Engaging in Science Practices: Explanation and Argumentation with Kate McNeill



  • Thursday, April 24 | 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
  • Offering Format: Professional Development Event
  • Recommended for grades 5 – 8
  • Educator Resource Center in the Lyman Library
  • Free, register online
  • Associated Persons

    With Kate McNeill, professor of science education at Boston College


Constructing explanations, and engaging in argument from evidence, are two of the scientific practices highlighted in the Next Generation Science Standards, which are essential for student sense-making in science. During this workshop, we'll discuss the distinctions between them and how they often work together in the context of classroom instruction. Boston College's Kate McNeill will introduce a framework consisting of three components — claim, evidence, and reasoning (CER) — that can be used to support students in these scientific practices.

Additionally, we'll illustrate the CER framework using examples from talking, writing, and reading; engage in an investigation where participants use the framework; and analyze samples of elementary and middle school students' writing. The formal workshop ends at noon, but participants are encouraged to stay and explore the Museum's exhibits and attend presentations to find examples of explanation and argumentation.

This workshop is designed for teachers of students in grades 5 – 8, but all interested teachers in other grade bands are welcome.

Registration is limited to Teacher Partners and is required at least two weeks in advance. Free parking is available for this workshop.