Skills and Processes :
State Curriculum Toolkit
Tools aligned to State Curriculum indicators and/or objectives.
Introduction for Standard or Indicator
Public Release Items
Actual MSA items and annotated student responses as appropriate
Standard 1.0 Skills and Processes
Students will demonstrate the thinking and acting inherent in the practice of science.
A. Constructing Knowledge
- Support investigative findings with data found in books, articles, and databases, and identify the sources used and expect others to do the same.
- Select and use appropriate tools hand lens or microscope (magnifiers), centimeter ruler (length), spring scale (weight), balance (mass), Celsius thermometer (temperature), graduated cylinder (liquid volume), and stopwatch (elapsed time) to augment observations of objects, events, and processes.
- Explain that comparisons of data might not be fair because some conditions are not kept the same.
- Recognize that the results of scientific investigations are seldom exactly the same, and when the differences are large, it is important to try to figure out why.
- Follow directions carefully and keep accurate records of one's work in order to compare data gathered.
- Identify possible reasons for differences in results from investigations including unexpected differences in the methods used or in the circumstances in which the investigation is carried out, and sometimes just because of uncertainties in observations.
Judge whether measurements and computations of quantities are reasonable in a familiar context by comparing them to typical values when measured to the nearest:
- Millimeter - length
- Square centimeter - area
- Milliliter - volume
- Newton - weight
- Gram - mass
- Second - time
- Degree C - temperature
B. Applying Evidence and Reasoning
- 1. Seek better reasons for believing something than "Everybody knows that..." or "I just know" and discount such reasons when given by others.
- Develop explanations using knowledge possessed and evidence from observations, reliable print resources, and investigations.
- Offer reasons for their findings and consider reasons suggested by others.
- Review different explanations for the same set of observations and make more observations to resolve the differences.
- Keep a notebook that describes observations made, carefully distinguishes actual observations from ideas and speculations about what was observed, and is understandable weeks or months later.
C. Communicating Scientific Information
- 1. Recognize that clear communication is an essential part of doing science because it enables scientists to inform others about their work, expose their ideas to criticism by other scientists, and stay informed about scientific discoveries around the world.
- Make use of and analyze models, such as tables and graphs to summarize and interpret data.
- Avoid choosing and reporting only the data that show what is expected by the person doing the choosing.
- Submit work to the critique of others which involves discussing findings, posing questions, and challenging statements to clarify ideas.
- Construct and share reasonable explanations for questions asked.
- Recognize that doing science involves many different kinds of work and engages men and women of all ages and backgrounds.
- Choose appropriate common materials for making simple mechanical constructions and repairing things.
- Realize that there is no perfect design and that usually some features have to be sacrificed to get others, for example, designs that are best in one respect (safety or ease of use) may be inferior in other ways (cost or appearance).
- Identify factors that must be considered in any technological design-cost, safety, environmental impact, and what will happen if the solution fails.
- 1. DESIGNED SYSTEMS: Investigate a variety of mechanical systems and analyze the relationship among the parts.
- Realize that in something that consists of many parts, the parts usually influence one another.
- Explain that something may not work as well (or at all) if a part of it is missing, broken, worn out, mismatched, or misconnected.
- Explain that a model is a simplified imitation of something and that a model's value lies in suggesting how the thing modeled works.
- Investigate and describe that seeing how a model works after changes are made to it may suggest how the real thing would work if the same were done to it.
- Explain that models, such as geometric figures, number sequences, graphs, diagrams, sketches, number lines, maps, and stories can be used to represent objects, events, and processes in the real world, although such representations can never be exact in every detail.
- Realize that one way to make sense of something is to think how it is like something more familiar.
Note: Highlighting identifies assessment limits. All highlighted Indicators will be tested on the Grades 5 and 8 MSA. The highlighted Objectives under each highlighted Indicator identify the limit to which MSA items can be written. Although all content standards are tested on MSA, not all Indicators and Objectives are tested. Objectives that are not highlighted will not be tested on MSA, however are an integral part of Instruction.