- Some “why” questions that can be asked to help students support their claims:
- What evidence do you have?
- What scientific ideas support your claim?
- Why do you agree or disagree? What are your reasons? What is your evidence?
- What could be some other possible claims? Do you have evidence?
- Do you agree with the points being made? Why?
- Who has a different opinion? What is it? How is it different?
- Why are you using that as evidence and not the other data? How would your claim change if you used all the data?
- How is that idea related to what was previously discussed? What reasons do you have for saying that?
- Resource Type: NGSS Connection
- External Resources:
The strategy above is aligned to the principles in bold.
- Use assignments that are meaningful, challenging, and require students to take personal responsibility to engage at a deeper conceptual level with the material; provide students with ample time to do this work
- Press students for evidence and reasoning to demonstrate the importance of making sense of phenomena and/or solving design problems, rather than simply producing the correct answer
- Provide multiple ways to complete assignments and/or allow for flexibility in approaches to solving problems
- De-emphasize the negative consequence of mistakes by framing mistakes as part of the learning process that helps students improve their skills
- Design assessments to evaluate students’ three-dimensional learning with a focus on reasoning, making sense of phenomena and/or solving design problems, and deep conceptual knowledge rather than superficial knowledge
- Use rubrics and descriptive criteria for assessments rather than policies such as grading on a curve to focus the assessment on students’ understanding rather than on their relative standing among peers
- Provide positive and constructive feedback to students that emphasizes that success and failure are related to one’s effort and strategy use, which can be changed
- Provide opportunities for students to revise work or submit multiple drafts
- Communicate that all students have valuable contributions by calling on a variety of students in a supportive way during class discussions or activities
- Encourage students to focus on their own effort, growth, and learning as opposed to comparing themselves to their peers
- Avoid tasks that encourage competition among students (to solve a problem first, to earn the highest grades, etc.) and practices like posting student grades publicly
- Design group work that requires multiple perspectives/roles to promote peer collaboration focused on learning rather than performing
- Approach course content, lesson activities, and your own learning with a positive attitude and a willingness to take risks (i.e., doing something outside of your comfort zone)
- Identify and model the use of effective learning strategies when encountering challenging tasks or making mistakes