We started using Formative 3 years ago as out primary means of students collaboration in hands-on labs. We use the CER (Claim, Evidence, Reasoning) model, start with annotations, embed artifacts for leaning such as a nearpod, edpuzzle, pHet simulation or youtube video, then have the activities and responses the rest of the way through. Any other science T’s out there?


Here is an example of one of our labs on Inertia and Forces called “The Runnaway Truck Lab”


Here is another one we APPsmashed with Annotations, Phet, Nearpod, and Flipgrid. I took off the Flipgrid since this is going to be a cloned copy, but it would go after their conclusion.

pHet Lab WAVES


Joe, it’s great to connect with you. I am a 6th grade science teacher and a long-time Formative user as well. Your “The Runnaway Truck Lab” looks awesome. I haven’t used Formative in the past for team labs but am definitely considering it. Do you have all your students in a group share a device to respond to the formative or do they each respond to the formative separately?

Also, I noticed that you included an answer key for the last question. I was curious about how you use this. I’ve avoided doing this in the past because Formative will mark the response as incorrect since student responses are not matching answer key items exactly.

Also, have you ever seen the Science Alive! wiki? It was created by two 8th science students and basically their whole class uses it as a blog for their science experiments. I was thinking it might be a nice way for students to show and discuss things that they’ve learned. The comment feature is good for that.

The answer key is hit and miss, so i still go over all questions marked incorrect to see if they are infact correct. Our classes are a faux 1:1 where we have 20 chromebooks for studdent use and 20 students listed as BYOD. This allows each student to work on their formatives together in discussions then individually to put thier own spin on the answers. We also end every lab with a Flipgrid of their conclussion. This I find creates a better work ethic in my kids to trully own thier conclusions rather than writing a few sentences they think only I will read.


I haven’t used Formative for labs but now…I am going to give it a try :sunglasses: Thanks!

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Got it, I can see how that would be helpful. Also, thanks for the tip about how you manage devices and collaboration. It’s great that you are able to help students draw their own conclusions. Along those same lines, I use Formative for jigsaw activities. I split my students into groups and have each member of the group research about a different segment of the topic. As they read, they record what they learn and when they return to their groups, they share about their segment and learn about the other segments by listening to each of their group members.

I’ve found this is a great way for students to hold each other accountable for learning and that Formative works well for this activity because we can easily share responses in a class discussion at the end. One tip is to have students compare/contrast the topics that their peers share as opposed to just answering the same questions. This challenges students to synthesize what they’ve learned rather than just regurgitate it!

Here’s a jigsaw activity I made recently:

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Been using formative and Google Slides for completion of labs. I love the multiple selection option to allow student find more than one solution.


It’s cool to hear that you are integrating Google Slides with Formative. I’d love to hear more and see any examples you have!

I LOVE your lab!!! We also use Formatives for labs, especially when we have stations.


Can you give me more info to set one up.


I really loved the way you used this formative, thank you for sharing it. I will be able to use it as a model for use in my biology classes. Do you have any bio teachers doing this in your building?


Thank you for sharing! I use CER in class/lab and I have been looking for ways to increase engagement with CER tasks and include more resources.

Do you find students are able to grasp the CER model better using these formats? Or does it just work as a mode of giving information and increasing their interaction with it. For some reason, my students are really struggling with the CERs.

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I love how you have used the CER format and annotations to develop these Formative labs. How long are your class periods and how long do you expect students to take to complete the APPsmashed waves lab?

Love this lab and I will be using this week. Thank you very much for sharing it!

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