Reflection: Checks for Understanding Using a Universal Indicator to Identify Acids and Bases - Section 2: Do Now/Activator


I used to think that pop-quizzes were unfair. I would rely on other forms of formative assessments. For example, if students seemed to understand the material, as evidenced by their practice problems, then I would put that lesson in the win column.

However, what I began to see that was frustrating was that while students performed well in class, they did not do as well on tests. This is probably due to a number of factors. Some students experience test anxiety, for example, but another important reason is that when students are doing classwork and they begin to experience success, they tend to get a false sense of security. Familiarity with a problem type is not the same as knowing how to do the problem.

Students need to be reminded of this fact, and a fair assessment like a test should be based on what students did in the classes that lead up to it. So, conducting a pop-quiz, in which there is a little bit of anxiety and no notes for support is a great way to give students feedback about how well they really have learned the material.

Of course, because these are formative assessments, they also give me the teacher feedback on how the class is doing as a whole, and who needs additional support with the material. In short, pop-quizzes are a great way to check for understanding for both teachers and students. 

  The Importance of Pop Quizzes
  Checks for Understanding: The Importance of Pop Quizzes
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Using a Universal Indicator to Identify Acids and Bases

Unit 7: Acids and Bases
Lesson 5 of 12

Objective: Students will be able to use a universal indicator to determine the approximate pH of various solutions, and to connect the pH to whether something is acidic or basic.

Big Idea: Acid-base indicators, such as red cabbage juice, turn different colors in acidic and basic solutions due to a pigment molecule called anthocyanin.

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