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List of Benchmarks for Thinking and Reasoning

Standard 4.Understands and applies basic principles of hypothesis testing and scientific inquiry
  Level I (Grade K-2)
   1. Understands that changing one thing sometimes causes changes in something else and that changing the same thing in the same way usually has the same result
  Level II (Grade 3-5)
   1. Keeps a notebook that describes observations
   2. Verifies the results of experiments
   3. Distinguishes between actual observations and inferences (i.e., ideas or conclusions about what was observed)
   4. Keeps systematic records of observations (e.g., temperature, precipitation, cloud cover) to formulate hypotheses
  Level III (Grade 6-8)
   1. Understands that there are a variety of ways people can form hypotheses, including basing them on many observations, basing them on very few observations, and constructing them on only one or two observations
   2. Understands the importance of verifying the results of experiments
   3. Understands that there may be more than one valid way to interpret a set of findings
   4. Questions findings in which no mention is made of whether the control group is very similar to the experimental group
   5. Formulates a new hypothesis for study after an old hypothesis has been eliminated
   6. Makes and validates conjectures about outcomes of an experiment
  Level IV (Grade 9-12)
   1. Identifies and critiques studies in which data, explanations, or conclusions are presented as the only ones worth considering
   2. Presents alternative explanations and conclusions to one’s own experiments and those of others
   3. Critiques procedures, explanations, and conclusions in one’s own experiments and those of others