Reflection: Writing Arguments from Evidence - Section 4: Evaluate


This student work example illustrates some of the challenges and celebrations of working with 6th grade students to write thoughtful and sound arguments. This example Argument from Evidence Student Example is the product of five conferences with the student (each of a minute or two) to help him hone his craft. This student was highly motivated and responded well to feedback. His goal was to work on providing relevant evidence to support his claim.

This student made a valid claim. We worked together extensively to find a way he could represent his data, so that his claim and reasoning could refer directly to his data. He decided that his data table from the lab would be a good way to show his data in an organized way. Then the challenges start. His claim was: "The way you measure the speed of an object is by dividing (sic) distance and time". A common error in argument writing is the tendency to want to explain everything. This student explains why the data doesn't make sense (could've been a great claim) and the errors involved in the experiment. There are also multiple claims - which could work well in a lab conclusion, but not for a focused conclusion argument. There is also little reasoning about how his data supports his first claim. In fact, he refers to his data to support a different claim that his "answers were not accurate".

When we completed evaluation of his work, this student could identify some of the problems with his final draft: there are spelling errors; the reasoning is minimal and only sort of links to his claim; the organization is challenged; and he includes multiple claims. When assessing his answer, the growth that resulted from the beginning of the process to the end was astronomical. Compared to the standard, he is on his way, and this represents success!

  Conferencing with Students to Promote Growth
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Writing Arguments from Evidence

Unit 1: Communicating Scientifically
Lesson 2 of 6

Objective: SWBAT write arguments using evidence and reasoning to support their claims.

Big Idea: Expert communication skills are required when explaining and presenting scientific ideas - master the art of arguing using claims, evidence and reasoning.

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