Category Archives: Formative Assessment

“Levels of Why?” Graphic Organizer

Levels-of-Why

Levels of Why – click to download a pdf

This is a graphic organiser developed to help students move from outline or describe into explain.

  1. Begin with stating the situation, change or process.
  2. What is the surface explanation or reason?
  3. Why does that occur?
  4. What about that?

And so on…

A worked example is on this page.

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Review Vocab Quizzes with Quizlet

In this task we ‘crowd-sourced’ definitions and descriptions for a lot of the (lot of) vocabulary we have learned this year. This is to reinforce that Biology is as much a language course as a science course, and that everything is connected.

  1. Create a google spreadsheet with tabs numbered by subtopics covered
  2. Assign groups of topics to groups of students, with the simple task:
    1. First column, keyword, correctly spelled
    2. Second column: definition (exactly from subject guide if it exists) or clear description
  3. After groups finish, peer-edit
    1. Does it make sense? Are there any errors?
    2. It the definition clear in the ‘wider sense’ of the course?
    3. Adapt definitions with clarifications, or starters such as ‘process’, ‘structure’, ‘hormone’ etc

In our spreadsheet, we identified 312 terms (and growing) from this year. 

Screen Shot 2014-05-29 at 2.12.28 PM

Click to start a Quizlet set

In between sessions:

  1. Check and edit as much as needed/possible
  2. Import vocab into quizlet to create the set
    1. Very easy: select columns and paste into the right-hand field
    2. Make sure ‘tab’ is set, top-left
    3. Hit ‘import’ if it looks right
  3. Create quizzes/activities
  4. Share quizlet codes and  spreadsheet URL with students
  5. Get reviewing!

During classes: 

  • Students can review using the Quizlet activities
  • Students might use the vocab list to make sure they are meeting markscheme requirements for target language – are they giving complete and correct answers?
  • Students can use the vocab as a foundation for concept-maps, model responses etc.

Example (sadly Quizlet doesn’t embed to WordPress.com)

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If you have any creative – and effective – review methods, let us know in the comments or on Twitter!

Socrative Space Race (beta)

Quick update to the Socrative Space Race page: some new cards to use with the beta version.

SocrativeSpaceRaceBeta_iBiologyStephen

Updated space race cards for beta.socrative.com

Personal GoogleSites: A Learning Project in #IBBio

Personal GoogleSite: Click to view an example.

Personal GoogleSite: Click to view an example.

Although i-Biology hosts all my content resources, the main class resource students are working with is a personal GoogleSite to track their progress and reflection. Click here to find out more about how it works.

Definedly… maybe? Get the definitions right in your review.

Nail down those definitions

Define is a ‘simple’ objective 1 command term… but you must be precise in your answers.

Definitions are also a great start to review and build into deeper explanation of the concepts.

  • Quiz yourself on the definitions, check your answers. This Sortable Syllabus might help.
  • Pay attention to the markschemes – what is the importance of the underlined terms and why can’t you get marks without them?
  • ‘Unpack’ the definition into its component parts – what is the relevance of each and how does it lead to more in-depth explanation of the concept?

Here’s a quiz for the define assessment statements in the SL Core and for the two options my class did this year. It’s a GoogleDoc – here’s the link.

IB Biology: Sortable Syllabus

I made this document to help my students review for their mock and final exams. It is the syllabus presented as a sortable Google Spreadsheet. There are tabs at the top for Paper 1 & 2: Core content, Paper 1 & 2: Core & AHL content, and for each subtopic.

  • Go to “View –> List view”.
  • Use the sort feature to target individual command terms, topics, objectives or levels.
  • It also has the ability to sort by suggested TOK connections or aims.

It does not include any images from the subject guide, as these cannot be included in cells to sort, so you will need to use your own copy or the text(s).

This could be a powerful review tool if used in response to practice papers or as a formative/ self-assessment tool. If a student is identified as weak in a particular command term, they can sort their revision and set priorities. It should allow for quick and focused differentation of exam preparation.

SortableSyllabus: IB Biology. Click to open and go to List View

Quick Tips for Socrative Space Race

Try out Socrative!

Update Feb 2014: Added cards for beta.socrative.com space races. 

I really like the Socrative Space Races and quizzes as a formative or pre-assessment tool. When set up and managed well, they lead to competition with a spirit of collaboration. It is the most user-friendly free clicker-type system I have tried so far.

These labels might help organise the races in your class and to avoid issues with confusion over who is controlling the rocket (sometimes there are clashes). You could hand out the cards to groups of students, make stands for tables with the rockets on, use them as stickers for a shared iPad or have multiple sets printed and laminated to be handed out as a ‘flexible grouping‘ tool.

If you can’t access the GoogleSlides presentation above, here are the cards as images:

Screen Shot 2013-05-17 at 8.15.07 AM

Screen Shot 2013-05-17 at 8.14.12 AM

 

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Update Feb 2014: Added cards for beta.socrative.com space races. 

SocrativeSpaceRaceBeta_iBiologyStephen

Forces & Motion

As our G10 class get working on the Forces and Change in Motion unit, I thought it was time to update the resources to take advantage of the Stratos jump and try out GoogleDocs* and presentations embedded into WordPress.

This task was designed based on student feedback from the last unit test. Some students wanted more (!) test-like situations and practice with the criterion, so I put this together. Prior to this lesson we had some short discussion on prior knowledge on forces (based on sports day situations) and free body diagrams. The rest they were learning as they went along. It was more engaging than I expected – lots of reaching for whiteboards, cooperative arguments and research.

The presentation for the unit is first, with the stimulus video next and the task below.

Note: interestingly the GPresentation embedded fine, but the embedded GDoc lost its formatting. 

One Direction Do Physics

A bit of fun for my Grade 10 group to work through as we’re on PD days…

There’s a Quia Quiz here, if you want to have a go too.

The Sun’s Energy & Temperature Misconceptions

Here’s Derek Veritasium at it again, with two neat little videos. The first explores where the Sun gets its energy and the other shows a cool little demo regarding heat transfer. Enjoy!

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