(30 ISBE Clock Hours) If you want your students to think and write like a scientist, then the process of CER as a writing framework is a great place to start! This course will provide you with all the student templates, graphic organizers, rubrics, worksheets, and examples that you need to build a CER science lesson, and to teach the CER process in your science classroom.

  • Total Price: $145
  • Credit Type: ISBE Clock Hours

  • Credits: 30 ISBE Clock Hours

  • 21 High-Quality Resources Provided With The Course


  • Science
  • ELA, Reading/Writing
  • Lesson & Curriculum Planning
  • Teaching Strategies
Northeastern Illinois University

Home > NEIU Courses > Claim-Evidence-Reasoning (CER) In The Science Classroom-NEIU

Course Objectives & What You Will Learn in this Course:

What You Will Learn
  • Learn the Steps in Designing an Effective CER Lesson and Recieve all the Resources you Need to Teach CER in Your Classroom
  • A Step-By-Step Approach & Tools Needed to Implement CER-Based Science Instruction & Activities in Your Classroom
  • Learn How to Assess Student CER Responses & Provide Effective Feedback That Encourages Student Growth

Register For The Course

Course Guiding Question:

Course Guiding Questions

How can I design a lesson to best support the CER writing process, so that my science students can use evidence and reasoning to formulate claims supported by well- structured activities in my classroom?

Great Course, and Great Resources!

The card sorting activity and the graphic organizers are terrific resources from this course that I am excited to use! I’m also really excited to use the CER grading rubric- it will give my students and me clear expectations for CER writing.

-Middle School Teacher

 30 ISBE Clock Hours

At the conclusion of this course, you will earn 30 ISBE clock hours, including a signed ISBE certificate.

Continuing Education hours through Northeastern Illinois University (NEIU) are offered as ISBE clock hours and indicated as continuing education clock hours on a University provided certificate. Although offered in partnership with NEIU, they do not result in graduate- level or academic credit and cannot be used toward a degree program. These courses are primarily intended for recertification or re-licensure and continuing education for teachers in the state of Illinois.

Northeastern Illinois University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. It is recognized as an approved provider of ISBE clock hours by the state of Illinois.

Course Sections

Topics Covered and General Course Outline

Section 1 – Introduction to Claim, Evidence, Reasoning & Scientific Argumentation

Learn the meaning of CER, the three components of CER and how to use CER as a writing framework in the science classroom.

Section 2.1 – The Claim

Learn what makes a solid claim, how to introduce claim writing to your students, and how to create an activity that supports a strong claim. Then, using the CER activity template, reflect on how you could take an activity at your grade level to align to specific claims students can make.

Section 2.2 – The Evidence

Learn what is included in the evidence component of CER, how to identify and define relevant evidence, and how to verify the evidence in labs and activities will support the claim. Then, using the Evidence Reference Guide and the CER Evidence Template resource, reflect on the specific data that could be generated for your chosen activity.

Section 2.3 – The Reasoning

Learn what is included in the reasoning component of CER, how to introduce reasoning to students, and challenges your students may face when writing their reasoning. Then, using the Reasoning Challenges Reference Sheet and Reasoning Template, reflect on the anticipated challenges your students may have when designing reasoning statements.

Section 3 – How to Write an Appropriate Question for CER Responses

Learn how to write an effective CER question and how to modify and edit ineffective CER questions so they will lead to strong claim writing. Then, utilize the Question Checklist Tool and the Question Writing template to reflect on how to design well- aligned questions that will produce a strong claim.

Section 4 – Modifications for CER

Learn why CER assignments may need to be modified and ways to modify the CER process. Then, refer to the CER Modification Reference Guide and the CER Modification template and reflect on way you can edit you CER lesson to better fit the needs of students in your class.

Section 5 – CER Implementation

Learn how to introduce CER into your classroom, some teaching strategies you can use to implement CER, and how to grade and provide feedback on CER responses. Then, reflect on which instructional strategies you can use to best implement CER into a classroom of your grade level.

Professional Development Course Resources

Helpful Resources & Templates Included With the Course
The course comes with 21 templates, tools, and graphic organizers ready to be used in your classroom!
These Include:

  • CER Reference
  • Activity Alignment Checklist
  • Student Reasoning Organizer
  • Question Checklist Tool
  • CER Modification Template
  • CER Grading Rubric
  • CER Activity Template
  • CER Card Sort Tool
  • Reasoning Challenges Reference Sheet
  • Question Writing Template
  • CER Student Graphic Organizer
  • CER Lesson Plan Template
  • Evidence Reference Guide
  • CER Evidence Template
  • Reasoning Template
  • CER Modification Reference Guide
  • CER Discussion Guide
  • Effectiveness Rubric
  • Unit Assessments Overview Plan and Sample

Download the Syllabus

Receive a copy of the course syllabus by submitting the form below. Once submitted, we automatically email you a copy. The syllabus contains detailed and important information on the structure and core content of the course as well as grading.

Computer Screenshots

Register for the Course

  • Register for full access to the course for 1 full year
  • Get started immediately, work at your own pace, and earn 30 ISBE clock hours once complete
  • Once your course is complete you will receive a completed ISBE certificate from NEIU
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