Science Standards for 3- and 4-Year-Olds
These Early Learning Science Standards are aligned to the 2019 Utah’s K–12 Science and Engineering Education (SEEd) standards. The Science standards are founded on what science is, how science is learned, and the multiple dimensions of scientific work. Young children are captivated by discovering and exploring their natural world. They insist that teachers and family members answer their questions about the world around them. The questions that children ask about how insects fly, what makes a shadow, or what happens when paint colors are mixed are transformed into hypotheses about their world. They use their senses and scientific tools to observe, collect and interpret data, and draw conclusions. Communicating their findings informally in conversations or through the documentation of results leads children to ask new questions and to continue the cycle of scientific investigation.
By cultivating this sense of wonder, adults can help children to become scientific thinkers. As they learn about the world around them, including weather, light, living things, and matter and motion, young children begin to see patterns and understand the processes that affect their personal environments. Adults can support this learning by planning developmentally appropriate, experiential learning activities that allow children to utilize the Three Dimensions of Science (National Research Council, 2012).
The three dimensions of science learning help us to make sense of all that science does and represents. These include:
Taken together, these represent how science is used to make sense of phenomena, and they are most meaningful when learned in concert with one another.
Science and Engineering Practices: These practices refer to the things that scientists and engineers do and how they work. Scientists do much more than make hypotheses and test them with experiments. They engage in wonder, design, modeling, construction, communication, and collaboration.
Crosscutting Concepts: Understanding crosscutting concepts enables us to make connections among different subjects and to utilize science in diverse settings. They reach across disciplines and demonstrate how specific ideas are united into overarching principles, such as planning and carrying out investigations to determine patterns of cause and effect.
Disciplinary Core Ideas: Core ideas are traditionally associated with science knowledge and specific subject areas within science. These core ideas are organized within physical, life, and earth sciences.
Each standard is framed upon the three dimensions of science to represent a cohesive, multi-faceted science learning outcome. Crosscutting Concepts are underlined throughout the standards.
Many standards contain additional emphasis and example statements. Emphasis statements highlight a required and necessary part of the student learning to satisfy that standard. Example statements help to clarify the meaning of the standard and are not required for instruction.
Early Learning Science Standards are combined into an Early Learning Band for three- and four-year-old students. Individual children’s developmental levels need to be considered when planning and implementing science learning activities.
ADULTS SUPPORT LEARNING IN SCIENCE WHEN THEY:
Core Standards of the Course
STRAND 1: WEATHER
Weather is the combination of sunlight, wind, snow, or rain, and temperature in a particular place at a particular time. Humans can plan and prepare for different weather conditions.
Standard 3–4 yr.1.1
Obtain and communicate information about local, observable weather conditions while exploring and describing patterns found in different seasons. Emphasize the observation and recognition of data. Examples of data may include sunny, cloudy, windy, rainy, snowy, cold, or warm.
Standard 3–4 yr.1.2
Obtain and communicate information about human behavior patterns in different weather conditions. Emphasize the observation and recognition of data. Examples of data may include clothing, food, safety, and other preparations for expected weather.
Standard 3–4 yr.2.1
Plan and carry out an investigation using the five senses to determine the effect of sunlight on different surfaces and materials. Examples could include determining if the effect is hot or cold or a light or dark surface.
Standard 3–4 yr.2.2
Carry out an investigation to show the effect of light in illuminating objects. Emphasize that objects can be seen when light is available to illuminate them. Examples could include observations about light when navigating a room with the lights off compared to the lights on.
STRAND 3: LIVING THINGS
Living things (plants and animals, including humans) depend on their surroundings to get what they need, including food, water, and shelter, to survive. Behavior patterns between parents and offspring can help animals, including humans, to survive.
Standard 3-4 yr.3.1
Obtain and communicate information about the effect of water and food on living things. Examples could include plants depend on water to live, and animals depend on water and food to live.
Standard 3–4 yr.3.2
Obtain and communicate information about the pattern between living things and the places where they live. Emphasize that living things need water, air, and resources, and they live in places that have the things they need to survive.
Standard 3-4 yr.3.3
Obtain and communicate information about the behavior patterns that help humans and animals survive when they are young. Examples of behavior patterns could include parents responding to needs, providing shelter and sustenance, and ensuring the security of their offspring.
STRAND 4: MATTER AND MOTION
All things are made of matter. Various kinds of matter, such as wood, metal, and water, have different properties that can be observed, described, and classified. Pushing or pulling on an object can change the speed or direction of an object in motion.
Standard 3-4 yr.4.1
Plan and carry out an investigation to classify different kinds of materials based on patterns in their observable properties. Examples could include sorting materials based on similar properties such as color, hardness, texture, or whether the materials are solids or liquids.
Standard 3-4 yr.4.2
Plan and carry out an investigation to determine the cause and effect of the speed or direction of an object when a push or pull occurs. Examples could include having a marble or other object move a certain distance, follow a particular path, or knock down other objects.
http://www.uen.org - in partnership with Utah State Board of Education (USBE) and Utah System of Higher Education (USHE). Send questions or comments to USBE Specialist - Jessica Mackley and see the Early Learning website. For general questions about Utah's Core Standards contact the Director - Jennifer Throndsen. These materials have been produced by and for the teachers of the State of Utah. Copies of these materials may be freely reproduced for teacher and classroom use. When distributing these materials, credit should be given to Utah State Board of Education. These materials may not be published, in whole or part, or in any other format, without the written permission of the Utah State Board of Education, 250 East 500 South, PO Box 144200, Salt Lake City, Utah 84114-4200.