Cold Spring Harbor Science Curriculum

  • The Cold Spring Harbor Elementary Science Curriculum is a student-centered, problem-solving approach consistent with the New York State Elementary Science Core Curriculum document and the approaches in the National Science Education Standards and the National Academy of Sciences.

    Alongside the newly adopted Common Core Standards for English Language Arts and Mathematics, we are currently revising our curricula in anticipating the Revised K-12 Science Standards. These standards are being developed by the National Research Council, the National Science Teachers Association, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and Achieve.  New York State has been a lead partner in the effort to draft and develop the Next Generation Science Standards .  This process will produce a set of high quality, college- and career-ready K–12 Next Generation Science Standards ready for state adoption. More information may be accessed at http://www.nextgenscience.org/

    The standards and the curricula will be published on this website when they are completed, in early 2013.

    The current NYS Standards are organized using Key Ideas and Performance Indicators

    Key Ideas are broad, unifying, general statements of what students need to know.

    Performance Indicators for each Key Idea are statements of what students should be able to do to provide evidence that they understand the key ideas.

    In Cold Spring Harbor, our goal is to provide instruction that focuses on understanding important relationships, processes, mechanisms, and application of concepts. Because educators know that students learn effectively when they are actively engaged in the discovery process, often working in small groups, our focus is on a hands-on and minds-on approach to teaching and learning. Students then have the opportunity to practice problem-solving skills, develop positive science attitudes, learn new science content, "talk science," and increase their scientific literacy.

    “Talking Science”

    … means observing, describing, comparing, classifying, analyzing, discussing, hypothesizing, theorizing, questioning, challenging, arguing, designing experiments, following procedures, judging, evaluating deciding, concluding, generalizing, reporting, writing, lecturing, and teaching in and through the language of science.

    (Lemke, 1990, p. 1)

    The chart below demonstrates the relationship between the Mathematical Practices of the Common Core Standards for Mathematics and the Science and Engineering Practices in the Next Generation Science Standards. 


    Mathematical Practices (MP)

    Science and Engineering Practices (SEP)

    1. Making sense of problems and persevering in  solving them

    1. Asking questions and defining problems

    3. Planning and carrying out investigations

    2. Reason abstractly and quantitatively

    2. Developing and using models

    3. Planning and carrying out investigations

    5. Using mathematics and computational thinking

    3. Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others

    5. Using mathematics and computational thinking

    6. Constructing explanations and designing solutions

    7. Engaging in argument from evidence

    8. Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information

    4. Model with mathematics

    2. Developing and using models

    3. Planning and carrying out investigations

    5. Use appropriate tools strategically

    2. Developing and using models

    3. Planning and carrying out investigations

    4. Analyzing and interpreting data

    6. Attend to precision

    3. Planning and carrying out investigations

    8. Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information

    7. Look for and make use of structure

    4. Analyzing and interpreting data

    6. Constructing explanations and designing solutions

    7. Engaging in argument from evidence

    8. Looking for and expressing regularity in repeated reasoning

    5. Using mathematics and computational thinking

    6. Constructing explanations and designing solutions


    See the next link in the navigation bar to access the full document of the New York State Elementary Core Science Standards.