Level 1

Alaska Science
Key Element B1

A student who meets the content standard should use the processes of science; these processes include observing, classifying, measuring, interpreting data, inferring, communicating, controlling variables, developing models and theories, hypothesizing, predicting, and experimenting.


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Performance Standard Level 1, Ages 5–7

Students observe and describe their world.

Sample Assessment Ideas

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Sample Assessment Ideas

  • Students closely observe an object (rock, flower, animal) closely with as many of the five senses as appropriate; list characteristics observed with each sense.

  • Students observe and predict sunrise from a specific site (for example; classroom window, playground) and chart data daily.

Expanded Sample Assessment Idea

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Expanded Sample Assessment Idea

  • Students use a “teacher-created” scoring guide to classify a group of rocks and tell why the rocks were grouped in that manner.


Students will:

  1. Collect rocks at home and school.

  2. Divide into groups of two to three; take a group of 8–12 rocks and classify them by criteria of their group’s choosing. This could include color, size, shape, texture, use, etc. Groups will share with each other the ways they classified the rocks. Each group will then go back and create a different way to classify their rocks. Each group should guess the other group’s new classification.

  3. Draw how their group classified a rock of their choice and include details like color, shape, and size.

  4. Discuss volunteers’ pictures in circle group.

Reflection and Revision

Use comments about pictures and redraw their rock classification.


Levels of Performance

Stage 4
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Student work is correct, complete, and appropriate. Student work includes detailed explanations of their two classification systems. There is no evidence of misconceptions or inaccurate descriptions; drawings have accurate colors and realistic size.
Stage 3
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Student work is generally correct, complete, and appropriate including two classification systems of rocks. Student explanations of classification systems are accurate. Drawings may show a few inaccuracies or unrealistic descriptions of the actual rocks.
Stage 2
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Student classifications are mostly appropriate, but there may be some misconceptions. Student cannot explain classifications. Drawings are incomplete. There is little evidence of elaboration or extensions.
Stage 1
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Student did not complete classifications and could not tell why. No drawings completed. There is no evidence of elaboration or extensions. There is evidence of misconceptions.
Standards Cross-Reference red rule

Standards Cross-References
( Alaska Department of Education & Early Development Standards

National Science Education Standards

Employ simple equipment and tools to gather data and extend the senses. In early years, students develop simple skills, such as how to observe, measure, cut, connect, switch, turn on and off, pour, hold, tie, and hook. Beginning with simple instruments, students can use rulers to measure the length, height, and depth of objects and materials; thermometers to measure temperature; watches to measure time; beam balances and spring scales to measure weight and force; magnifiers to observe objects and organisms; and microscopes to observe the finer details of plants, animals, rocks, and other materials. Children also develop skills in the use of computers and calculators for conducting investigations. (Page 122)

Use data to construct a reasonable explanation. This aspect of the standard emphasizes the students’ thinking as they use data to formulate explanations. Even at the earliest grade levels, students should learn what constitutes evidence and judge the merits or strength of the data and information that will be used to make explanations. After students propose an explanation, they will appeal to the knowledge and evidence they obtained to support their explanations. Students should check their explanations against scientific knowledge, experiences, and observations of others. (Page 122)

Communicate investigations and explanations. Students should begin developing the abilities to communicate, critique, and analyze their work and the work of other students. This communication might be spoken or drawn as well as written. (Page 122)

Simple instruments such as magnifiers, thermometers, and rulers provide more information than scientists obtain using only their senses. (Page 123)

Scientists develop explanations using observations (evidence) and what they already know about the world (scientific knowledge). Good explanations are based on evidence from investigations. (Page 123)



People can often learn about things around them by just observing those things carefully, but sometimes they can learn more by doing something to the things and noting what happens. (Page 10)

Tools such as thermometers, magnifiers, rulers, or balances often give more information about things than can be obtained just by observing things without their help. (Page 10)

Describing things as accurately as possible is important in science because it enables people to compare their observations with those of others. (Page 10)

Ask “How do you know?” in appropriate situations and attempt reasonable answers when others ask them the same question. (Page 298)

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