Level 2

Alaska Science
Key Element

A student who meets the content standard should apply scientific knowledge and skills to understand issues and everyday events.


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Performance Standard Level 2, Ages 8–10

Students use science knowledge and reasoning to explain the science of everyday events.

Sample Assessment Ideas

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Sample Assessment Ideas

  • Students explain how a teeter totter works.

  • Students locate, describe and explain why erosion has occurred in two places in their community.

Expanded Sample Assessment Idea

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Expanded Sample Assessment Idea

  • Students compare a variety of snowshoes and use them under various conditions; identify the advantages and disadvantages of each. Explain the underlying scientific concepts.


Students will:

  1. Gather traditional snowshoes from parents and staff (1 pair of each for every group of 4).

  2. Set up a relay race; run a specified distance.

  3. Run one lap with traditional snowshoes, one lap with modern snowshoes. Repeat for each student.

  4. After each loop, list pros and cons of the snowshoes. Decide which snowshoes are preferred by the most students; support the decision based on the relay results.

Reflection and Revision

Students consider how the different materials used in snowshoe construction affect performance.


Levels of Performance

Stage 4
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Student work is complete, correct, and contains evidence of elaboration, extension, higher order thinking skills, and relevant knowledge. Student actively participates with group to perform an accurate and reliable test of the snowshoes and uses the results of the test to support the decision about which snowshoe works best.
Stage 3
stage fish
stage fish
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Student work is generally complete and correct but may contain evidence of some inaccuracies or omissions. Student participates with group to perform a test of the snowshoes though the test may be inaccurate or unreliable. Student decision about which snowshoe works the best is based on limited evidence from the test or on non-test related evidence.
Stage 2
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Student work may be incomplete or inaccurate. Student may be a reluctant group participant. The snowshoe test is inaccurate and unreliable. Student decision about which snowshoe works the best is not supported.
Stage 1
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Student work is incomplete and inaccurate. Student does not participate in group task or participate in a relay race or snowshoe test.
Standards Cross-Reference blue rule

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

National Science Education Standards

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 strengths 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)

Develop descriptions, explanations, predictions, and models using evidence. Students should base their explanation on what they observed, and as they develop cognitive skills, they should be able to differentiate explanation from description—providing causes for effects and establishing relationships based on evidence and logical argument. This standard requires a subject matter knowledge base so the students can effectively conduct investigations, because developing explanations establishes connections between the content of science and the contexts within which students develop new knowledge. (Page 145)

Scientific explanations emphasize evidence, have logically consistent arguments, and use scientific principles, models, and theories. The scientific community accepts and uses such explanations until displaced by better scientific ones. When such displacement occurs, science advances. (Page 148)



Scientific investigations may take many different forms, including observing what things are like or what is happening somewhere, collecting specimens for analysis, and doing experiments. Investigations can focus on physical, biological, and social questions. (Page 11)

Scientists’ explanations about what happens in the world come partly from what they observe, and partly from what they think. Sometimes scientists have different explanations for the same set of observations. That usually leads to their making more observations to resolve the differences. (Page 11)

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