Writing in science
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Writing In Science. How to Scaffold Instruction to Support Learning New Teacher Year 2, Mtg 2 October 25, 2010 Becky Warf Smith. Goals for the Day. Learning Targets I can explain the rationale for using science notebooks as an instructional tool

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Writing in science

Writing In Science

How to Scaffold Instruction to Support Learning

New Teacher

Year 2, Mtg 2

October 25, 2010

Becky Warf Smith


Goals for the day

Goals for the Day

  • Learning Targets

    • I can explain the rationale for using science notebooks as an instructional tool

    • I can scaffold instruction to support student learning for data analysis and writing explanations

    • I can utilize Writing in Science to purposefully plan instruction that improves student learning


Initial informal assessment

Initial (Informal) Assessment


Minding your p s and q s

Minding Your P’s and Q’s

Throughout this session, we will be referring to Writing in Science. This book covers the session topics in more depth, and can thus serve as a valuable resource for you in the future.

Preview Writing in Science by asking yourself (and answering) the 4 questions on your handout as you skim through the text.


Science notebooks

Science Notebooks

  • Is a science notebook different from a science journal or log?

  • How have you used science notebooks in the past?


Where is the trouble

Where is the trouble?

Does it lie

with content

or

with communication?


How would these comments help improve your communication in writing

How would these comments help improve your communication in writing?

Add more detail

What is the data trying to say?

Give more support

Your conclusion needs to be stronger

What is the evidence?

You need to be more clear

How does this relate?

Comment of your choice


Five big assumptions seattle s science notebook program

Five Big AssumptionsSeattle’s Science Notebook Program

  • Students are motivated to learn new concepts and skills when they are engaged in meaningful learning experiences, such as those in inquiry-based science units.

  • The ultimate goal is for students to develop an understanding of science concepts, and to do so, they must learn how to think scientifically


Assumptions cont

…Assumptions (cont)

Students also need to learn specific scientific skills (e.g., making observations and interpreting data) and forms of expository writing (e.g., data analysis and conclusions) to help them construct their understanding of concepts and develop their ability to think analytically. Science notebooks serve as a tool in this learning.


Assumptions cont1

…Assumptions (cont)

Students need scaffolding and modeling to help them learn science concepts, scientific thinking and skills, and expository writing.

Elementary students have limited time and energy for making entries in their science notebooks, so their entries should focus on expository writing that will deepen their conceptual understanding and/or develop their scientific skills and thinking.


Science notebooks1

Science Notebooks

The science notebook is not a product that looks good, but it is a product to support learning and to develop expository writing skills.

The science notebook is not about what students did, but it is about helping them to make meaning of what they did.

Avoid having students write about how they felt, what was their favorite…,what they did, or a generic, “What did you learn today?”

Notebooks should be for formative rather than summative purposes and, therefore, should not be graded.


Writing in science how to scaffold instruction to support learning

Writing in Science:How to Scaffold Instruction to Support Learning

Science Session

Engagement

Date and Focus Question

Active Investigation

Record data, take notes, make illustrations or diagrams

Shared Reflection

Application

Writing Session

Shared Review

Questions about shared reflection of conclusions based on focus question

Shared Writing

Model structure

Scaffolding

Independent Writing

Use scaffolding to complete notebook entries

Pg. 152


Science notebook rules for science section

Science Notebook “Rules”for Science Section

Date, in numerals, the first page of the entry.

Write a focus or investigative question for each lesson.

Write something about each science session.

Write legibly (not necessarily their “best handwriting”).


Science session

Science Session


Engagement

Engagement

Write the date in numerals on the first page of your notebook entry.

Write the focus question on the top line of your notebook entry page.

How many drops of each different liquid will a penny hold?


Active investigation

Active Investigation


Shared reflection

Shared Reflection

Discuss investigation

What does your data show?

How does your data compare with other groups?

Introduce word bank

“Students must learn scientific vocabulary after they have had a concrete experience.”

“Ideas develop from experiences, and technical terms develop from the ideas and operations that are rooted in those experiences. When terms come first, students just tend to memorize so much technical jargon that it sloughs off in a short while.”

Organize the words conceptually, rather than randomly or alphabetically.

Write “generic” science vocabulary in a different color than you will use for the unit words. The “generic” word cards can be reused with any/every science unit.


Application

Application

How does the investigation connect to other observations or experiences that you have had?

This is the “SO WHAT” of the exploration

What are other questions that you have as a result of the investigation?

Where would you encounter different liquids?

What are the properties of a liquid?

Are the properties of all liquids the same?


Writing session

Writing Session


Shared review

Shared Review

Focus is on processing what was learned from the investigation.

Question students about the shared reflection of conclusions from the science session.

Remember, this is usually done the next day so this review is important!


Writing in science

“You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to think like a rocket scientist.”

Gerry Wheeler, NSTA Executive Director


Shared writing

Shared Writing

Model structure as the students provide the content.

Focus of writing will be on:

Comparing and contrasting

Cause and effect

Reasoning

Data analysis

Drawing conclusions from data


Scaffolding

Scaffolding

Data Analysis Writing

Introductory/topic sentence:

This graph/table shows…

Summarize the data:

Qualitative data

More/less; longer/shorter

Quantitative data

Actual quantities/measurements

Concluding statement(s):

Therefore, I think…

Outliers, inconsistent data

Some data were inconsistent. I think this happened, because…

Connection to the real world

This information could be important because…


Now let s write

Now Let’s Write

We do:

Using the data provided by the teacher, let’s work through a writing session together.

Water—60

Alcohol—58

Glycerin—40

You do:

Use scaffolding to write in science notebooks using your own data from the activity


Share with a partner

Share With a Partner

  • Considering your thoughts at the beginning of this session and your experiences today, have your thoughts about science notebooks changed? If so, how? If not, why?


Kcas for literacy in science

KCAS for Literacy in Science

With your district team, examine the CCR Anchor Standards for Writing on page 63 and the writing standards on pages 65 and 66.

How might the type of writing that you did during the “science session” begin to prepare students to meet these standards?

Highlight specific standards that were addressed or partially addressed.


Kcas for literacy in science1

KCAS for Literacy in Science

In general, what are some specific strengths and weaknesses that your students demonstrate in writing?

Are they similar across grade levels?

What are some strategies that can be used to strengthen students’ understanding of concepts and their ability to communicate in science?


How do we plan for this

How do we plan for this?

  • Why do we need scaffolds in the first place?

  • Who needs the scaffolds? How do you determine this?

  • Are scaffolds to be used continuously?

  • How often do we use science notebooks?

    • Are there different considerations for elementary, middle, and high?

  • How are notebooks assessed?


Take home message

Take Home Message

  • We want students to think scientifically and to communicate their thinking through writing.

  • In order to be successful, students must be explicitly taught how to do this.

  • This requires time! Practice and Modeling are essential.


Goals for the day1

Goals for the Day

  • Learning Targets

    • I can explain the rationale for using science notebooks as an instructional tool

    • I can scaffold instruction to support student learning for data analysis and writing explanations

    • I can utilize Writing in Science to purposefully plan instruction that improves student learning


Becky w smith warf45@windstream net science regional teacher partner pimser university of kentucky

Becky W. [email protected] Regional Teacher PartnerPIMSER, University of Kentucky


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