Dare to Disagree, as Scientistsby: Michelle Elaine Pieczura

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As argumentation is weaved into classroom lessons, students know what to ask, how to analyze the given information before forming a conclusion, and are able to support their reasoning with solid evidence. They will hold firm to their conclusions until proven wrong. Whether it’s a discussion about whether air is matter or how speed and friction are related, students will dare to disagree, in a scientific way. In this article, the author highlights the effective methods she has used to guide her students in the process of questioning, researching, and inquiry.

  • Elementary
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Reviews (4)
  • on Tue Nov 01, 2016 10:02 PM

If only I had read the article, Dare to Disagree, before my fourth and fifth grade students shared presentations today. Michelle Elaine Pieczura did a beautiful job explaining how she sets up routines at the beginning of the year that yield respectful arguing. She began by building a learner friendly environment. The example she shared of using the word small to begin a light debate is certainly something I could do in my classroom. Pieczura also stipulated a need to back up arguments with evidence. By modeling, her students are building lifelong collaboration skills. It is hard for even for adults to respectfully agree to disagree. In a room of gifted students, challenging ideas are a common occurrence. This article listed excellent strategies for embracing different ideas and sharing evidence. It was stated that it is okay to adjust thinking after receiving more evidence. Scientists are supposed to be flexible. Modeling was the strategy to build questioning, restating ideas, backing claims with evidence, and considering other points of view. This article is going in my toolbox for the beginning of the year procedures. Effective questioning leads students to discuss ideas. It also encourages students to research answers. Effective questioning facilitates more questions, opinions and organization of ideas. I would highly recommend this article for anyone wanting to hold dynamic group discussions with positive communication skills.

Cara Cook
Cara Cook

  • on Mon Jun 06, 2011 11:49 AM

With the CCSSI (Common Core State Standards Initiative) including argumentation in their LA/R (Language Arts/Reading) section, it is increasingly important that science content be a vehicle for teaching and practicing skills that improve students’ abilities to support their opinions and statements with evidence. This article explains how fourth graders are provided instruction and modeling in using argumentation to learn about friction. The author shows how she weaved argumentation into her science lessons so that students would gain experience in asking questions, analyzing information before forming conclusions, and supporting their reasoning with solid evidence. Teachers looking for ways to embed argumentation into science lessons will find this article worthy of reading.

Carolyn M  (Buffalo Grove, IL)
Carolyn M (Buffalo Grove, IL)

  • on Thu May 05, 2011 3:03 PM

This article provides information on how to guide fourth graders as they practice the skill of effective argumentation. The author models how to engage students in open inquiry and shows how their questions can lead to further research. Cooperative group skills are an important component of argumentation. The author provides insight in how to establish a risk-free environment and atmosphere of mutual respect. Assessment strategies for determining levels of mastery and instructional needs are also mentioned at the end of the article.

Carolyn Mohr  (Buffalo Grove, IL)
Carolyn Mohr (Buffalo Grove, IL)

  • on Wed May 18, 2011 9:55 PM

This teacher outlines her methods for getting students to use claims and evidence to suport a scientific argument. I liked how she models how to disagree respectfully with students. She has examples of real student conversations and how she directed them to do research or design investigations to understand science concepts. This article begins by talking about how to engage in science talk with students, but outlines some key steps to implementing inquiry in the classroom.

Kate  (Louisville, CO)
Kate (Louisville, CO)

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