How I Use It
This educational tool is very comprehensive and can be immediately implemented in your classroom. There are complete units for almost all science subject areas including: Biology, Physics/Physical Science, Chemistry, Earth/Environmental Science and even Health Sciences. All the units include lesson plans that gives teachers directions, approximate times for each part of the lesson, materials, rubrics and answer keys when applicable. The lessons also include student guides that help students work through and write out their ideas for each section of the lesson. Students start a unit by solving a mystery about a science concept that is presented to them in the form of a comic, then students will complete a hands on lab activity and then finally they will design a solution to the initial mystery. In the new Plate Tectonics Unit, students solve the mystery of where Earthquakes and Volcanoes tend to occur, they conduct a lab where they represent the different plate boundaries using graham crackers and then they engineer a solution to prevent damage from either earthquakes or volcanoes.
This is one of the most detailed and useful content based tools that I have reviewed but it is only free to try and not all units are available to use with the free version. I do love how it includes everything I need to use for the lessons immediately. After reviewing the materials I have all of the instructions and student directions to use in my classroom. I love that the content is presented as a comic, making harder concepts less intimidating to students. I also think the hands on activities are great and love the connection the engineering activities have to the Next Generation Science Standards. The student roles are very useful for managing the group work. The lessons break up the students into the following roles: the Technician, the Materials Manager and the Recorder. There are also grading rubrics for the assignments, vocabulary warm ups, mind maps, reading comprehension questions and exit tickets. The lesson plans include answers, visuals for lab set ups and the rubrics. The introduction to the units also include common misconceptions for the content being learned. This is an extremely useful tool for teachers to anticipate student questions or student comprehension before they begin the unit.