Reflection: Data Analysis Separating Mixtures: Discovery - Section 4: Pre-Assessment


Most of the time when I am using a probe, I find a great one that is pre-made for me...but this time there was nothing that I had that was getting at the right misconception that I wanted to investigate. I wanted to try to find out if students understand that all materials...even things that we use like plastic bags, are made from natural ingredients from the earth. This is an important idea because it adds the reasoning behind why we have to be able to separate mixtures- that's how we get the stuff we use to make all the things we have!

Making a probe was much harder than I thought. I have a really difficult time imagining what students DON'T know about science. I modelled this probe off of a format that Page Keeley uses often in her formative assessment book. I asked the students which materials natural items or made from natural items, and then I wrote a big list of items. I tried to think of items that are obviously natural like food and rocks and then added in some that I thought would be trickier like plastic.

I think this is a misconception that is very prevalent these days as we overuse words like NATURAL, ORGANIC, and CHEMICAL FREE in our everyday language. While I am all for people eating better food and putting fewer harmful chemicals in their bodies, this language makes it sound like some substances are made of chemicals and those are BAD and some are natural and those are GOOD.  

  Using a pre-assessment
  Data Analysis: Using a pre-assessment
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Separating Mixtures: Discovery

Unit 9: Mixtures: Separating Mixtures
Lesson 1 of 7

Objective: Students will be able to discover the purpose behind separating mixtures.

Big Idea: Why do we want to know about separating mixtures?

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