Carla L. Zembal-Saul, Pennsylvania State University
Katherine L. McNeill, Boston College, Boston College
Kimber Hershberger, State College Area School District, Radio Park School
The purpose of the Book Study Facilitator’s Guide is to provide ideas on how to conduct a Book Study group or professional development series to accompany the book What’s Your Evidence? Engaging K-5 Students in Constructing Explanations in Science by Carla Zembal-Saul, Katherine L. McNeill and Kimber Hershberger. Current science reform documents and standards argue for the importance of students being able to generate scientific evidence, explain natural phenomena, and participate in science talk and science writing. Critical as they are, these are challenging scientific practices for students to engage in and for teachers to plan for and implement in class. Engaging in Book Study can help teachers better support their students in these key aspects of science learning.
There are two goals of this guide: (1) to support the development of a collaborative teacher community that shares a common interest and supports each other in their work; and (2) to link the ideas presented in the book to classroom practice in which students construct scientific explanations in both writing and talk. This Book Study guide provides participants with an avenue to collaborate with their colleagues to discuss the ideas in the book, try the scientific explanation framework (i.e., claim, evidence, reasoning, and rebuttal) with their students, and bring student work and video clips back to discuss with their colleagues to reflect on how to continue to improve their practice. The purpose of the guide is not to cover every idea discussed in the book, but rather to extend the key ideas and to provide suggestions on how to discuss those ideas in a teacher community, and how to try out the ideas in classrooms. The Book Study model provides an excellent opportunity for professional development in which teachers are able to consider and apply current research to their own classroom.
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