Supporting Upper Elementary Students’ Engineering Practices in an Integrated Science and Engineering Unit.
To support teachers in providing all students with opportunities to engage in engineering learning activities, research must examine the ways that elementary teachers support how diverse learners engage with engineering ideas and practices. This study focuses on two teachers' verbal supports in classroom discussions across two class sections of a four-week, NGSS-aligned unit that challenged students to redesign their school to reduce water runoff. We examine the research question: How and to what extent do upper-elementary teachers verbally support students' engagement with engineering practices across diverse classroom contexts in an NGSS-aligned integrated science unit? Classroom audio data was collected daily and coded to analyze support through different purposes of teacher talk. Results reveal the purpose of teachers’ talk often varied between the class sections depending on the instructional activity and indicate that teachers utilized a variety of supports toward students' engagement in different engineering practices. In one class, with a large percentage of students with individualized educational plans, teachers provided more epistemic talk about the engineering practices to contextualize the particular activities. For the other class, with a large percentage of students in advanced mathematics, teachers provided more opportunities for students to engage in discussion and support for students tomore »