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Practice Writing Claim Evidence and Reasoning Statements All Year

Practice Claim Evidence and Reasoning Statements All Year Long


Today 1st grade was making their daily walk through our hallway after recess.


I was in my room during my planning period and I heard a little voice say, "Look! The wall isn't just black anymore. There's pictures and letters."


Then another very familiar voice said, "Yeah, she finally fixed it up and finished!"


That 2nd voice was my daughter telling her classmate about my bulletin board which sat blank for the last 5 weeks.


I mean, she's not wrong. It's been a doozy adjusting to a new campus, new grade, and new content area!

I usually keep my bulletin board super simple so the focus will be on student work and the learning target. Like this.


I've been using the same constellation ribbon border I found at Joann's and black fabric for 4 years now.


But this year our theme is "Limitless" and has space vibes. So, I set a goal for myself that I would add something else.


My husband asked if I was OK when I was hand cutting out letters, because I've never done that before! 


I sent a DM to Michelle from @mrsbrosseausbinder who was so wonderful and gave me some ideas for how to incorporate the new, absolutely stunning photos emerging from the James Webb Space Telescope. I wanted to add more, but I need some space for student work. 

You should go check out Michelle's lab and the constellations she added to her walls. She also did a mural for her sister's classroom that is just dreamy! And her free monthly goal trackers are just GORGEOUS. I need to print a new set to help me get better with transitions. They're also a great way to encourage students to work towards a goal.


Another section of my bulletin boards that I am keeping and can't wait to start is highlighting various pioneers in different fields.


And our CER practice.


I like to alternate.


One month I put out a CER prompt and students respond on an index card as a "can do" and another month I put up a poster of someone who has made an impact in STEM with QR codes to sites and videos. 



I love to use a free set of posters from Naomi Meredith highlighting 10 Black Women in STEM.


Oh, and the CER prompt above was from a real event that happened in our backyard.


We were investigating 🧲 magnetism at school and my kids had been obsessed with those magnetic tiles at home. Later that afternoon my kids were playing in the backyard and things got rough during tag. My daughter's earring got knocked out by her brother and fell into the grass.


Because I talk about what I'm teaching with my own kids, we had been investigating the kinds of things that a magnet would pick up and my kids started recognizing some metal things were magnetic. 


So, when her earring fell out she asked me if we can go inside and get a magnet to pick up the earring from the grass.


Immediately I thought about my 5th graders and whether or not they could answer this question for my daughter based on our investigations in class. 


So we recorded a little video with my daughter explaining what happened and I played it for my 5th graders the next day.


She asked them, "Can I use a magnet to pick up my earring made of white gold from the grass?" 


I was so excited to see some of their eyes get HUGE when they started writing their claim evidence and reasoning statement. 


My daughter felt like a celebrity when I read her the responses. I had them write it as a letter to her. 


Maybe you are also wanting to get your students to write more in science and also use your bulletin boards as a place to encourage critical thinking all year?


How I use my bulletin boards to practice writing claim evidence and reasoning statements all year


I created 35 other prompts using real situations, photos, and scenarios that I experienced over the years with our nature community and use them to have students practice critical thinking and using science vocabulary all year long.


I took each of the photos with my students in mind and they are aligned to the TEKS in grades 3 - 5. The preview has more detailed information and a preview of each prompt for each content area - physical, earth, and life science.


I display a new CER photo prompt that goes along with our unit to engage students. Then, throughout the unit as we experience and learn new information, students can respond to the prompts. What's amazing is watching their thinking evolve from the first time they saw the photo.


We write a lot in science and students love to see their work on display!



I always tell my students that my goal is they leave me using what they know to explain the world around them. And if they can do that, we will have had a year well spent!


So, it may have taken me 5 weeks. But I'm excited for the year to come!


I'd love to know how you use your bulletin boards.


Tag me on Instagram @ntkidsoutside. I'd love to learn new tips and tricks!