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Engaging Students: Using Crosscutting Concepts to Prompt Student Sensemaking of Phenomena

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The Framework for K-12 Science Education (NRC, 2012) identifies three dimensions from which K-12 science education must be built around. One of the three dimensions, crosscutting concepts, unify the study of science and engineering across all domains of science and engineering. Though the dimension of crosscutting concepts is essential to support student learning in learning science and engineering it is also the least understood. This workshop will provide educators with meaningful insights into how to use the dimension of crosscutting concepts to structure prompts that engage students in reasoning how and why phenomena occur. The intent of this session is to help participants create consistent and clear prompts structured around crosscutting concepts that could be used within each phase of the Gathering, Reasoning, and Communicating (GRC) model. The crosscutting concepts provide a consistent language for educators to communicate with students. By designing prompts with crosscutting concepts, the focus of the student's thinking can be directed to key aspects of the phenomenon being investigated which sets the stage for meaningful formative assessment opportunities.

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