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Science Writer

Page history last edited by Shelby Hojio 8 years, 6 months ago

 

CAST Science Writer  Making writing a science report easier   

 

CAST Science Writer is a web-tool that can be used to help students break down the parts of a lab report. The website provides directions for each stage of the lab report, making it easy for students and teachers to teach and write lab reports the correct way.  It organizes the steps of the science report for a designated project.  Each step contains draft, revise, and edit stages to help perfect the quality of work throughout the report.  It has a secure login, but no fee for membership.

 

ICONS all graphics came from the CAST science writer website http://sciencewriter.cast.org/projecthome

  Max's Report Max is a helper in giving examples for each step of a lab report.  Max uses an experiment he conducted to guide students through each step.  For example in the Hypothesis stage, Max, provides help by using his experiment to create a hypothesis about how many sticks people throw in the water in each season of the year at the park. 

Sam's Report Sam is a penguin who also gives examples of each step of the lab report according to his experiment.  His experiment is about snowball sizes and how far they go.

Eko's HintEko gives hint regarding the technical areas of the lab report.  She asks students to check spelling, grammar, and capitalization in each step of the lab report.  She also asks students to use a checklist she created to evaluate their work.  When you click on this icon she comes to life and explains the definitions of scientific words and gives helpful hints.  

 

 These icons show up in the top right corner of the web-tool. You can highlight words to be read aloud by the computer.  It will find you the definitions as well. 

Speak the current selection  the 'play' button allows you to control when the computer speaks.

Pauses speech playback  the 'pause' button allows you to pause the computer as it reads aloud.

Stops speech playback  the 'stop' button allows you to stop the computer as it reads aloud.

 

SlowMediumFast  this dropdown menu gives you the option to change the pace the computer reads at. Slow, medium, or fast are the possible choices.

Double-click a word in the book and click this icon to see dictionary definitions   this icon will find the definition of a highlighted word for you.

Double-click a word in the book and click this icon to translate the word into Spanish   the 'replay' button replays what the computer just said to you.

 

The following outline appears on the left side of the screen to categorize each step of the experiment.  Each word/button allows you to navigate to that section of the report.  As seen here, each step of the process has a draft, revise, and edit stage.  In the draft stage, Max and Sam give examples and directions on how to complete each step.  Eko gives hints to make the step more clear.  In the revise and edit stages, Eko creates checklists to emphasize various skills pertaining to each writing process step.  For example, grammar, punctuation, capitalization, and sentence structure are a few of the topics Eko covers within her checklist.

 

Project Home  the 'project home' button allows you to go to the project home page where you can rename the project and view other projects. 

Journal            the 'journal' button allows you to go to the journal page.  Here, you can keep observation notes and journal entries for the project

 

Applications  

1. The CAST Science writer can be used in a lesson that focuses on teaching students the basics of writing a lab report and what each stage entails.  In the lesson, the teacher can run the interactive website allowing the students to only view what he or she allows.  The directions given on the website are very straightforward and Eko's Hints are really helpful in helping students to break down the parts of a  full lab report.

2. The CAST Science writer can be used by students while writing a lab report.  They can interact with the website, typing in their own information into the space provided.  Eko asks the students to edit their work as they go.  The Science Writer helps make writing a lab report less intimidating for students. 

3.  This tool can also be used in a lesson to show that grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, and capitalization are also important to the field of science.  Eko's checklists could be used as a checklist for everything the students write in the class.  

 

Related Websites  

1.  http://sciencewriter.cast.org/welcome click take a tour on the home page to view a tour of the website. 

2. http://www.studygs.net/labreports.htm This website can be helpful if you are working on a lab report for extra hints and information on how to write each stage of a lab roport.

3. http://hoodaword.com/games/grammarninja.php Need extra work on your grammar? Use this game to perfect your skills.

4. http://www.grammarbook.com/ This website can help answer any of your grammar and punctuation  questions.

5. http://writing.colostate.edu/guides/processes/science/ Use this Colorado State University website to help improve your scientific writing voice!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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