Just in time for back-to-school: New distance learning resources are available on Wide Open School.
While you help some students measure bean plants, play tug-of-war, or discuss the function of animal tails, other youngsters can fly solo with the site’s corresponding online activities. Through your teacher dashboard, you can assign specific tasks to individuals or simply put the whole unit into the class docket. Kids can complete tasks again and again. Not all of your group will grasp all of the content, but the exposure won’t hurt. You can feel assured that the information on this site is rich in content and great at connecting to other areas.Continue reading Show less
Science4Us is a comprehensive, online early-elementary science curriculum. Designed around the 5E (engage, explore, explain…) approach, each unit follows an established pattern. Students first access prior knowledge through prompts in their online notebook. Next, simulations –- like testing the effects of heat sources and time on foods –- allow kids to explore the topic. Subsequent tutorials include short audio books, cartoons, or video segments. During these lessons, kids are prompted to “Show what you know,” keeping them engaged and cycling them back if they get a question wrong.
Units contain multiple fun practice activities, many of which utilize the science content to address inquiry, math, and literacy skills. Various assessments are available online and offline, some differentiated for grade levels. Teacher support is immense: short Web tutorials, detailed lesson plans, and extra printable materials.
Science4Us is a great supplement to your classroom instruction. In light of its cost, and because it provides an everything-done-for-you approach, some may want to embrace it solely. However, herein lies the danger: Without more context for the underlying scientific principles, kids will miss out on the messy, experimental, data-collecting type of science that they love and need. The Science4Us team could do more by providing investigations to try, material lists, and avenues for students to share class or home-gathered data with others.
Definitely geared for early-elementary learners, the site reads all directions and text aloud. Icons allow for replaying instructions, accessing glossaries, or viewing mini-lessons. Information is provided in words as well as pictures or video, and is almost always snipped into few-minute chunks. Unfortunately, vocabulary is stressed more than necessary. Some youngsters may not make the connections between the concepts (like pushes and pulls) and the simulations (mini-golf).
Key Standards Supported
Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity
Make observations of plants and animals to compare the diversity of life in different habitats.
Earth and Human Activity
Communicate solutions that will reduce the impact of humans on the land, water, air, and/or other living things in the local environment.
Motion and Stability: Forces and Interactions
Plan and conduct an investigation to compare the effects of different strengths or different directions of pushes and pulls on the motion of an object.
Waves and Their Applications in Technologies for Information Transfer
Plan and conduct an investigation to determine the effect of placing objects made with different materials in the path of a beam of light.