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 elementary students, and the Texas 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 Texas Assessments of Academic
Readiness (STAAR™), for which you and your students are held accountable.
The instructional program of Gateways 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
Science is for all students.
All students can achieve success in science if given the opportunity. Multiple
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 understanding by
sharing and refining their thinking individually and through peer interactions.
Students must accept and share responsibility for their own learning.
Teachers must set expectations for each student to take responsibility for his or her
work in both individual and group settings.
Teachers must consistently model the habits of mind necessary for
scientifi c 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.
Teachers 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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