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Scientific Explanations: Developing Student Writing in Science. Robin Walters Jane Wilson . Peak Area Leadership in Science Hub January 15, 2014. Welcome!. Who we are & why we ’ re here Who are you? Logistics Restrooms Teacher Hat/Student Hat Attention Signal. Poll:

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Scientific Explanations: Developing Student Writing in Science


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    1. Scientific Explanations: Developing Student Writing in Science Robin Walters Jane Wilson Peak Area Leadership in Science Hub January 15, 2014

    2. Welcome! • Who we are & why we’re here • Who are you? • Logistics • Restrooms • Teacher Hat/Student Hat • Attention Signal

    3. Poll: • Fist to Five (1=horrible, 5=awesome) How good are your students at writing scientific explanations?

    4. By the end of this session, you'll... • Design an inquiry experiment and collect data about an enzyme. • Write an evidence-based scientific explanation using experimental data and the Explanation Tool. • Evaluate examples of scientific explanations. • Reflect on applications of inquiry and scientific explanations in your classroom.

    5. Inquiry: • “Tiny Bubbles” Protocol • Design your own experiment: • What factors affect enzyme activity?

    6. Still in your student “hat”… • On an index card, explain what you learned from your experiment as if you were a student. • Turn to your neighbor and share what you wrote.

    7. Now, put your teacher hat back on…

    8. What Do Scientists Do? • Ask reasonable questions • Generate testable hypotheses • Collect, represent and analyze data • Interpret results • Use evidence to construct and evaluate explanations • Communicate findings

    9. So…Recall Your Experimental Question… …and the explanation you wrote…

    10. As the teacher, would you be satisfied with what you wrote and what you heard from others?

    11. Scientific Explanations Students can: • Justify claims with evidence • Construct explanations of phenomena based on evidence • Make claims and predictions based on theories and models • Articulate reasons scientific explanations/ theories are refined or replaced • Evaluate alternative scientific explanations

    12. Scientific Explanations: 3 parts: • Claim • Evidence • Reasoning

    13. Claim A statement that answers the question being investigated

    14. Evidence Quantitative data or qualitative observations that support the claim

    15. Reasoning • shows how the evidence supports the claim • uses science principles to explain the relevance and importance of the data • Is the “why”

    16. Explanation example: Basketball Sally has an awesome shot! She scored 24 points in the game last night. She was 8 for 11 with four 3-pointers! She was perfect from the line, making 4out of 4free throws. One reason she’s so accurate is that she has really good form. She jumps straight up, she extends her arms above her head, and she has really good follow-through. She also has lots of arc on her shot, so if it’s not perfect it still has a chance to go in because it can bounce around on the rim and fall through. Another thing Sally has going for her is that she’s always really focused. The crowd was so loud last night but Sally wasn’t distracted by it. The player who guarded her was also very rough and trash talked, trying to take Sally away from her game. Sally was still able to focus on her game and really burned her.

    17. If we take the explanation apart… Claim: Sally has an awesome shot! Evidence:She scored 24 points in the game last night. She was 8 for 11 with four 3-pointers! She was perfect from the line, making 4 out of 4 free throws.

    18. Reasoning: One reason she’s so accurate is that she has really good form. She jumps straight up, she extends her arms above her head, and she has really good follow-through. She also has lots of arc on her shot, so if it’s not perfect it still has a chance to go in because it can bounce around on the rim and fall through. Another thing Sally has going for her is that she’s always really focused. The crowd was so loud last night but Sally wasn’t distracted by it. The player who guarded her was also very rough and trash talked, trying to take Sally away from her game. Sally was still able to focus on her game and really burned her.

    19. Still with your teacher hat on: • Card sort: • Pass the cards out to each member of your group. • Sort the cards into 3 categories: • Claim • Evidence • Reasoning

    20. Were there any cards that you were unsure about? • Don’t you wish there was some kind of tool to help students clarify their thinking and plan their writing? • Of course, you do!!

    21. Explanation Tool

    22. Using the Explanation Tool: • Complete the Explanation Tool for your experiment • Write your Claim, Evidence, and Reasoning on a poster to share

    23. So…how do you recognize a well-written scientific explanation?

    24. Evaluating a Scientific Explanation • Claim answers the question • Evidence is relevant, sufficient, and supports the claim • Reasoning is sound and includes relevant science principles • Language is clear and accurate

    25. Sample Scientific Explanations • Distribute one of the student samples to each member of your team. • Evaluate each sample using the criteria given. If these were examples of work from your students, what feedback would you provide? How does temperature affect the rate of enzyme activity?

    26. Evaluating a Scientific Explanation • Claim answers the question • Evidence is relevant, sufficient, and supports the claim • Reasoning is sound and includes relevant science principles • Language is clear and accurate

    27. As a team… • Read the poster from another group • Give feedback on the stickies

    28. By the end of this session, you'll... • Design an inquiry experiment and collect data about an enzyme. • Write an evidence-based scientific explanation using experimental data and the Explanation Tool. • Evaluate examples of scientific explanations. • Reflect on applications of inquiry and scientific explanations in your classroom.

    29. Reflection • What will you take with you from this session? • What do you want to know more about? • What are the implications for your teaching practice?

    30. Thank You!!! Robin Walters rwalters@d49.org Jane Wilson jwilson@d49.org www.nabt.org www.bscs.org