A Word to the Teacher
Throughout Gateways, students are required to maintain a written science notebook
or interactive notebook. The student edition asks students to record their thoughts,
observations, collected data, drawings, and other information on a regular basis.
The back of the student edition includes an appendix that provides information and
scoring rubrics for many of the learning strategies that are employed throughout the
5 E lessons.
Areas of Study
Each elementary grade level of Gateways is divided into four major units of study—
Matter and Energy
Force, Motion, and Energy
Earth and Space
Organisms and Environments
These four units of Gateways are based on the specific reporting categories for
Elementary School Science STAAR.
The TEKS included under Scientific Investigation and Reasoning are embedded in
the curriculum and will be taught throughout the school year.
Instructional Strategies
Gateways uses active, varied instructional approaches during the units of study.
Students learn the “whys and hows” of science rather than just the “whats and
whens.” The built-in variety of instructional strategies helps motivate both teachers
and students, while the built-in consistency of the lesson structure provides a
familiar, nonthreatening learning environment.
Strategies for Activating Prior Knowledge
Brainstorming is a process used to generate ideas for individuals or for groups.
There are no “dumb ideas.” Sometimes seemingly foolish ideas serve as a catalyst
for other ideas. Brainstorming is not a debate, and it is not an evaluation of ideas.
The quantity of brainstormed ideas is more important than the quality.
Possible organizational strategies to involve everyone in the process include:
Teacher announces that everyone must generate three ideas on three separate
sticky notes. Sticky notes are brought into a small-group discussion; all ideas are
added to the group’s list.
A round-robin session involves every student contributing one idea to a group
listing. Students may have permission to pass after the first round and the session
continues until all group members have passed during a round.
Previous Page Next Page