Aligning Kindergarten Science with TEKS

Instructor: Clio Stearns

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

If you teach kindergarten in Texas, you know how important it is to align your curriculum with TEKS. This lesson focuses on the science standards and how you can meet them in your teaching.

Science and Kindergarten TEKS

Do you teach kindergarten in Texas? If so, you know how much it matters to align your curriculum with the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS). This important set of standards offers a map you can follow to make sure your students have mastered what they need over the course of the year.

In the primary grades, TEKS puts heavy emphasis on literacy and math, but it is important to remember the science and social studies standards as well. This lesson focuses on how you can align your kindergarten science curriculum with the standards.

TEKS Content and Process Strands

At first glance, the TEKS science standards for kindergarten might seem overwhelming. However, the standards are broken down into content and process strands. If you focus your instructional planning on the content strands of the standards, you will find that you can embed process instruction over the course of the year. Whatever specific content you are teaching, make sure you give your kindergarteners plenty of chances to ask questions, follow procedures, make observations, and undertake investigations. By doing these things, you will already have many of the standards covered.

When planning to teach science content, consider organizing your year into four major units of study. Let's look at what these units are and what each of them should include.

Matter and Energy

Part of learning science under TEKS involves understanding what matter is and how it works. Start your year with a unit about matter for your kindergarteners.

In this unit, you will teach your students how to observe objects and record what they notice about things. Some properties kindergarteners should learn about include size, mass, color, and texture. Students will also learn to compare and contrast objects with one another.

In this unit, you can also do investigations that help your students understand how heating and cooling an object might change it. For instance, kindergarteners might explore what happens to water when it is extremely hot or cold.

Force, Motion, and Energy

A second science unit will focus your students' attention on how force, motion, and energy work and impact their daily lives. In this unit, you will teach your students about light, heat, and sound energy and how they can be explored using all five senses.

This unit will also allow your students to learn about magnets and magnetism, including what objects are and are not magnetic. Give your students a chance to investigate different ways they can describe how objects are positioned in relation to one another and how different kinds of objects can move. For instance, students might say that an object moves fast, slow, in a straight line, or round and round.

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