With the start of the 2016-17 school year, Inq-ITS is making a change in the final stage of our Virtual Inquiry Labs. In the past, students would conclude their lab reports by writing a standard open response conclusion. However, whether your focus is on the Next Generation Science Standards, Common Core, or the current political climate, one thing is abundantly clear: It is imperative that our students practice not only making claims, but also backing up those claims with evidence. With this focus on critical thinking skills, Inq-ITS has changed the final stage of our Virtual Inquiry Labs to include three separate sections:
- Claim: Students need to state a claim from their investigation.
- Evidence: Students need to provide and describe scientific evidence from their data table that supports (or refutes) their claim.
- Reasoning: Students are asked to explain why their evidence supports or refutes their claim.
This is a great resource on teaching your students to engage in argument from evidence:Requiring students to write out their findings in a Claim-Evidence-Reasoning format may take them more time, but is necessary if we want students to develop the critical skills needed to communicate in science. By requiring students to not only write out their argument, but to also validate that argument through analysis of their data, students have the opportunity to learn a skill that will extend far beyond the classroom.