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DOUBLE TAP TO ZOOM ON PHONE OR TABLET of two seashells; (2) by using a nonstandard unit, such as interlocking cubes, to mea- sure length; or (3) by using a standard unit, such as a tape measure. Communicate Reporting the outcome of a scientific investigation is important for the advancement of scientific knowledge. Scientists communicate with one another and with the public by discussing their findings verbally at conferences and lectures, respond- ing to interviews through the media, or recording and publishing their results. Children communicate their findings by talking with adults and other children or recording their data through writing, dictation, symbols (tallies or marks), pictures, gestures, and demonstrations. Infer To infer means to come to a conclusion based on evidence or reasoning. Children often rely on repetition of some type of action or experimentation before they form a conclusion. If they notice that the result is the same each time they perform a given action, then they conclude that this will continue to be the case. Children may also form an inference if they observe a recurring event. For example, if they notice repeatedly that birds fly, they may incorrectly infer that all birds fly. Use technology/tools The use of technology and tools is part of conducting a scientific investigation. Because of the importance of understanding how to use scientific tools appropri- ately, this is often listed as a component of scientific inquiry for science education purposes. What are some characteristics of children accustomed to an inquiry- based classroom? Children in inquiry-based classrooms, especially those rich in potential for scientific learning, do not wait for teachers to tell them how to find information or solve problems. Instead, they react as scientists might, envisioning possibilities, experimenting with how objects react, and observing the results. Children are natural scientists. They poke and prod whatever they discover. This is how children obtain the raw data necessary to form relationships and to learn. Children in inquiry-based classrooms retain this experimental fervor. They do not hang back and wait for the teacher to tell them the one correct way to use a tool or recite a list of attributes to memorize about a material. Rather, they expect to dis- cover things for themselves as they explore. Children are the problem solvers. Chil- dren are the scientists. 6   CHAPTER 1 COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL