Teacher Review For NOVA Elements

easy to start and hard to stop investigating the Elements

Jeff F.
Technology coordinator
Kermit McKenzie Junior High School
Guadalupe, CA
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My Grades 6, 7, 8
My Subjects English Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies
My Rating 5
Learning Scores
Engagement 4
Pedagogy 5
Support 4
My Students Liked It Yes
My Students Learned Yes
I Would Recommend It Yes
Setup Time 5-15 minutes
Great for Further application
Knowledge gain
Small group
Student-driven work
Teacher-led lessons
Whole class
Great with Advanced learners
How I Use It
I use it as an add-on to learning because not all student have tablets. I have run the app as an open-book reference on the a projector (students can come up and research and share like they would an interactive whiteboard) and students doing team projects work on their own devices and at home. The elements are not core content of my science curriculum (6th grade), but we dig really deep into energy, materials, and invention, so I find it very useful to ground students in the fundamental building blocks of matter and energy (bad pun intended).
My Take
This app is layered and has diverse ways to access learning. In 'explore' the interactive table goes beyond info and pictures for each element, and lets them build models. The short videos for "Hunting the elements" are good for all ages, fun and high quality, with links to more on NOVA online. Although kids wanted to jump right to "play", there was a learning curve unless they just used the auto build feature. In my opinion it is superb on a tablet, and although students seem happy with a small phone sized screen I think it is less clear in that format. It makes the 'table of elements' come alive, gives choices for users, and connects vividly through videos to 'the big world'.