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Tuesday, November 1 • 10:55am - 11:45am
Writing in Science to Support Thinking and Inquiry in STEM

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With students, writing in science is a means to deepen students’ understanding of concepts and apply the science and engineering practices from Next Generation Science Standards. Research also shows that as students write in the content areas achievement improves as students are asked to clarify and organize their thinking.

Participants will review several examples to span grades K-8 of how writing in science can be used to improve student outcomes using science notebooks and different entry types. Students use their notebooks to begin a science investigation or engineering challenge by asking questions when given a specific focus of inquiry. Students also make observations of the focus of inquiry. From their questions, students generate an inquiry question and design an investigation or create a plan for their design to an engineering challenge. As students implement their investigation, they make prediction, observations, and collect data in their notebooks. Analysis of their data and observations will lead students to draw conclusions. Writing is also integrated into science project based learning as students research to complete a real world task.

Specifically, the session will outline efforts to strengthen students’ writing of conclusions in science using the framework of claims, evidence, and reasoning. Focus will be given to grades 5 and 8 MCAS achievement on open response writing. Resources including rubrics, professional development materials, and lesson ideas for supporting writing of conclusions will be discussed. Finally, participants consider how they will apply the strategies to their own classroom settings.


Margaret Adams

Assistant Superintendent for Teaching and Learning, Melrose Public Schools

Paula Jones

Instructional Coach, Melrose Public Schools

Jon Morris

Director of Science and Technology, Grades 6-12, Melrose Public Schools

Tuesday November 1, 2016 10:55am - 11:45am
Junior Ballroom