Invasive species

Formal Science Writing and Revision Tools: Student and Teacher Rubrics

Here are rubrics in both student and teacher-friendly formats that can be used to monitor progress towards and final assessment of science articles.

Project Information
Grade Level: 
Middle school (grades 6-8)
Resources I used: 
Rubrics were developed in collaboration with teachers participating in the Vital Signs Next Steps Institute: Launching Maine's First Middle School Journal of Scientific Research.
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Formal Science Writing and Revision Tools: Abstracts

Abstracts are often the unfamiliar to students who have not written formal science articles. This minilesson breaks down the information in an abstract into clear, manageable components and provides tools for students to review and strengthen their work.

Project Information
Grade Level: 
Middle school (grades 6-8)
Resources I used: 
This lesson was created and tested by Glenn Powers and 5th through 8th grade science students at the Center for Teaching and Learning in Edgecomb.
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Formal Science Writing and Revision Tools: Titles

The titles of science research articles have particular components that make them different from titles of other forms of writing. These fun and quick minilessons will help students understand the parts of a title and support them in creating their own.

Project Information
Grade Level: 
Middle school (grades 6-8)
Resources I used: 
These lessons were created and tested by Glenn Powers and the 5th through 8th grade science students at the Center for Teaching and Learning in Edgecomb.
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Formal Science Writing and Revision Tools: Discussion and Conclusions

These writing and revision tools are designed to support scientific argumentation. Beginning with the conventional claim, evidence, and reasoning structures, these tools push beyond to encourage students to incorporate discussion of the certainty of their findings and alternative explanations. Resources include a graphic organizer and a new addition of the Vital Signs Scientific Conclusion Peer Review Tool.

Project Information
Grade Level: 
Middle school (grades 6-8)
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Analyze Vital Signs Data Using Tuva--Japanese Knotweed Example

Tuva is an online tool that involves students in manipulating data to create meaningful visualizations. This lesson guides students through making meaning of the Japanese knotweed data from the Vital Signs database. There are also instructions including for exporting Vital Signs data and importing into Tuva so that it can be adapted for use for a variety of topics, provided there is enough data to work with. Teacher instructions and student handouts are included in the attached file.

Project Information
Grade Level: 
Middle school (grades 6-8)
Documents

Formal Science Writing and Revision Tools: Methods

Involving your students in designing investigations? Use these tools to support their planning process. Interested in what students understand about investigations that they are conducting? Here are resources to help them write about what they are doing and why they are doing it. Included on this page is a planning tool designed to organize ideas around conducting investigations and an accompanying peer review tool. Both are extensive and are meant to by pared down according to what aspects of conducting investigations you are focusing on with your students.

Project Information
Grade Level: 
Middle school (grades 6-8)
Resources I used: 
The methods peer review tool was designed and tested by Glenn Powers and the 5th through 8th grade science students at the Center for Teaching and Learning in Edgecomb.
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Formal Science Writing and Revision Tools: Introductions

These tools are designed to support students in constructing and then revising an introduction to a science research article. These two modified versions of the same tools include graphic organizers to structure writing and a revision technique to ensure that the essential information (and nothing extra) is included. These handouts work great in conjunction with a background research jigsaw activity.

Project Information
Grade Level: 
Middle school (grades 6-8)
Resources I used: 
These tools were developed and tested by Glenn Powers and the 5th through 8th grade science students at the Center for Teaching and Learning in Edgecomb and adapted by Elissa Koskela of Belfast.
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Background Research Jigsaw--Japanese Knotweed

Use this structure to support collaborative research. In one to two class periods, students work together to gather and share background information to inform an investigation. Links provided are specific to Japanese knotweed; however, this activity can easily be adapted for any Vital Signs investigation. This is a great activity to prepare students for writing an introduction for a science research article. Included on this page are teacher instructions and accompanying student handouts.

Project Information
Grade Level: 
Middle school (grades 6-8)
Documents

Formal Science Writing: Overview of a Science Article Minilesson

Use this short lesson to introduce students to the structure of a science article. Students skim student work samples to develop an understanding of the organization and essential information communicated in formal scientific writing. This is a great resource for preparing students to produce their own science research articles. Resources attached include lesson descriptions, student handouts, and a completed student work sample.

Project Information
Grade Level: 
Middle school (grades 6-8)
Resources I used: 
Lessons developed and tested by Cynthia Nye and 6th grade GT students at Loranger Memorial School, Old Orchard Beach.
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Invasive Species Interdisciplinary Unit

Last year, staff at the Maine Academy of Natural Sciences worked together to design and implement an invasive species three week unit. This unit is linked to science, technology, art, math, social studies and humanities. We connected with volunteers at the Sebasticook Land Trust, Friends of Messalonskee and Inland Fisheries and Wildlife to bring local issues into the classroom. I have uploaded our syllabus, schedule for the unit, a Vital Signs scavenger hunt and a knowledge rating scale/pre-assessment. I welcome questions or networking opportunities!

Project Information
Grade Level: 
High school (grades 9-12)
Resources I used: 
Vital Signs, local experts, collaborative process with staff
How should others reference your work?: 
egribben, Interdisciplinary Units, Vital Signs, 7/28/17
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