Home Content AreasScience The NEW K-5 Science TEKS and Free, Editable Spreadsheets

The NEW K-5 Science TEKS and Free, Editable Spreadsheets

by Emily Horn
An infographic with K-5 Editable Science TEKS Spreadsheets shown.

I’m back again with more info on Texas teachers’ most beloved topic: the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS). This time, we’ll look at some information on the new K-5 Science TEKS. How new are they? So new, they’ll be implemented next school year. You may have seen my posts about the K-5 ELAR TEKS (which contains information on how the TEKS are reviewed and revised) and the K-5 math TEKS. But today, we have long-awaited and highly anticipated editable spreadsheets with the new science TEKS and coordinating “I Can” statements for grades K-5. Who’s excited? Just me? Ok.

What Are the TEKS?

In short, the TEKS are the curricular standards adopted by the Texas State Board of Education. These standards outline what students should know and be able to do in each content area for each grade level. State-mandated tests are aligned with these standards to measure student achievement and skills acquisition.

About the Science TEKS

In 2021, the SBOE approved the new K-12 Science TEKS, which will be implemented in the 2024-2025 school year. Here are some top things to know (from the 2021 Science TEKS introduction) and a few notable differences between the 2017 Science TEKS and the updated 2021 TEKS:

1. Within the Science TEKS introductions for each grade level, there is a brief overview of the concepts covered. This is helpful for understanding the overarching science content covered in each grade and how prior knowledge is built upon year after year in vertical alignment.

2. Previously, the science standards focused on 1) scientific investigation and reasoning, 2) matter and energy, 3) force, motion, and energy, 4) earth and space, and 5) organisms and environments. However, these were not formally called “strands.” The new TEKS content officially has five “strands.” The only change is that 2017’s “scientific investigation and reasoning” was updated to “scientific and engineering practices” in 2021. Here are the current strands for the Science TEKS:

  • Scientific and engineering practices.
  • Matter and its properties.
  • Force, motion, and energy.
  • Earth and space.
  • Organisms and environment.

3. The updated TEKS intro goes further to explain scientific inquiry and describe and define the three methods of investigation that should be employed:

  • Descriptive: This has no hypothesis, answers a research question, and involves collecting and recording data without comparing.
  • Correlative and comparative: These have a hypothesis, predict a relationship, involve collecting and recording data, comparing results, etc.
  • Experimental: Similar to comparative, this involves testing a hypothesis by comparing “a treatment with a control.”

4. As part of the scientific and engineering practices, the new TEKS introduction defines scientific practices and engineering practices. Additionally, like the 2017 Science TEKS, there is a minimum percentage of instructional time recommended for each grade level to spend integrating scientific and engineering practices. The suggested percentages for each grade level did not change between the 2017 and 2021 Science TEKS.

5. The 2021 Science TEKS introduction kept the same definition of science from the National Academy of Sciences but expanded upon it. The new TEKS acknowledge that science is changing, stating that students should be aware that some phenomena aren’t currently able to be tested, so some questions may go unanswered.

6. Additionally, the new Science TEKS intro clearly defines scientific observations, inferences, hypotheses, and scientific theories, whereas the 2017 introduction did not.

7. Another new addition to the 2021 TEKS is the inclusion of a statement on “science and social ethics.” This statement basically says that science has ethics for conducting research. Students should know the difference between scientific ethics and broader ethics involving science.

8. Like the 2017 introduction, the 2021 TEKS includes a section on “recurring themes and concepts.” However, the 2021 version is more robust, further defining structure and function, systems, models, patterns, change, and constancy.

9. As in the 2017 version, within the standards, “such as” is used to illustrate examples, whereas “including” alludes to content that must be mastered.

Helpful TEKS Documents

Science TEKS Freebies from TCEA

Ok. That’s done! Now let’s get to the freebies. Click the links to make a copy of the editable TEKS spreadsheets for your grade level(s). Each spreadsheet has a tab with the TEKS and a tab with correlating “I can” statements. Is there something else TEKS-related that would be helpful? If so, let me know in the comments or send me an email (ehorn@tcea.org). I’d love to hear from you!

A blue, gold, and white infographic with the title "Free and Editable Science TEKS Grades K-5 Spreadsheets:

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Ashley Shine February 15, 2024 - 10:17 am

Thank you for creating these documents! They are an incredible resource and will be very helpful for your teachers as they move forward with the new TEKS. Will you also be creating similar resources for grades 6-8?

Emily Horn February 15, 2024 - 10:24 am

I’m so glad you find them helpful!! I have a running list that I’m working through, and I hope to have spreadsheets for grades 6-8 in the future. I’m not sure exactly when I’ll have those complete, but they are on the list!

Ashley Shine February 15, 2024 - 10:41 am

Thank you!

Logan Gaddy February 20, 2024 - 8:42 am

This is amazing!! I shared it with our elementary curriculum team.

I see you are working through 6-8, any chance you might do this for HS? This secondary science curriculum strategist would be over the moon if you did!

Emily Horn February 20, 2024 - 11:50 am

Hi Logan! I am planning to do middle and high school. I’m not sure about a timeline for them, though, but they are on the list!

Joey March 11, 2024 - 11:22 am

Emily, these are great! Do you by chance have a chart for the K-5 Social Studies TEKS?

Emily Horn March 11, 2024 - 6:33 pm

Hi Joey, the new K-5 social studies TEKS are actually next on my list! Keep an eye out for that post on 3/21. I’ll also do the middle school and high school social studies TEKS a little later.

Danielle April 2, 2024 - 11:41 am

Thank you! This is amazing! I have tried finding the Social Studies one but I can’t seem to locate it. Can you point me in the right direction? Thank you!

Emily Horn April 2, 2024 - 11:59 am

Hi Danielle! The social studies post got pushed slightly and will publish on Friday, 4/12!


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