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Sensemaking Resources


Journal Article

Beyond Definitions: Using Hexagonal Thinking for Sensemaking

This article was written for the purpose of introducing the hexagonal thinking strategy to upper elementary teachers. The strategy, in which students ...


Journal Article

Engaging elementary students in science practice: Strategies for helping children plan investigations

This article presents a tool that teachers can use to support children in planning science investigations. Using an extended example from a second-gra...


Journal Article

Explanation and Argumentation: How Middle School Students Make Sense of the Phenomenon of Niagara Falls

The Framework and NGSS emphasize using lines of evidence to construct explanations and develop arguments that demonstrate understanding about scientif...


Journal Article

Helping Students Use Crosscutting Concepts to Guide Sensemaking of Anchoring Phenomena

Crosscutting concepts (CCCs) are designed to help students make sense of phenomena across multiple scientific disciplines (National Research Council 2...


Journal Article

Group Learning Routines as a tool to build equitable learning experiences in a Biology classroom

The vision behind the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) is that all students engage in explaining phenomena and designing solutions with three-...


Journal Article

Early Retirement: Making Sense of Patterns in Historical Data of Retired Hurricanes

Long after a hurricane passes over and through any region or coastal area, the memories of it often linger. There may be visual reminders of the storm...


Journal Article

Local Ecosystem Observation Cycle: Supporting Preservice Elementary Teachers Engagement in Sensemaking

Equitable sensemaking enables students to draw on personal resources to investigate and explain phenomena and problems within their communities. Altho...


Journal Article

Just Because It Sounds Plausible, Doesn’t Mean It’s True

Plausible scientific arguments abound. Those who wish to deceive often weave a tangled web of plausible scientific arguments to support their case. Wh...


Journal Article

From Windy Day Stories to Wind Farms of the Future: Leveraging student resources to make sense of science phenomena with Data Puzzles

This article introduces the Data Puzzles instructional framework as a means to engage middle school students in the exploration of wind energy and its...


Journal Article

Medical and cancer-STEM education for underrepresented minority elementary school students in Audiology, Gastroenterology and Osteology/Orthopedics

The goal of the University of Southern California (USC)/Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center funded Wonderkids Program is to develop medical and cancer ...


Journal Article

Moving Beyond Equity-as-Access to Expanding What Counts as Science in the Elementary Classroom

Making science accessible is an important and worthy goal, but for many students, science is inaccessible because what counts as science in the classr...


Journal Article

Discover student thinking while analyzing data…and having fun! (Data Literacy 101)

Our students rarely practice data skills with data not related to our science content, which makes sense given all we must teach. But always asking ou...

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