Crosscutting Concepts and CER

With the Next Generation Science Standards, among other shifts, many teachers are incorporating Claim-Evidence-Reasoning prompts as part of student learning. If you’re not already familiar with CER, you might be interested in this Edutopia post or this short video from Teaching Channel.

CER is a great way to engage students in argumentation from evidence and constructing explanations – two key Science and Engineering Practices. Analyzing student CERs is a useful way to assess student understanding of Disciplinary Core Ideas. But what about the third dimension of NGSS – the Crosscutting Concepts? Where can those fit within a CER? Tom Hathorn of Bethel School District has a great pair of posts suggesting that Reasoning is the best home for crosscutting concepts.

Reasoning is generally the most challenging component for students and adults. Thinking that students (and teachers) might benefit from a list of sentence stems, I drafted a few ideas for each crosscutting concept, inspired by a list of prompts from STEM Teaching Tools. This is just a first draft; let me know what you think in the comments!

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