Just in time for back-to-school: New distance learning resources are available on Wide Open School.
The activities on Sid's Science Fair can be excellent supplements to introductory lessons on identifying characteristics, organizing a timeline, and compiling information. In a classroom-wide lesson, with small groups, or with individual students, teachers can enlist Sid to explain math-related science concepts like data and charts. You may also want to use this app to help pre-K or kindergarteners get involved in a school science fair. If older kids are hosting a science fair they'll visit as spectators, Sid's Science Fair is a great way for them to learn vocabulary and play around with the science fair concept before visiting a real one. Best of all, kids are called "scientists" throughout, sending a positive and inclusive message.Continue reading Show less
Sid's Science Fair is an excellent and experiential science-and-math learning app that can interest kids in science through three, fair-based activities. As Sid and his friends explain their exhibits and invite kids to play with the contents and concepts, kids can learn about classifying objects by color, size, and more; identifying patterns; charting data (in a simple, age-appropriate way); and sequencing. They can get a bit of counting practice, too, and the app explains some science-related vocabulary words very clearly ("What's data? When you count things and then put them on a chart, you're collecting data. Touch a piece of data to collect it"). It also encourages kids to apply the words they've just learned.
Sid's Science Fair's strengths are its use of well-known, engaging TV characters and activities in a well-designed, colorful setting. The vocabulary and concepts students learn – for example, noticing small details, sorting, and charting -- can be applied in both the classroom and in everyday life. One improvement would be to give kids a card that's "stamped" when they master an exhibit, or something similar to track progress. It might also be nice to periodically add even more activities, as well as some organized, step-by-step ideas for teachers on related extension activities for the classroom.
Of the three activities on Sid's Science Fair, the standout is probably Gerald's Time Machine, wherein kids practice sequencing time-lapse photography with science-related images (melting ice, a geyser, decomposing fruit, and more). After kids organize the photos, they get the reward of moving a cursor across the screen to view the object's change. Sid's Science Fair is concrete, multifaceted, learning fun.
Key Standards Supported
Measurement And Data
Classify objects into given categories; count the numbers of objects in each category and sort the categories by count.3
Describe measurable attributes of objects, such as length or weight. Describe several measurable attributes of a single object.
Directly compare two objects with a measurable attribute in common, to see which object has “more of”/“less of” the attribute, and describe the difference. For example, directly compare the heights of two children and describe one child as taller/shorter.
Key Standards Supported
With guidance and support from adults, explore word relationships and nuances in word meanings.
Use words and phrases acquired through conversations, reading and being read to, and responding to texts.