Have you ever had students respond, “I don’t know. It just did,” when asked to analyze and interpret their classroom lab results? We all want our students to “think like a scientist,” but often they fall short in connecting the dots between the lab results and the science concepts. Claim-Evidence-Reasoning or CER is a writing strategy that can develop a student’s analytical thinking and argumentative writing skills to turn that “I don’t know” into “aha, so that’s why we got those results in the lab.”
The dreaded book report. Students don’t enjoy writing them, and if we are honest with ourselves, we as teachers don’t enjoy reading them. Yet we still need an effective way to assess our student’s knowledge and depth of understanding when they have completed a novel study. This article will provide you with one simple activity you can use with your students that can be customized based on specific skills you need to assess.
Research supports teaching methods such as project based learning or inquiry based learning, where the teacher serves as a facilitator and students take charge of their own learning. However, before those methods can be successful, teachers need to have already established a classroom culture in which students know what is expected of them and what the consequences will be if they do not meet those expectations. This culture begins with consistent classroom management procedures.