Instructional Expectations

Instructional Expectations

At NISD we are committed to student success through teaching, learning, creativity and innovation. We do this every day through engaging students in purposeful utilization of technology resources and research-based creative instructional strategies which includes Workshop Model, Learning Targets, Notebooks/Journals, Anchor Charts and Word Walls.

The mission of the Northwest ISD Elementary Science Curriculum Department is to provide a framework for exemplary instruction that promotes a deep and relevant understanding of the nature and principles of science and provides every student the opportunity to develop critical thinking and communication skills to prepare them for college, the workplace, and personal success.

Northwest ISD Students will:

  • develop scientific literacy that promotes deep and relevant understanding of scientific concepts and processes.
  • develop a rich knowledge of science and the natural world.
  • understand the relevance of science to their everyday lives.
  • design investigations using various levels of scientific inquiry.
  • apply scientific knowledge to make informed decisions about ethical, social and civic issues using critical thinking and scientific problem solving.

Components of Elementary Science Curriculum include: 

  • Workshop Model Integrated with the 5E Lesson Format
    • Opening
      • Engage: Teacher assesses prior knowledge while activating student curiosity about the lesson’s content.
    • Work Period
      • Explore: Students investigate the answer to a question and/or delve into an inquiry. Students keep data in notebooks.
      • Explain: Teacher leads class discussion focused on the learning target for the lesson. Students update learning in their notebooks.
      • Elaborate: Teacher asks questions/provides experiences to help students connect new and former experiences around the key concepts.
      • Evaluate: Students are provided opportunities to demonstrate understanding of the key concept.
    • Closing 
      • Wrap Up
  • Science Notebooks/Critical Writing – Student notebooks are a collection of reflections, ideas, vocabulary, data, diagrams, observations, critical writing.  

Best practices for Science include: 

  • Consistent and dedicated instructional time 
  • Standards (TEKS) aligned curriculum and instruction 
  • Relevant and meaningful connections to the real world 
  • Workshop Model/Inquiry Based 5E instructional model 
  • Hands-on, collaborative investigations (K-1: 80%; 2-3: 60%; 4-5: 50%) 
  • Content vocabulary development and support 
  • Scientific writing to communicate thinking and learning 
  • Reflective scientific discussion where learners engage in scientifically oriented questions, evidence is used to explain findings, learners compare and evaluate the merit of explanations, and they communicate and justify explanations 
  • Instruction guided by formative and summative assessment