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AAAS  :: Project 2061  :: Textbook Evaluations

Middle Grades Science Textbooks: A Benchmarks-Based Evaluation

Glencoe Earth Science, Life Science, and Physical Science. Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, 1997
Earth Science Life Science Physical Science

About this Evaluation Report
Content Analysis
Instructional Analysis
I. [Explanation] This category consists of criteria for determining whether the curriculum material attempts to make its purposes explicit and meaningful to students, either in the student text itself or through suggestions to the teacher. The sequence of lessons or activities is also important in accomplishing the stated purpose, since ideas often build on each other.
II. [Explanation] Fostering understanding in students requires taking time to attend to the ideas they already have, both ideas that are incorrect and ideas that can serve as a foundation for subsequent learning. This category consists of criteria for determining whether the curriculum material contains specific suggestions for identifying and addressing students’ ideas.
III. [Explanation] Much of the point of science is to explain phenomena in terms of a small number of principles or ideas. For students to appreciate this explanatory power, they need to have a sense of the range of phenomena that science can explain. The criteria in this category examine whether the curriculum material relates important scientific ideas to a range of relevant phenomena and provides either firsthand experiences with the phenomena or a vicarious sense of phenomena that are not presented firsthand.
IV. [Explanation] Science literacy requires that students understand the link between scientific ideas and the phenomena that they can explain. Furthermore, students should see the ideas as useful and become skillful at applying them. This category consists of criteria for determining whether the curriculum material expresses and develops the key ideas in ways that are accessible and intelligible to students, and that demonstrate the usefulness of the key ideas and provide practice in varied contexts.
V. [Explanation] Engaging students in experiences with phenomena (category III) and presenting them with scientific ideas (category IV) will not lead to effective learning unless students are given time, opportunities, and guidance to make sense of the experiences and ideas. This category consists of criteria for determining whether the curriculum material provides students with opportunities to express, think about, and reshape their ideas, as well as guidance on developing an understanding of what they experience.
VI. [Explanation] This category consists of criteria for evaluating whether the curriculum material includes a variety of aligned assessments that apply the key ideas taught in the material.
VII. [Explanation] The criteria in this category provide analysts with the opportunity to comment on features that enhance the use and implementation of the curriculum material by all students.

I. Providing a Sense of Purpose

Conveying unit purpose (Rating = Poor)

Unit and chapter purposes are conveyed through statements given at the beginning of each unit and chapter. Such statements, though, are general and vague—as in the following examples: “[T]he patterns and properties discussed in the next four chapters will help you sort out many of the things you see in nature” (p. 211s) and “As you study the chapter, you’ll find out more about this and other matter around you” (p. 245s). The statements of purpose also use abstractions that students will not be familiar with when they start a new unit or chapter—as, for instance, “Point out that in this unit, they will be studying the structure of matter and how its structure determines its characteristics and behavior” (p. 211t). Hence, the stated purposes are not likely to be comprehensible or interesting to students.

Conveying lesson/activity purpose (Rating = Fair)

The purposes of sections within chapters are conveyed through lists of objectives, but the purposes are not likely to be comprehensible to students. Typically, a section’s objectives use terms that students do not know before they study the section (for example, the kinetic theory of matter, thermal expansion) and therefore are not likely to be comprehensible to them as they start the section. However, they were encouraged to go back to the objectives as they study the section, they would know what the important purposes are and might understand what they are studying and why. Occasional rhetorical questions in text segments (such as, “What accounts for the characteristics of solids?” [p. 215s]), could communicate the purpose of the segment that follows in a comprehensible way. The text also tells students the purposes of the activities (such as Explore Activities and MiniLAB activities) laid out in the book. However, the Teacher Wraparound Edition neither conveys these purposes to teachers (the purposes are simply listed in teacher’s notes) nor encourages teachers to make sure their students grasps them (see, for example, p. 216t).

Justifying lesson/activity sequence (Rating = Fair)

Chapter 8: Solids, Liquids, and Gases includes five sections. Section 8.2: Science and Society: Fresh Water—Will There Be Enough? and Section 8.5: Uses of Fluids do not have any connection to the other three sections, which address the kinetic molecular theory of matter, except that they have something to do with liquids and gases. Section 8.2 in particular disrupts the flow of the sections that relate to the kinetic molecular theory of matter.

Text segments within sections appear to be sequenced logically, although a clear rationale for the sequence cannot always be inferred. The placement of certain activities appears more problematic. For example, it is not clear why an activity about detecting the smell of vanilla as it evaporates inside a balloon (p. 216t) appears in the context of teaching the properties of liquids and explaining those properties in terms of the kinetic molecular theory, or why an activity on the properties of liquids (p. 221s) appears after thermal expansion and not in the context of the properties of solids, liquids, and gases.

II. Taking Account of Student Ideas

Attending to prerequisite knowledge and skills (Rating = Poor)

Before the characteristics of states and changes of state are explained by means of the kinetic molecular theory, the text addresses the prerequisite ideas that materials can exist in different states—solid, liquid, and gas—and that some common materials, such as water, can be changed from one state to another by heating and cooling. The text neither alerts teachers to this coverage nor refers to other ideas that could help students understand the kinetic molecular theory when it is introduced later (for example, the idea that gases have mass and take up space, or that collections of pieces have properties that the individual pieces do not have).

Alerting teachers to commonly held student ideas (Rating = Poor)

Although the teacher’s notes occasionally include a paragraph on Revealing Preconceptions, such paragraphs do not describe any of the ideas commonly held by students relating to the kinetic molecular theory that have been documented in research studies. For example, research on student understanding of the structure of matter reveals that many students think that particles (atoms or molecules) are in substances or that there is something (e.g., air) between the particles, rather than that substances consist of nothing except molecules with empty spaces between them (Brook, Briggs, & Driver, 1984; Lee et al., 1993; Nussbaum, 1985). Research also reveals that students are often confused when comparing the observable properties of substances to the properties of molecules themselves. For example, students may think that molecules themselves become hot or cold; or that molecules themselves expand, causing substances to expand (Johnston & Driver, 1989; Lee et al., 1993). Teachers are not alerted to these concepts.

Assisting teachers in identifying their students’ ideas (Rating = Poor)

Questions that teachers could use to help identify their students’ beliefs about the key physical science ideas are not included. Tying to Previous Knowledge is a feature one could expect to find opportunities for teachers to elicit their students’ ideas. However, none of the questions included therein segments are accurate with respect to the key ideas (see, for example, Tying to Previous Knowledge on pages 211t, 214t, and 224t). The material includes the feature Flex Your Brain, which is intended (among other things) to draw forth students’ ideas (see page 29T); but it is not used this way in the chapters examined. All of the instances in which the text specifically recommends using Flex Your Brain in the context of the key ideas are for assessment purposes at the end of a section (pp. 226t, 230t). Moreover, no examples are provided that would help teachers understand how to use this device for eliciting students’ ideas.

Addressing commonly held ideas (Rating = Poor)

None of the major misconceptions identified in research studies are addressed explicitly (see above segment, or criterion, entitled Alerting teachers to commonly held student ideas), nor are suggestions made about how teachers should take their students’ ideas into account.

Two misconceptions about somewhat related ideas are dealt with. In one example, in Revealing Preconceptions, the material poses the question, “Is there anything wrong with saying, ‘This bottle is half-filled with carbon dioxide gas?’” and follows it with the response “Yes, a gas occupies all the space available in its container” (p. 216t). However, teachers are not instructed about if or how they should use this question with their students.

III. Engaging Students with Relevant Phenomena

Providing variety of phenomena (Rating = Fair)

Overall, a fair variety of phenomena are provided to support the key ideas. A satisfactory variety of phenomena reinforces the idea that increased temperature means greater molecular motion so most substances expand when heated, as well as the idea about differences in the arrangement of particles and the forces between particles in solids and liquids. A fair variety of phenomena buttress the idea that particles are perpetually in motion. However, hardly any phenomena uphold the ideas that matter is made of particles and that particles are too small to see, even with magnification. Furthermore, most of the links between the phenomena presented and the ideas they support are insufficiently explicit.

Providing vivid experiences (Rating = Fair)

There are only a few firsthand experiences that support the key ideas. The majority of relevant phenomena are described in the student text. Several of the descriptions are brief and are not likely to give middle grades students a vicarious sense of the phenomena (e.g., pp. 219–220s, Figure 8–8; pp. 230–231s, Figure 8–16).

IV. Developing and Using Scientific Ideas

Introducing terms meaningfully (Rating = Fair)

The text does not provide experiences together with phenomena and then develop definitions of the terms needed to interpret these experiences. However, in introducing definitions, it typically includes references to everyday experiences either immediately before or after the definition.

New words seem to be introduced unnecessarily. For example, the section Our Atmosphere—A Sea of Air opens with a reference to a common difficulty: “You can see right through it, and most of the time you can’t even feel it. But the air we breathe and live in contains many gas particles…” (p. 229s). Rather than address the basic issue of “Is air matter?” that is known to cause students difficulties (e.g., Lee et al., 1993), the text moves on quickly to describe the levels of the atmosphere: the troposphere, stratosphere, mesosphere, and thermosphere. Such detailed vocabulary is unnecessary at this level.

Often, the text goes beyond the vocabulary and concepts recommended for middle grades students by including the names of the gas laws (e.g., Boyle’s and Charles’s on pages 229–230s) and the terms “heat of vaporization” and “heat of fusion” (p. 226s) without instructing teachers that these terms could be introduced—if they must be used at all—after students have a thorough understanding of the concepts behind them.

Representing ideas effectively (Rating = Satisfactory)

The student text includes several drawings showing the arrangement and motion of particles of gases, liquids, and solids (e.g., pp. 215–216s, Figures 8–2 through 8–4; p. 217s, Figure 8–6). It also uses an analogy of people in a crowd to represent the idea of thermal expansion (pp. 219–220s). These representations are significant but not quite sufficient.

There are no representations that focus on the idea that matter is made of particles (rather than that it contains particles), no representations that will help students to appreciate how tiny the particles are, and no representations of the processes of changes of state at the particulate level.

Although some inaccuracies are evident in the representations, they are fewer and less severe than those in the other textbooks evaluated. For instance, whereas in the other textbooks, balls representing molecules are misleadingly shown in different colors, in this text the balls look the same (blue) in the solid, liquid, and gaseous states—only their arrangement changes (e.g., p. 217s).

Demonstrating use of knowledge (Rating = Fair)

The student text uses the kinetic molecular theory to explain several phenomena. Often, the text describes a phenomenon, restates the part of the kinetic molecular theory that pertains to it, and then explains the phenomenon in terms of the theory, by modeling or demonstrating how the theory is used to explain the phenomenon. These demonstrations are not labeled clearly as such. However, by stating that “this is how the kinetic theory explains...,” the material comes close to being explicit in some instances (e.g., pp. 219–220s). Some explanations are step-by-step, while others are not. Criteria to help students judge the quality of the explanations are not provided. Although Glencoe Physical Science does not fully meet this criterion, it succeeds better than the other textbooks evaluated.

Providing practice (Rating = Fair)

Students are given some opportunities to practice the key ideas, including a few novel tasks. Several tasks ask students to make drawings or to describe the arrangement and motion of particles that make up specific substances. Fewer tasks require students to explain phenomena using the kinetic molecular theory. There are no practice tasks related to the very small size of particles.

In the student text, practice tasks are located in the Section Wrap-up and the Chapter Review features. Several sections in the Teacher Wraparound Edition—Extensions, Reteach, Skill Builders, and Assessment—contain questions that can be used for student practice. However, as the teacher’s notes do not explicitly suggest using the questions for student practice, their use for this purpose depends on the teacher.

V. Promoting Students' Thinking about Phenomena, Experiences, and Knowledge

Encouraging students to explain their ideas (Rating = Poor)

There are some occasions for students to express their own beliefs in relation to the key ideas. More opportunities are provided for students to express ideas in general, but they are not appropriate with respect to the key physical ideas. For example, consider this Science Journal task:

A glass of water and a puddle of water, both containing the same volume of water at the same temperature, are left to evaporate. Which do you think will evaporate sooner? In your Science Journal, write and explain your answer. [p. 227s]

Questions posed in figure captions could be used to have students express their ideas; however, there are no specific instructions to teachers about how to use these questions. They may be answered by one student only as part of a class discussion (which means that many students in the class will not even think about the question) or not at all.

The Science Journal is the only means given in the text to ensure that each student expresses her or his conceptions, but it is not used very often, particularly with respect to the key ideas. Also, students are rarely asked to clarify, justify, or represent their beliefs, nor does the text make suggestions about when and how students will get feedback from their peers or their teacher.

Guiding student interpretation and reasoning (Rating = Fair)

Most of the activities are followed by questions that may help students make sense of the activities (pp. 216s, 219s, 221s, 224t). These questions mostly prompt students to explain the phenomena presented with the kinetic molecular theory (pp. 216s, 221s, 224t). No questions are posed that help students relate what they observe to their own ideas. There are no specific questions that are likely to help students make sense of the text they read. This is an important shortcoming, given that most of the examples of phenomena that support the kinetic molecular theory are described in the text (pp. 214s, 215s, 216s, 228s). Students are never asked to think about these phenomena.

Encouraging students to think about what they have learned (Rating = Fair)

Flex Your Brain is a feature of the student text that gives students opportunities to monitor their thinking. They are given a topic, jot down what they know about it, use what they know to form a question, and guess how best to answer it. They explore the question by reading a book, asking an expert, or doing an experiment. Finally, they are asked (1) whether they now think differently, and (2) what they now know in comparison with what they had known before their exploration (pp. 29T, 14–15st). It is not clear from the material whether these two questions relate to the entire topic that students are examining or only to the specific question they raise. Moreover, because teachers assign broad topics such as “state changes” (p. 226t), there is no guarantee that students will monitor their understanding of the key ideas examined here.

VI. Assessing Progress

Aligning assessment to goals (Rating = Poor)

The key physical science ideas examined here are not assessed adequately in the material. The material includes relevant items for only two of the ideas, but even these two ideas are not assessed sufficiently. Furthermore, some of the relevant assessment tasks are not likely to be comprehensible to students.

For the end-of-instruction assessment, the material provides—in two separate resource books (Chapter Review and Assessment: Chapter and Unit Tests)—a two-page review and a four-page test for each chapter as well as a test for each unit. These components have been evaluated for chapters 5, 8, and 9 and for unit 3.

For the idea that all matter is made up of atoms and molecules (Idea a), a single question is asked. In the Chapter 9 Test, students are to complete the statement “The particles that make up all matter are called ____” (Assessment: Chapter and Unit Tests, p. 59).

The idea that increased temperature means greater molecular motion, so that most substances expand when heated (Idea d), is covered by a few questions in the Chapter 8 Test. For example, students are to complete the statement “As a sample of matter is heated, its particles ______” (Assessment: Chapter and Unit Tests, p. 54); they are asked to choose the appropriate phrase from among four options (“stop moving,” “move more slowly,” “move more quickly,” and “are unaffected”). In another text, they are shown an illustration of a balloon with black dots on it, presumably representing air particles, and are asked to explain what will happen to the volume of the balloon if the temperature is lowered (Assessment: Chapter and Unit Tests, p. 55). Unfortunately, while this question is valid for the key idea, the illustration is likely to be incomprehensible. It is not clear whether the air particles are outside or inside the balloon, so students might not understand what they are required to do. The same illustration is shown to students in an additional test, in which they are asked to draw the balloon and to show how the position of the particles will change if the balloon is heated and the pressure is kept constant (Assessment: Chapter and Unit Tests, p. 56).

A few questions in the Chapter 8 Test pertain to ideas about the arrangement and motion of molecules in solids, liquids, and gases. The above two questions involving the balloon illustration focus on the idea that particles in gases spread evenly through the spaces they occupy. In addition, students are to choose the words or phrases that best complete the following statements:

Matter in which particles are arranged in repeating geometric patterns is a ______.

Matter in which the particles are free to move in all directions until they have spread evenly throughout their container is a ______.

The particles that make up a solid move _____ than do the particles that make up a gas.
[Assessment: Chapter and Unit Tests, pp. 53–54]

Students are to complete a table indicating whether particles are “close together” or “spread apart” in each state of matter. They are shown an illustration of a container with a supposed solid inside and are asked to draw the particles after the solid melts. Again, the illustration can be misleading to students, suggesting that the particles are in the solid (Assessment: Chapter and Unit Tests, pp. 55-56).

Testing for understanding (Rating = Poor)

Of the relevant assessment items described under the previous criterion, three questions in chapter 8 require application of the key physical science ideas examined here. Students are to predict and explain what will happen to a balloon full of air if the temperature is lowered, and they are prompted to use the kinetic molecular theory in their responses (Assessment: Chapter and Unit Tests, p. 55). They are asked to draw the particles after a solid melts and after a balloon full of air is heated (Assessment: Chapter and Unit Tests, p. 56). (The balloon-related test is discussed in the text on pages 230–231s.) Clearly, these items are not sufficient to assess students’ understanding of the key physical science ideas. Most significantly, as indicated above, the diagrams in each question can be misleading to students.

Using assessment to inform instruction (Rating = Poor)

In the introduction to the Teacher Wraparound Edition, the Teacher's Guide states that “Glencoe Physical Science contains numerous strategies and formative checkpoints for evaluating student progress toward mastery of science concepts” (p. 45T). Section Wrap-ups and Chapter Reviews in the student text are identified as components that can help teacher’s determine whether any substantial reteaching is needed.

The teacher’s notes do not include suggestions of how to probe beyond students’ initial responses or how to modify instruction according to students’ responses. On the other hand, some questions are included that can help a well-informed teacher diagnose students’ difficulties with respect to some of the ideas examined. (Some of the relevant questions can be answered by copying from the text or by providing definitions for terms; hence, they are not described below.)

Students are to compare the characteristics of solids and liquids; explain (in terms of particle motion) why copper shrinks when it cools; and make charts to classify materials as solids, liquids, or gases, describing the particles in each state (p. 220st). Then, the teacher selects objects in the classroom and asks students to describe the particles and their movements within the selected objects (p. 220t). Students are to use the kinetic molecular theory to explain melting (p. 227s), the caving-in of an empty soda bottle in the freezer, the smell of ammonia from a leaking bottle, and warnings on cylinders of compressed gases about the highest temperature to which the cylinder may be exposed (p. 231s). They are asked to explain why the statement, “This room is full of air,” is incorrect and why liquid water forms on the outside of a glass of cold lemonade (p. 242s). They are told that alcohol evaporates more quickly than water and are asked what they can tell about the forces between the alcohol particles (p. 242s). Finally, they are asked to make a cycle map to show the changes in particles as cool water boils, changes to steam, and then changes back to cool water (p. 243s).

VII. Enhancing the Science Learning Environment

Providing teacher content support (Minimal support is provided.)

The material provides minimal support in alerting teachers to how ideas have been simplified for students to comprehend and what the more sophisticated versions are. Content background notes in the Teacher Wraparound Edition usually summarize the student text (e.g., p. 134t), offer tidbits of questionable relevance (e.g., p. 224t), or present additional terms (e.g., p. 246t). Overall, the teacher content support is brief, localized, and fragmented.

The material rarely provides sufficiently detailed answers to questions in the student text for teachers to understand and interpret various student responses. Most answers are brief and require further explanation (for example, “Student results should be consistent with those of other groups” [p. 233t, item 1]), emphasize a “right-answer” approach (for example, “Check graphs for straight line fit” [p. 233t, item 3]), or use technical terms (for example, “…[T]he tea cools because its particles now have a lower average kinetic energy” [p. 242t, item 13]).

The material provides minimal support in recommending resources for improving teachers’ understanding of key ideas. While the material lists references that could help teachers improve their understanding of key ideas (e.g., “Arons, A.B. A Guide to Introductory Physics Teaching. New York: John Wiley and Sons, 1990” [p. 61T]), the lists lack annotations about what kinds of information the references provide or how they may be helpful.

Encouraging curiosity and questioning (Minimal support is provided.)

The material provides a few suggestions for how to encourage students’ questions and guide their search for answers. A generic Flex Your Brain work sheet encourages students to pose a question about a topic studied and gives them three broad guiding questions to use in their search for answers: “What do I already know?” and “How can I find out?” and “What do I know now [after exploration]?” (p. 29T). Teacher’s notes suggest topics students can explore (e.g., “state changes” [p. 226t]) but provide no other guidance.

The material provides a few suggestions for how to respect and value students’ ideas. Introductory teacher’s notes about cooperative learning state that students will “recognize…the strengths of others’ [perspectives],” be presented with “the idea that there is no one, ‘ready-made’ answer” (p. 24T), and “respect other people and their ideas” (p. 46T). Introductory teacher’s notes also state that student responses may vary in concept mapping tasks. Teachers are thus instructed to “[l]ook for the conceptual strength of student responses, not absolute accuracy” (p. 30T). In addition, Design Your Own Experiment activities are structured to be open-ended, allowing students to pursue a laboratory task in various ways. However, teacher’s notes often give specific expected outcomes for these activities, which may limit their intended open-ended nature (e.g., pp. 232–233t).

The material provides a few suggestions for how to raise questions, such as, “How do we know? What is the evidence?” and “Are there alternative explanations or other ways of solving the problem that could be better?” However, it does not encourage students to pose such questions themselves. Specifically, the material includes a few tasks that ask students to provide evidence or reasons in their responses (e.g., p. 225st, MiniLAB Analysis, item 3; Critical Thinking/Problem Solving resource book, p. 15, item 1).

The material provides a few suggestions for how to avoid dogmatism. Introductory teacher’s notes state that “[s]cience is not just a collection of facts for students to memorize” but is “a process of applying those observations and intuitions to situations and problems, formulating hypotheses, and drawing conclusions” (p. 25T). The first chapter portrays the nature of science as a human enterprise that proceeds by trial and error and uses many skills familiar to students (pp. 4–31st). However, most of the text is generally presented in a static, authoritative manner with little reference to the work of particular practicing scientists, and single specific responses are expected for most student tasks.

The material does not provide examples of classroom interactions (e.g., dialogue boxes, vignettes, or video clips) that illustrate appropriate ways to respond to student questions or ideas. However, a limited sense of desirable student-student interactions may be gained from procedural directions for laboratories and cooperative group activities (e.g., p. 216t, Activity; pp. 232–233st, Activity 8–2; Cooperative Learning in the Science Classroom resource book, pp. 17–18).

Supporting all students (Support is provided.)

The material generally avoids stereotypes or language that might be offensive to a particular group. For example, several photographs include a diverse cultural mix of students and adults (e.g., pp. 219s, 225s, 256s), including the physically challenged (e.g., p. 184s).

The material provides some illustrations of the contributions of women and minorities to science and as role models. While the introductory teacher’s notes state that “[n]o single culture has a monopoly on the development of scientific knowledge” (p. 38T), most of the contributions of women and minorities appear in separate sections entitled People and Science. For example, at the end of Chapter 8: Solids, Liquids, and Gases, there is a People and Science section about Debra Moore, an African American glass artist. She answers questions about the scientific principles involved in her work, teaching her craft to children, and her personal interest in glass (p. 240st). In addition, Cultural Diversity teacher’s notes highlight specific cultural contributions related to chapter topics (e.g., pp. 237–238t). A separate Multicultural Connections resource book contains short readings and questions about individual scientists or groups addressing text-related issues in many parts of the world (e.g., Multicultural Connections, pp. 19–20). All of these sections highlighting cultural contributions are interesting and informative, but may not be seen by students as central to the material because they are presented in sidebars, supplemental materials, and teacher’s notes.

The material suggests multiple formats for students to express their ideas during instruction, including individual investigations and journal writing (e.g., p. 213s, Explore Activity), cooperative group activities (e.g., p. 226t, Reteach), laboratory investigations (e.g., p. 225st, MiniLAB), whole class discussions (e.g., p. 224t, Tying to Previous Knowledge), essay questions (e.g., p. 220st, Section Wrap-up Review), and concept mapping (e.g., p. 243st, item 23). In addition, multiple formats are suggested for assessment, including oral discussion (e.g., p. 220t, Assessment), essay (e.g., Assessment: Chapter and Unit Tests, p. 55), performance (e.g., Performance Assessment resource book, p. 23T, Skill Assessment 8), and portfolio (e.g., p. 241t, Assessment, Portfolio). However, the material does not usually provide a variety of alternatives for the same task (except in rare instances for special needs students).

The material does not routinely include specific suggestions about how teachers can modify activities for students with special needs. However, the Teacher Wraparound Edition and supplemental Program Resources (including reinforcement and enrichment work sheets, a study guide, and activities with transparencies) provide additional activities and resources for students of specific ability levels. At the beginning of each chapter, teacher’s notes link the various chapter activities to different learning styles (e.g., p. 212t, Learning Styles). Several of the visual-spatial activities are also coded LEP for students with limited English proficiency (e.g., p. 251t, Activity 9–1). For Spanish speakers, there are English/Spanish audiocassettes, which summarize the student text in both languages, and a Spanish Resources book, which translates key ideas and activities for each chapter. Teacher’s notes about Meeting Individual Needs at the beginning of the Teacher Wraparound Edition highlight the importance of providing “all students with a variety of ways to learn, apply, and be assessed on the concepts” (p. 39T). However, the placement of supplemental resources in individual booklets separate from the main text may discourage their use, and the special needs codes within chapters may discourage teachers from using those activities with all students.

The material provides some strategies to validate students’ relevant personal and social experiences with scientific ideas. Many text sections begin with a brief reference to a specific personal experiences students may have had that relate to the presented scientific concepts (e.g., p. 213s). In addition, some tasks ask students about particular personal experiences they may have had or suggest specific experiences they could have. For example, a portfolio assessment asks students to list examples of gases, liquids, and solids from home or school (p. 221t). However, the material rarely encourages students to contribute relevant experiences of their own choice to the science classroom and sometimes does not adequately link the specified personal experiences to the scientific ideas being studied (e.g., p. 224t, Tying to Previous Knowledge). Overall, support is brief and localized.