Date of Award

Spring 2016

Document Type

Masters Plan B

Department

Science & Mathematics Teaching Center

Advisor

Dr. Ana Houseal, Chair

Second Advisor

Dr. Jeff Lockwood, Member

Third Advisor

Dr. Amy Spiker, Member

Abstract

The adoption of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) by many districts may leave teachers feeling overwhelmed and anxious about implementing the required standards. Through careful and thoughtful planning, both the CCSS and NGSS can be combined to both relieve some of the pressure for the teacher and allow students to gain a deeper understanding to scientific concepts through the connection of writing. This mix-method action research project was conducted to show that CCSS can be supported by the NGSS in a second grade classroom. Students used argumentation and procedural writing to assist creating and carrying out the scientific practices of planning and carrying out investigations and engaging in arguments from evidence to validate claims. Students participated in three scientific investigations involving melting ice. Their final project included an open panel discussion regarding which type of salt melted ice in a tub the quickest. Students had to use their own data, observations, and research to validate arguments for their peers. The teacher unit analysis shows that the standards can be combined and taught simultaneously. Student data showed mastery of procedural writing and growth in the argumentation genre. It also showed a lack of ability at this age to record and analyze their data accurately. This research also highlighted concerns about the progression of the NGSS and its early practice of using argumentation with evidence and the CCSS lack of research in student writing, in particular procedural writing.

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