I've wanted to write about this for a long time. Two years ago, I had a difficult session sitting down with my wife and eldest daughter to discuss whi...
How to choose a secondary school
November 23, 2013
May 1, 2013
The English Paper 1, has a high weightage towards the total English marks. Parents and pupils know this fact yet they dread the paper because most fi...
The good writer, has always been in you.
November 6, 2015
Using the CER(Claim, Evidence, Reasoning) method in Primary 3 and 4 Science
January 18, 2019
As parents, many of you would have seen your child bring home science worksheets which require them to answer using the CER method, and are unsure of how to guide them to solve those questions. So what is the CER method? The CER method stands for Claim, Evidence and Reasoning. It is developed to encourage students to answer a scientific problem using data to support their answers. This method is used to train students to develop the necessary skillset to tackle the PSLE answering format.
C – Claim. When you make a claim, it is supposed to be a statement which is unsubstantiated. This statement has to answer the original question. For example, in a question with woodlice in a box, a student can make a claim which is “woodlice prefer to live in dark areas”
E – Evidence. Provide evidence to your claim. This evidence must always be based on whatever diagram, model, table or graph that is presented in the question. Evidence is typically numerical in nature, i.e. the student must quote the significant numbers to substantiate their claims. For example, in the same woodlice question, a student can say “after 2h, there are 10 woodlice in the sheltered area, and 0 woodlice in the lighted area”. Note that in the answer, the student needs to quote and compare these statistics presented.
R – Reasoning. Reasoning is the use of scientific concepts to explain your claim and evidence. These scientific concepts are usually limited by the scope of your issued textbook, i.e. your answer should include keywords or key concepts quoted in that specific topic in the textbook. An example of a good reasoning answer would be “some animals are nocturnal in nature. Because more woodlice are in the sheltered area, this means that they are nocturnal and prefer the dark or will be more active in the dark”
Some parents might ask, is this exact answering scheme required of my child in PSLE? Of course not, the questions in PSLE science do not segregate the questions into its individual CER components and expect an answer as such. However, you must bear in mind that this mode of answering is effective for training your child to become a learner who can give proper scientific answers, which is what the PSLE is looking for. I hope you find this information useful for your child’s academic growth.