summer Formative Assessment Project
- Introduction: During the summer months, over 130 science teachers and leaders, met to create Formative Assessment Cluster Exemplars for our SEEd Standards. While time didn’t allow for us to write cluster for all of the standards, many clusters were written with the hope that they become a useful tool in science classrooms. All of these clusters are available in a Google Document format for teachers to choose to use and adapt with students. Our hope is they become a valuable tool for you to use to assess student understanding. As a final note, please remember that these documents are not perfect and may still need changes. We ask that you email us (the USBE Specialists) if you have feedback for these assessment clusters.
- Finding the Assessments: These assessments are located within the core guides. See instructions.
- Access the Core Guide for the grade level.
- Locate the standard.
- Scroll down to the section titled Assessment Exemplars within the standard.
- Click on the link provided to access the assessment exemplar for that standard.
- Purpose: The formative assessment exemplars were created by a team of Utah educators to be used as a resource in the classroom. They were reviewed for appropriateness by a Bias and Sensitivity/Special Education team and by state science leaders. While no assessment is perfect, these assessments are intended to be used as a formative tool that enables teachers to obtain evidence of student learning, identify gaps in that learning, and adjust instruction for all three dimensions (i.e., Science and Engineering Practices, Crosscutting Concepts, Disciplinary Core Ideas) included in specific Science and Engineering Education (SEEd) Standards.
- Format: In order to fully assess students’ understanding of all three dimensions of a SEEd standard, the assessments were written in a format called a cluster. Each cluster starts with a phenomenon, provides a task statement, necessary supporting information, and a sequenced list of questions using the gather, reason, and communicate model (Moulding et al., 2021) as a way to scaffold student sensemaking. The phenomenon used in an assessment exemplar is an analogous phenomenon (one that should not have been taught during instruction) to assess how well students can transfer and apply their learning in a novel situation. Each cluster provides an example of the expected rigor of student learning for all three dimensions of a specific standard. In order to serve this purpose, the assessments are NOT INTENDED TO BE USED AS LESSONS FOR STUDENTS.
- Uses: Formative assessment exemplars are intended as a resource for formative assessment purposes. They can be adjusted and formatted to fit a teacher’s instructional needs. For example, teachers can choose to delete questions, add questions, edit questions, or break the tasks into smaller segments to be given to students over multiple days. If you want to make any changes to these document we ask that you DO NOT request edit access but simply use Google to make your own copy.
High School: Award-winning biology educator and YouTube education guru Paul Andersen shares his passion for teaching and technology through videos explaining concepts in AP Biology, AP Chemistry, Anatomy, Physiology, Biology, Chemistry, Earth Science, Physics, Statistics, and Graphing.
The Wonder of Science - Don't Kill the Wonder: Paul Anderson shares ideas for Assessment, Phenomenon, Instructional Resources and Videos.
FUTURE U provides educators with the tools they need to inspire their students to use creativity, collaboration, persistence, and problem-solving to change the world. Geared towards students in grades 6–12, FUTURE U. uses hands-on, experiential learning to ignite excitement and inspire them to become tomorrow’s innovators.
Middle level: Introduce students to all things nano with these hands-on activities developed by teachers who attended Stanford University’s Center for Probing the Nanoscale summer educator workshop.
K-12 grades: Explore energy concepts with K-12 students with lessons from The Society of Petroleum Engineers. For example, in Fish Fossils, and Fuel: Where Does Oil Come From? (elementary students). In Pump It Up—Getting the Oil Out, middle-level students model the process of removing oil from the ground.
Clever Octopus Inc. is a nonprofit organization dedicated to fostering creativity and environmental awareness through art, science, technology, engineering, and math. Our multi-tentacled approach includes the Clever Octopus Creative Reuse Center and the Octopod mobile outreach vehicle.
Attention teachers! Check out this great list of all of the discounts that are available for current teachers. Maybe it can help you get some supplies for a STEM project in your classroom!