A Word
to the Teacher
Before You Begin
Gateways to Science
(Gateways) is not just a textbook;
it is an instructional
program designed around you, your middle school students, and the T exas
Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS).
It includes the structure, organization,
balance, and presentation of content to meet the diverse needs of all students
in the science classroom. Based 100% on the conceptual development of the
state-mandated curriculum, the program promotes student success on the State
of T exas Assessments of Academic Readiness (ST AAR™) for which you and your
students are held accountable.
is based on five guiding principles taken from the recommendations of
the National Science Education Standards, the Benchmarks for Science Literacy,
and other prominent works in the area of science education.
Science is for all students.
All students can achieve
success in science if given the opportunity.
experiences spaced over several years are required to develop the understanding of
most scientific concepts and processes.
Learning science is an active process that includes both individual
and social processing.
Effective science instruction requires both physical and mental activity on a regular
and consistent basis.
Students must have
opportunities to develop understandings
sharing and refining their thinking individually and through peer interactions.
Students must accept and share responsibility for their own learning.
T eachers must set expectations for each student to take responsibility for his or her
in both individual and group settings.
Teachers must consistently model the habits of mind necessary for
scientific literacy, including values, attitudes, communication skills, and
critical thinking.
Curiosity, skepticism, honesty, willingness to communicate, and a strong persistence
to think critically and solve problems must all be demonstrated and encouraged by
the teacher.
Curriculum, instruction, and assessment must be aligned.
T eachers must maximize every minute of instructional time by
remaining true to a
close alignment among the components of curriculum, instruction, and assessment.
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