PDI-3: Deepening Science Thinking and Reasoning Through Discussion and Writing in K–5 Inquiry-based Science
Date: Wednesday, March 9, 2011
Location: Marriott San Francisco Marquis Hotel, Room Yerba Buena 3
Intended Audience: Grades K–5
Recommended Pathway Sessions
Center for Science Education, Education Development Center
Karen Worth, Education Development Center, Inc. (EDC)
Jeff Winokur, (EDC)
Martha Heller-Winokur, Teaching and Learning Alliance
- How do writing and discussion work together to foster scientific reasoning and help to build conceptual understanding in inquiry-based science classrooms?
- What is the role of talk and group discussions in fostering scientific reasoning and understanding?
- What is the role of writing and other forms of representation in fostering scientific reasoning and understanding?
- What is the nature of science notebooks and how can they be used to enhance scientific reasoning and understanding?
- What skills do students need to learn and teachers need to teach for productive discussions and writing in the science classroom?
This PDI will address how K–5 students' science thinking and understanding is enhanced through the use of multiple forms of representation, writing, and discussion as they move from direct experience—the perceptual—to conceptual understanding. Participants will engage in a brief science inquiry-based investigation after which they will reflect on the different kinds of discussion and recording in which they engaged during different phases of the investigation. This will be followed by an in-depth exploration of the roles of oral and written language and other forms of representation in deepening scientific reasoning using classroom video, transcripts of student discussions, student writing, and mini-case studies. We will identify a range of instructional strategies to deepen reasoning that (1) structure and guide serious accountable talk among students; (2) foster careful use of notebooks for recording and drawing conclusions; and (3) provide opportunities for students to apply their understanding through different genres of writing. K–5 educators will have the opportunity to explore the relationship between literacy and science teaching and learning and the important connections that can and should be made in the classroom.