New Elementary Science Grading

  • As a result of the new Next Generation Science Standards being adopted in the State of Washington, NTPS has made significant shifts to our science curriculum and instructional approach over the last few years. At the elementary level, the final stage of this shift is to align our grading and reporting to these new standards. 

    We have developed grade-level specific inserts that outline Science and Engineering Practices that we will be grading and what each might look like at that specific grade level. Additionally, we have a parent letter to share that explains in more detail the shift and what you might expect.

K - 5 Elementary Science Instructional Materials

  • The science materials adopted for use in the North Thurston Public Schools are predominantly STEMscopes, ETA hand2mind STEM in Action, and Building Blocks of Science (BBS). STEMscopes was developed by Rice University and is published by Accelerate Learning. ETA hand2mind STEM in Action is developed in conjunction with Purdue University and Texas A & M. Building Blocks of Science was written and is currently published by Carolina Biological.

Kindergarten - Science

  • Kindergarten students focus on developmentally appropriate science exploration through Questioning/Wondering, Observation, and Sketching Observations (with labels if possible) to start the year and experience a common field experience to launch their scientific work in the fall. While working within Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), these beginning Science and Engineering Practices are where kindergarten scientists spend most of their time investigating topics of Weather and Climate (Earth and Space), Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems: Animals, Plants, and their Environment (Life Science), and Forces and Interactions: Pushes and Pulls (Physical Science).
     
    STEMscopes by Accelerate Learning
    Kindergarten students begin STEMscopes lessons (called scopes) after their fall science launch of Science and Engineering Practices in NGSS to focus learning within Physical Science, Life Science and Earth & Space Science. Classes have opportunities to go more deeply in science through authentic questions and interest shared by students in a bank of scopes available to all teachers and students. Learn more about STEMScopes
     
    The kindergarten science curriculum is reinforced with a locally relevant, standards-aligned STEM Field Study and the STEM in Action kits, Push, Pull, Go! and Sunny Sandybox.

First Grade - Science

  • First grade students also have a common fall field experience as part of their core science program, and jump into STEMscopes learning right away to prepare for that outdoor learning experience as well as build skills to use afterward in the classroom.

    STEMscopes by Accelerate Learning
    First grade classes are also focused on Science and Engineering Practices in order to cultivate scientific behaviors that are outlined in Next Generation Science Standards. Investigations in first grade include exploring Space Systems: Patterns & Cycles (Earth and Space Science), Properties of Sound and Light Waves (Physical Science) and Animal Body Structures, Functions, and Information Processing (Life Science). First grade STEMscopes has more scopes for students to experience as part of core science instruction, and inquiry and engineering design tasks deepen their rigor through projects and units. Learn more about STEMScopes

    The first grade science curriculum is reinforced with a locally relevant, standards-aligned STEM Field Study and the STEM in Action kit Wild Feet.

Second Grade - Science

  • STEMscopes by Accelerate Learning
    Second grade classes work more deeply within the Next Generation Science Standards to learn about Structures and Properties of Matter, Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems, and Processes that Shape the Earth while balancing all the Science and Engineering Practices. Collaborating with teammates on projects is also stressed, not only in preparation for third grade, but also because it's a real life skill that scientists and engineers must have! Learn more about STEMScopes
     
    The second grade science curriculum is reinforced with a locally relevant, standards-aligned STEM Field Study and the STEM in Action kits Helicopter Hang Time and Muddy Mats.

Third Grade - Science

  • Building Blocks of Science: "Forces and Interactions" of Carolina Biological
     
    In Forces and Interactions, students use Science and Engineering Practices to:
    • Plan and conduct investigations to provide evidence of the effects of balanced and unbalanced forces on the motion of an object (NGSS Performance Expectation 3-PS2-1)
    • Make observations and measurements of an object's motion to provide evidence that a pattern can be used to predict future motion (NGSS Performance Expectation 3-PS2-2)
    • Ask questions to determine cause and effect relationships of electric or magnetic interactions between two objects not in contact with each other (NGSS Performance Expectation 3-PS2-3)
    • Define a simple design problem than can be solved by applying scientific ideas about magnets. (NGSS Performance Expectation 3-PS2-4)
     
    Building Blocks of Science: "Weather and Climate Patterns" by Carolina Biological

    In Weather and Climate Patterns, students use Science and Engineering Practices to:
    • Represent data in table and graphical displays to describe typical weather conditions expected during a particular season (NGSS Performance Expectation 3-ESS2-1)
    • Obtain and combine information to describe climates in different regions of the world (NGSS Performance Expectation 3-ESS2-2)
    • Make a claim about the merit of a design solution that reduces the impacts of a weather-related hazard (NGSS Performance Expectation 3-ESS3-1)
     
    Building Blocks of Science: "Life in Ecosystems" by Carolina Biological

    In Life in Ecosystems, students use Science and Engineering Practices to:
    • Develop models to describe that organisms have unique and diverse life cycles but all have in common birth, growth, reproduction, and death (NGSS Performance Expectation 3-LS1-1)
    • Construct an argument that some animals form groups that help members survive (NGSS Performance Expectation 3-LS2-1)
    • Analyze and interpret data to provide evidence that plants and animals have traits inherited from parents and that variation of these traits exists in a group of similar organisms (NGSS Performance Expectation 3-LS3-1)
    • Use evidence to support the explanation that traits can be influence by the environment (NGSS Performance Expectation 3-LS3-2)
    • Analyze and interpret data from fossils to provide evidence of the organisms and environments in which they lived long ago (NGSS Performance Expectation 3-LS4-1)
    • Use evidence to construct an explanation for how the variations in characteristics among individuals of the same species may provide advantages in surviving, finding mates, and reproducing (NGSS Performance Expectation 3-LS4-2)
    • Construct an argument with evidence that in a particular habitat, some organisms can survive well, survive less well, and some cannot survive at all (NGSS Performance Expectation 3-LS4-3)
    • Make a claim about the merit of a solution to a problem caused when the environment changes and the types of plants and animals that live there may change (NGSS Performance Expectation 3-LS4-4)

    The Building Blocks of Science curriculum is reinforced with a locally relevant, standards-aligned STEM Field Study.

Fourth Grade - Science

  • Building Blocks of Science: “Plant and Animal Structures” of Carolina Biological
     
    In Plant and Animal Structures, students use Science and Engineering Practices to:
    • Construct an argument that plants and animals have internal and external structures that function to support survival, growth, behavior, and reproduction (NGSS Performance Expectation 4-LS1-1)
    • Use a model to describe that animals receive different types of information through their senses, process the information in their brain, and respond to the information in different ways (NGSS Performance Expectation 4-LS1-2)
    • Develop a model to describe that light reflecting from objects and entering the eyes allow objects to be seen (NGSSP Performance Expectation 4-PS4-2)
     
    Building Blocks of Science: “Energy Works” of Carolina Biological
     
    In Energy Works, students use Science and Engineering Practices to:
    • Use evidence to construct an explanation relating the speed of an object to the energy of that object (NGSS Performance Expectation 4-PS3-1)
    • Make observations to provide evidence that energy can be transferred from place to place by sound, light heat, and electric currents (NGSS Performance Expectation 4-PS3-2)
    • Ask questions and predict outcomes about the changes in energy that occur when objects collide (NGSS Performance Expectation 4-PS3-3)
    • Apply scientific ideas to design, test, and refine a device that converts energy from one form to another (NGSS Performance Expectation 4-PS3-4)
    • Develop a model of waves to describe patterns in terms of amplitude and wavelength and that waves can cause objects to move (NGSS Performance Expectation 4-PS4-1)
    • Generate and compare multiple solutions that use patterns to transfer information (NGSS Performance Expectations 4-PS4-3)
    • Obtain and combine information to describe that energy and fuels are derived from natural resources and their uses affect the environment (NGSS Performance Expectation 4-ESS3-2)
     
    Building Blocks of Science: "Changing Earth" of Carolina Biological
     
    In Changing Earth, students will use Science and Engineering Practices to:
    • Identify evidence from patterns in rock formations and fossils in rock layers to support an explanation for changes in a landscape over time (NGSS Performance Expectation 4-ESS1-1)
    • Make observations and/or measurements to provide evidence of the effects of weathering or the rate of erosion by water, ice, wind, or vegetation (NGSS Performance Expectation 4-ESS 2-1)
    • Analyze and interpret data from maps to describe patterns of Earth's features (NGSS Performance Expectation 4-ESS2-2)
    • Generate and compare multiple solutions to reduce the impacts of natural Earth processes on humans (NGSS Performance Expectation 4-ESS3-2) 
     The Building Blocks of Science curriculum is reinforced with a locally relevant, standards-aligned STEM Field Study.

Fifth Grade - Science

  • Building Blocks of Science: "Structures and Properties of Matter" of Carolina Biological
     
    In Structures and Properties of Matter, students will use Science and Engineering Practices to:
    • Develop a model to describe how matter is made of particles too small to be seen (NGSS Performance Expectation 5-PS1-1)
    • Measure and graph quantities to provide evidence that, regardless of the type of change that occurs when heating, cooling, or mixing substance, the total weight of matter is conserved (NGSS Performance Expectation 5-PS1-2)
    • Make observations and measurements to identify materials based on their properties (NGSS Performance Expectation 5-PS1-3)
    • Conduct investigations to determine whether the mixing of two or more substances results in new substances (NGSS Performance Expectation 5-PS1-4)

    Building Blocks of Science: “Earth and Space Systems” of Carolina Biological
     
    In Earth and Space Systems, students use Science and Engineering Practices to:
    • Support an argument that the gravitational force exerted by Earth on objects is directed down (NGSS Performance Expectation 5-PS2-1)
    • Support an argument that differences in the apparent brightness of the sun compared to other stars is due to their relative distances from Earth (NGSS Performance Expectation 5-ESS1-1)
    • Represent data in graphical displays to reveal patterns of daily changes in length and direction of shadows, day and night, and the seasonal appearance of some stars in the night sky (NGSS Performance Expectation 5-ESS1-2)
    • Develop a model using an example to describe the ways the geosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere, and/or atmosphere interact (NGSS Performance Expectation 5-ESS2-1)
    • Describe and graph the amounts and percentages of water and fresh water in various reservoirs to provide evidence about the distribution of water on Earth (NGSS Performance Expectation 5-ESS2-2)
    • Obtain and combine information about ways individual communities use scientific ideas to protect the Earth's resources and environment (NGSS Performance Expectation 5-ESS3-1)
     
    Building Blocks of Science: "Matter and Energy in Ecosystems" of Carolina Biological
     
    In Matter and Energy in Ecosystems, students will use Science and Engineering Practices to:
    • Support an argument that plants get the materials they need for growth chiefly from air and water (NGSS Performance Expectation 5-LS1-1)
    • Develop a model to describe the movement of matter among plants, animals, decomposers, and the environment (NGSS Performance Expectation 5-LS2-1)
    • Develop a model using an example to describe the ways the geosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere, and/or atmosphere interact (NGSS Performance Expectation 5-ESS2-1)
    • Obtain and combine information about ways individual communities use science ideas to protect the earth's resources and environment (NGSS Performance Expectation 5-ESS3-1)
    • Use models to describe that energy in animals' food (used for body repair, growth, motion, and to maintain body warmth) was once energy from the sun (NGSS Performance Expectation 5-PS3-1)

    The Building Blocks of Science curriculum is reinforced with a locally relevant, standards-aligned STEM Field Study.