Claim Evidence Reasoning (CER) is definitely one of the foundational principles in modern Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). It is an elegant and essential principle to integrate into your science instruction. It is as simple as having the students get into the habit of using evidence to support the claims that they are making.
As with any change, it can cause questions about how to implement it. One question was certainly how this is different than the standard scientific method, in essence, it is just a distilled version of the scientific question. In that standard scientific method, a question was posed and then a hypothesis is created, after the experiment is done and the data is collected, then the hypothesis can be evaluated and the claim made about whether or not the hypothesis is correct. That claim has to be supported by the evidence/data will solid reasoning. Students are making their arguments about their claims and using evidence/data to back up their arguments.
So, CER is the essence of the standard scientific model and works well with either the more traditional lab writeups with hypotheses or quicker observations of phenomena. The trick is to get keep the focus on supporting those claims with evidence/data in a logical or well-reasoned manner.
Hopefully, the CER templates provided in Sharingtree.net are a good starting point in getting students to do successful CER writeups, if you have your own templates don’t hesitate to add them to Sharingtree.