• Amelia Voltz

Teacher Spotlight: Amelia Voltz at Forth Worth, TX

As a tech-savvy, middle school science teacher, I constantly implement emerging and diffusing technologies in my classroom. In September of this year, I stumbled across Inq-ITS in a Google search for digital assessment tools for secondary science. After choosing the option to try it for free, I instantly enjoyed the auto-graded CER option!

Writing CERs is a struggle across every grade level I have taught. Even my advanced eighth-grade students who are taking my Integrated Physics and Chemistry (IPC) course this year (which offers high school credit) struggle with this! I have tried to teach it in so many ways and have always had a hard time finding useful rubrics that make sense to students.

The rubric designed by Dr. Gobert is easy to follow and student-friendly. My students were even able to come up with more sentence stems that could be used when responding to each portion. I use CERs for tutoring, in small groups, and even as formative assessments for my students.

I also have many English Language Learners and the Spanish assistance has proved helpful for a number of my students when working with a small group.

My favorite way to use the Inq-ITS labs is to have students work in teams to work through the virtual labs (often with teacher guidance for my lowest students) and then work independently to show their understanding by typing the CER. As they type these, they are required to have out their personal copy of the rubric and are reminded to use the sentence stems we have on an anchor chart in the room. I most often choose the CERs that are auto-graded. However, for those that are not, I use the same rubric and find it much simpler and faster to grade them!