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This content is taken from the National STEM Learning Centre's online course, Planning for Learning: Formative Assessment. Join the course to learn more.

Skip to 0 minutes and 14 seconds ANDREA: The teacher poses a scenario or a question for students to think about.

Skip to 0 minutes and 19 seconds TEACHER: Now, just before we go into a little bit more detail here and talk about something called efficiency, just want to show you a quick video clip just to test out some ideas about conservation of energy. And when you watch it really carefully because I’m going to be asking you a couple of questions afterwards about it.

Skip to 0 minutes and 41 seconds ADAM: So this is conservation of energy demonstration. What we’re going to do, we’re going to get this ball and lift it up to your face where it should get potential energy. When you let go, will it hit you in the face or not?

Skip to 0 minutes and 55 seconds So if you just want to move your nose right up close and when you’re ready, just let go of the ball.

Skip to 1 minute and 3 seconds ANDREA: The teacher pauses and allow students time to think– think-pair-share could work well here. The teacher then pounces on any of the students, and bounces the different ideas around the room, building, challenging and gathering ideas without providing any answers themselves.

Skip to 1 minute and 23 seconds TEACHER: Quick question, before we watch what is going to happen. Harrison, what’s going to happen when he lets this ball go.

Skip to 1 minute and 31 seconds STUDENT: It’s going to move and then it going to come back and hit him.

Skip to 1 minute and 34 seconds TEACHER: Going to move, come back, and hit him. That’s what you’re saying. Dan, what you reckon?

Skip to 1 minute and 39 seconds STUDENT: I think it’s going to come back, but it’s going to be at the same place where he released it.

Skip to 1 minute and 44 seconds TEACHER: Why do you think that?

Skip to 1 minute and 46 seconds STUDENT: Because it will probably go the same way and it comes straight back down and up.

Skip to 1 minute and 54 seconds TEACHER: It’s going the same way, come straight back down– thinking energy, thinking energy. Kyle. Do you agree with Dan that it’s going to come back right to the point where he’s going to drop it from or do you agree with– who was it that said it’s going to hit him– Harrison?

Skip to 2 minutes and 11 seconds STUDENT: I agree with Dan.

Skip to 2 minutes and 13 seconds TEACHER: Why?

Skip to 2 minutes and 16 seconds STUDENT: Energy can’t be created, so–

Skip to 2 minutes and 21 seconds TEACHER: So you’re saying no– new energy can’t be created.

Skip to 2 minutes and 26 seconds What do you think?

Skip to 2 minutes and 27 seconds STUDENT: It won’t go back to the exact point because there will be waste energy within that, meaning it will be less and less each time until, eventually, it just stops.

Skip to 2 minutes and 36 seconds TEACHER: OK. So we’ve got different opinions. Let’s see.

Skip to 2 minutes and 42 seconds ADAM: And when you’re ready, just let go of the ball.

Classroom example: pose, pause, pounce, bounce

Pose, pause, bounce and pounce, is a no-hands up questioning strategy and it might take some time to get students used to not raising their hands.

  • First, pose a pre-planned scenario or a question for students to think about.
  • Pause - allow students time to think before answering. The trick is not to let the silence bother you, and to wait long enough for students to consider their answer.
  • Pounce - choose one student at random to answer (reminding students of no hands-up if needed). There are several methods you could use to choose the student, such as picking names out of a hat, names on lolly sticks or random name generators.
  • Bounce - When the student has given an answer, resist the temptation to comment yourself! Instead, bounce the idea straight to another student to comment on or add to. If you want, you can keep bouncing the response around the class allowing more students to add their response.


A learning environment

Earlier in the course we introduced the idea of a formative classroom environment that enables students to share wrong answers and welcomes discussion of answers, rather than judgement.

Consider the two methods ‘think, pair, share’ and ‘pose, pause, pounce and bounce’. In your view, does the effective use of these approaches develop a formative classroom environment, or is dependent upon a formative classroom environment being in place?

Note: Tom originally used this YouTube video in his lesson, but due to copyright reasons we substituted the clip for an equivalent demonstration in the video above.

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This video is from the free online course:

Planning for Learning: Formative Assessment

National STEM Learning Centre