Reflection: Debate Parenting 101! - Section 6: Evaluate:


Science and Engineering Practice 7: Engaging in Argument from Evidence

When I first read this SEP I thought, "HOLY MACKEREL! This is a big one."  I went to the Appendix in order to find out exactly what this SEP was asking of my first grade students.   In the definition of this practice it states:

Scientists and engineers engage in argumentation when investigating a phenomenon, testing a design solution, resolving questions about measurements, building data models, and using evidence to evaluate claims.

It occurred to me that the first thing I needed to do in my classroom was to create a safe environment where students learned how to agree and disagree in subject matter.  This is can be quite challenging with young students so I went to the expert, Stephen Covey and as a class we practiced Habit 5:

Habit 5 — Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood

Listen Before You Talk

I listen to other people’s ideas and feelings. I try to see things from their viewpoints. I listen to others without interrupting. I am confident in voicing my ideas. I look people in the eyes when talking.

These lessons were powerful for my young learners.  It instilled in them a sense of acceptance without making feel like they were not validated in their thinking.  We even created an Accountable Talk anchor chart with specific language that could be used to help guide these conversations.

As we respectfully learned how to listen, think and then speak I then used that to teach argumentative writing starting by asking my students to defend their writing using evidence.  This seemed like a natural next step. I model how to do this over and over again before asking my students to give it a go. 

While modeling I lead rich discussions about the following SEP 7 (K-2) expectations:

  • Identify arguments that are supported by evidence.
  • Distinguish between explanations that account for all gathered evidence and those that do not.
  • Analyze why some evidence is relevant to a scientific question and some is not.
  • Distinguish between opinions and evidence in one’s own explanations.
  • Listen actively to arguments to indicate agreement or disagreement based on evidence and/or to retell the main points of the argument.
  • Construct an argument with evidence to support a claim.
  • Make a claim about the effectiveness of an object, tool, or solution that is supported by relevant evidence.

  Debate: Engaging in Argument from Evidence
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Parenting 101!

Unit 5: Unit 5: Animal Families
Lesson 4 of 11

Objective: SWBAT identify whether or not animals take care of their young.

Big Idea: Do all animals take care of their babies? In this lesson my students get to investigate the different animal classifications in search of this animal!

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