Teaching with Atomsmith > Curriculum > Standards Correlations
National Science Content Standards Correlations
Please click here (pdf) to see a table listing TheAtomsmith®Classroom's Curriculum Units and their correlation to National Science Education Content Standards. Please click here (pdf) for information on Atomsmith and the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). We understand that science standards are currently in flux, both nationally and within many states; however, we provide this information for general evaluation purposes.
Just a bit about Atomsmith's teaching philosophy in relation to "standards" (i.e. our soapbox speech) … We believe that chemistry needs to be taught at a much deeper level than what we have observed as the current norm. This is not the fault of teachers, but rather of broad, unclear or absent teaching standards. Chemistry is a challenging topic, period. We believe that if students have a deeper understanding of the key basic building blocks that comprise chemistry (including a visual understanding of what is happening at the molecular level and a clear understanding of what is meant by "the scientific method"):
- They will find chemistry more interesting and develop more confidence in their abilities
- They will take an additional chemistry (or other science) class
- They will be better prepared to take on the more difficult topics in their future science learning
- We will have more scientists in the world and we will have a society bettered prepared to make informed decisions regarding such critical topics as immunizations and treatments for disease, nutritional and pharmaceutical claims, chemical and fossil fuel usage, renewable and biodegradable materials, food production and safety, water quality, the functional advantages of new technologies, etc.
In addition, with Atomsmith's curriculum, students show progress through journaling exercises (a pre-unit journaling exercise – what does the student know, or think that they know, about a particular topic – and then progressive journal entries reflecting iterative learning, followed by a post-unit project demonstrating the accumulation of what was learned). There are also short-answer worksheets with each lesson; however, we suggest they be used as formative rather than summative assessments. Our philosophy is that rather than measuring student progress in a reductive manner (How many did you get wrong on a worksheet or test?), there should be rewards for increments of learning demonstrated through enlightened reflection (journaling). To develop student confidence and interest, topics as complicated as those in chemistry require hands-on experience and daily iterative demonstrations of progress. Then understanding grows.
Chemistry is like music, math and many other subjects – it's its own language of words and symbols – and we believe that understanding chemistry is to other science subjects as Latin is to English. It's the root. Unfortunately (both for economic productivity and basic societal understanding reasons), too few individuals today can speak the language.