Teacher and Student Discourse Moves Combined Tool

Contributor
Rita MacDonald and H. Gary Hook
Type Category
Instructional Materials
Types
Professional Development , Student Guide
Note
This resource, vetted by NSTA curators, is provided to teachers along with suggested modifications to make it more in line with the vision of the NGSS. While not considered to be “fully aligned,” the resources and expert recommendations provide teachers with concrete examples and expert guidance using the EQuIP rubric to adapted existing resources. Read more here.

Reviews

Description

This is a chart designed to assist teachers in facilitating and supporting scientific discourse between students in their classrooms. The "teacher's back pocket" chart is double sided: one with prompts for teachers, and the other sentence starters for students. The chart is designed to be an instructional tool for a teacher to have in hand or on his/her lap during a student discussion around scientific phenomena or ideas.  The tools can be used to help students meet all the Peformance Expectations for Grade 5 Structures and Properties of Matter among others. The presentation used by the creators to introduce the tool and connect it to practices expected in the NGSS can be found here.

Intended Audience

- none -
Educational Level
  • Upper Elementary
Language
English
Access Restrictions

Free access - The right to view and/or download material without financial, registration, or excessive advertising barriers.

Performance Expectations

5-PS1-1 Develop a model to describe that matter is made of particles too small to be seen.

Clarification Statement: Examples of evidence could include adding air to expand a basketball, compressing air in a syringe, dissolving sugar in water, and evaporating salt water.

Assessment Boundary: Assessment does not include the atomic-scale mechanism of evaporation and condensation or defining the unseen particles.

This resource was not designed to build towards this performance expectation, but can be used to build towards it using the suggestions provided below.

Comments about Including the Performance Expectation
This tool might be used by a teacher asking students to explain how their model explains the behavior of observed matter. Students might bring their science notebooks to the meeting while the teacher would bring the tool. The tool will help the teacher facilitate student interactions and elicit more explanation of students sharing their model or providing feedback.

Science and Engineering Practices

This resource was not designed to build towards this science and engineering practice, but can be used to build towards it using the suggestions provided below.

Comments about Including the Science and Engineering Practice
Following investigations where students have the opportunity to investigate that matter is made of particles too small to be seen or that matter still exists even though it seems to disappear students might be given the opportunity to engage in argumentation just like scientists or engineers might. Students might be shown two different models both captioned as Matter is made of particles too small to be seen. Students can argue about which one is the best model for explaining this concept and why.

This resource appears to be designed to build towards this science and engineering practice, though the resource developer has not explicitly stated so.

Comments about Including the Science and Engineering Practice
Using the examples provided in the description , teacher will use the tool/resource to move student understanding that matter is made of particles too small to be seen forward. A teacher might begin the scientist meeting with this statement/ focus question. We know there is air in the bag but we can’t see it. Can you use your models to support the idea that matter is in the bag even though we can’t see it?” The students begin to talk to each other about their models. At an appropriate point of the conversation the teacher wants to assist students to deepen their reasoning might interject “Will you tell us more about your thinking on that? Why do think that works? Hmm, how could we revise our models to account for this idea?” or the teacher might want students to think about their ideas in connections to their peers. He or she might ask “Who is ready to tell us the connection between X and Y’s ideas.

Disciplinary Core Ideas

This resource was not designed to build towards this disciplinary core idea, but can be used to build towards it using the suggestions provided below.

Comments about Including the Disciplinary Core Idea
This tool is not designed to have any direct connections to one DCI. That said, this tool could be used to support students in developing this matter disciplinary core idea among others. Students could be asked in a scientist's’ circle , “what evidence do you have from your investigations that supports the idea that matter still exists even when it seems to disappear ? “ or “ a student might ask a question to his/her peers “Can you explain that that idea once more so I can get it into my head?”Sometimes a student challenge another student’s thinking by respectfully saying “But that doesn't explain when we saw when tried to get the sugar to dissolve in the cold water or ….” Both teachers and students would have their charts as resources to help them engage in purposeful, academic discourse.

Crosscutting Concepts

This resource was not designed to build towards this crosscutting concept, but can be used to build towards it using the suggestions provided below.

Comments about Including the Crosscutting Concept
While the resource is not designed to align with any one Crosscutting Concept, students could be engaged in explicit dialogue around any of the seven Crosscutting Concepts with the tool supporting discourse throughout. The Crosscutting Concept of scale, proportion and quantity unites the 4 bundles throughout the year, beginning with the very small in bundle 1. Students can explain that matter is made of particles too small to be seen (5-PS1-1). They can measure the weight, temperature, and/or volume of substances to determine properties and can describe whether those properties have changed and whether the total weight has changed when the substances are mixed (5-PS1-2), (5-PS1-3). Guiding questions such as the following could be used to help students build an understanding of this crosscutting concept: What evidence do I have that something that is not visible has weight? What do I need to measure to provide data? What should I use to measure the phenomena (what scale?) e.g. centimeter or meter, actual count or rough estimate?

Resource Quality

  • Alignment to the Dimensions of the NGSS: This document is designed as a support for facilitating student discussions in a three-dimensional classroom and is not aligned independently. The resource does have a direct connection to the Nature of Science element, “Most scientists and engineers work in teams.”

  • Instructional Supports: These tools were created to be used in supporting ELL students in their science learning. These tools can be used to scaffold scientific discourse until students are ready to move forward without the tools. To start , every student has the tools with them in science discussion. Students let go of the scaffold when ready and then there is the chart on the wall in the classroom to still provide support when necessary.

  • Monitoring Student Progress: This resource provides no rubric or exemplars for what is or isn't strong student discourse, but could easily be used as part of a formative assessment.

  • Quality of Technological Interactivity: There is no technological component to this resource.