Researchers are trying to develop assessments for inquiry practices to elicit students’ deep science learning, but few studies have examined the relationship between students’ doing, i.e. performance assessment, and writing, i.e. open responses, during inquiry. Inquiry practices include generating hypotheses, collecting data, interpreting data, warranting claims, and communicating findings . The first four practices involve “doing” science, whereas the last involves writing scientific explanations, i.e. arguing using evidence. In this study, we explored whether what students wrote in their constructed responses reflected what they did during science inquiry in the Inq-ITS system. Results showed that more than half of the students’ writing did not match what they did in the environment. Findings revealed multiple types of students in the messy middle, which has implications for both teacher instruction and intelligent tutoring systems, such as Inq-ITS, in terms of providing real-time feedback for students to address the full complement of inquiry practices .