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Analyzing and Assessing Science Notebooks

Analyzing student work from science notebooks provides two windows into a student’s understanding.

  • Window One—student thinking: What is the student’s prior knowledge of the content? How did the student’s understanding develop through the instruction? Which content is still difficult for students to understand? Feedback on this type of writing is formative and encourages students to continue thinking.
  • Window Two—informational and/or argumentative student writing: This product, written and edited for public presentation, is graded and considered a summative assessment.

The CA CCSS for ELA/Literacy may be addressed in the notebook activities and in students’ final argumentative and/or informational writing, and in other types of science writing.

Review examples of student work appropriate for your grade:

  • Grade 1: An example of a student’s daily science observations. 
  • Upper Elementary: An example of multiple entries about the properties of metal.
  • Middle School:  An example that includes notes from reading, class discussions, and experiments.
  • High School:  An example of a writing task completed at the end of a semester-long instruction that included science and literacy standards and skills developed through writing weekly lab reports.
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