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Aligning 4th Grade Science with TEKS

Instructor: Clio Stearns

Clio has taught education courses at the college level and has a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction.

As a teacher in Texas, you are familiar with the importance of TEKS. This lesson offers you some ideas that will help align your fourth grade science curriculum with the standards.

Fourth Grade Science and TEKS

Are you a fourth grade teacher in the state of Texas? If so, you know all about the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills and why they are important. Sometimes, it may feel daunting to try to figure out how to align all the aspects of your curriculum with these standards. However, the more you understand about the standards and how they work, the better equipped you will be to make sure you teach everything you need to.

Fourth grade science under TEKS has to do with both the process of acquiring scientific knowledge using a variety of techniques, and specific scientific content dealing mostly with the natural world. With your fourth graders, you can conduct exciting investigations that help them understand how the world works and why things work the way they do. This lesson will familiarize you with the fourth grade TEKS science guidelines in a way that helps you align your own curriculum.

Aligning Your Curriculum

As you work to align your curriculum with the fourth grade TEKS requirements, remember that any investigations you do with your students will teach them about safety in conducting scientific inquiry, and will help them develop their reasoning skills. These particular standards are not necessarily things you need to teach explicitly; instead, you will embed processes and habits of mind into your more direct content instruction. To align your curriculum with the standards, try to think in terms of discrete units of study that address content standards. Within each unit, make sure you are thinking about inquiry, investigation, the scientific method, the ability to think critically and make inferences, and communication of scientific knowledge.

Matter and Energy

One big unit in fourth grade should focus on matter and energy. Your fourth graders should learn about how matter works and how people classify matter, as well as how it is changed and used. In this unit, focus investigations around:

  • Measurement, comparison and contrast of the different physical properties matter can have, like mass, size, volume, and state
  • Changes in matter, including when it is heated or cooled
  • Comparing and contrasting different mixtures and solutions, like sand and water, sugar and water or oil and water

Force, Motion and Energy

Another major fourth grade unit can focus on energy. In this unit, teach your students about:

  • How to categorize different kinds of energy, like thermal energy, light energy, mechanical and electrical energy
  • Tell the difference between a conductor and an insulator
  • Explain how an electrical circuit works and how electromagnetic fields work
  • Investigate kinds of forces including magnetism, friction and gravity

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