448050911201448 5 Tips for Writing a Great Science CER | Polka Dots and Protons - Interactive Science Notebooks & More

My goal is to make interactive science notebooks engaging for 5th grade and middle school science students while improving science test scores. NGSS expert, teacher, tpt author, mom, & widow

5 Tips for Writing a Great Science CER

Are you looking to streamline CER science writing and make it easier for you and your students? Let me share 5 tips and a great CER writing strategy that has improved my students' CER science writing.

what does cer stand for

What is the CER format? This graphic makes it clear what CER stands for.
This handout is part of the CER resource in my store. Click Here  to see this product

A CER includes a Claim, Evidence, and Reasoning. These 5 tips will help your students write a solid science CER.

1. Everyone Gets a Great Start with a Solid Claim:

Start by posing the question and having students write their claim on a personal white board. Remind students that a claim is a one sentence answer that restates and answers the question. Students discuss their claim with those around them and improve it. Use popsicle sticks or another method to have students share their claims with the class. Is it great? Does it need to be adjusted? Discuss and point out great claims. Give points and praise. We are learning together so if a student needs to take ideas from another, it's okay. 

2. CER Science Templates

We all need extra help sometimes and students need guidance to write a great CER. I often include sentence frames on a Google doc in Google Classroom. Students can use the sentence frames or not. It is just to get them started if needed. Here are some examples of sentence frames I've used.

3. Be clear about the difference between evidence and reasoning

These are easy to get confused. 
Evidence is observations or data. Evidence can include a graph, data table, or an explanation of observations. It deals with facts
Reasoning clearly explains how the evidence connects to the claim. Scientific principles or vocabulary is explained correctly.

4. Model and Provide CER writing examples from the class or other sources


Download the CER Writing Example Here 
A forced copy will be added to your Google Drive

Share CER writing examples of student work throughout the process so the goal is clear. With a student's permission, I will share their CER and point out the positives. This builds confidence and gives a clear expectation. It is worth the time to lay the foundation for CER writing. 

5. Clear CER Science Rubric                                        

Go over the CER science rubric multiple times. Have students give feedback to each other. Two glows and a grow is a great feedback style. (2 specific compliments and then a suggestion) If you are able, give feedback via Google Classroom while students are working on their CER.
Click here for Editable CER Science Rubric in my store.

I'd love to hear from you! 

Comment below: What tip do you find the most helpful? What tips do you have for others teaching science CER writing?

Resources you might like with CER science activities:
Click Here to See in My Store

Click Here to See in My Store

Are you looking for more ways to keep your students reading and writing? Check out this blog post from Mentoring in the Middle. Click Here for Three Easy Suggestions that Will Keep Your Kids Reading and Writing.

Would you like a FREEBIE about the greenhouse gas effect? This freebie includes sketch notes, a CER, and a digital and print quiz. Click HERE to get this FREEBIE!