Researching and collating
Earlier this year, I started to research and collate threshold concepts (concepts that, once you “get” them, allow you to move to a higher level of understanding Meyer & Land, 2003) for KS4 Structure and Bonding.
I used this RSC article about threshold concepts in chemistry as a basis, and began to collate a list of misconceptions, using a variety of sources. My reading list is a work in progress, but I drew heavily on Taber’s RSC misconcpetion book, and had some useful pointers from John-Paul Riordan, who has researched pupils’ conceptual understanding of KS3 Physics.
I now have a list of “tricky concepts” or perhaps even “key concepts” (I wouldn’t call them all threshold concepts), which I will add to as I teach the topic this year.
My next step is to plan these concepts into lesson sequences, and teach them explicitly; then revisit them, spacing and interleaving them among other topics/ concepts. After reading this blog, I decided to try tracking the concepts, as I go through the year, so that I know when each concept has been delivered, demonstrated (examples), practised and retrieved (via quizzing).
These stages won’t take place within a single lesson, hence where the tracker comes in. I will interleave these opportunities to re-visit concepts into future lessons. This is something I already do, but I haven’t focussed specifically on threshold concepts before now, or kept track of them in this way.
Some of these questions, I’ve written myself. For some, I have taken ideas directly from the RSC misconceptions sheets; I’ve also used other sources, such as past exam questions (hence the reference numbers), after some pointers from helpful people on Twitter.
Knowledge Organisers and musical quizzes (and stuff)
I won’t only be quizzing/ retrieving the concepts themselves. I’ve also put together a knowledge organiser (available via James Theobald‘s collection here), because I use these regularly in lessons now for all topics.
I’ll be starting the topic with a pre-topic (musical) quiz, which I have based around the concepts I’ve collated. And I have a few sheets that I’ve used in the past, which I’ll re-use and add to as I go through.
I’ll let you know how it goes…
post written by NKA