ABSTRACT

It was the first day of the water cycle module when a group of fifth graders were grappling to explain what happens to rain water that evaporates from a puddle. Students suggested multiple ideas; however, it was not clear how all the ideas related to each other. At one point, Eric,1 one of the students, was having a side conversation with others at his table. He looked frustrated and made intense facial expressions and emphatic statements about some of the ideas. Noticing these behaviors, Mr. James, the teacher, invited Eric to share his thinking with the class. Eric expressed confusion about the connections between the different ideas, and as he struggled to communicate his own idea, which concerned water “steaming” and “rising up,” causing the water level to decrease, Eric looked uneasy and anxious. When Mr. James pressed him to clarify his reasoning, Eric became more and more hesitant and showed signs of frustration.