Sat Nov 19, 2011 11:23 PM
This is a very good resource. It starts with providing a general and simplified view of energy, that kinetic and potential energy can be calculated, and addresses different types and forms of energy in a fashion that is easy to understand. This SciGuide, like others, is organized the same with the introduction followed by themes in easy to find boxes. The thematic units are: 1) Recognizing Energy, 2) Thermal Energy, and 3) Changes in Energy. This particular SciGuide is focused for middle school students.
I used the Thermal Energy theme to teach lessons that I found on conduction, convection and radiation. They were excellent, had my students engage, easily found materials in my science classroom (affordable) and simple to follow. This SciGuide, like others, breaks the thematic unit into smaller portions. For example, Thermal Energy is broken down into Heat Transfer, How Does Heat Move?, and The Nature of Thermal Energy. I do recommend this SciGuide for anyone needing vetted internet links and foundational information to understand and find useful engaging lessons for a middle school classroom.
Sat Nov 19, 2011 10:30 PM
I have enjoyed using this SciGuide because it has actually provided me useful and relevant information that I could immediately use in my classroom without having to “reinvent the wheel”. It provides a general overview of Coral Ecosystems and then goes into greater depth under three different themes: 1) Coral Reef Biology, 2) Coral Reef Ecosystem, and 3) Coral Reef Conservation.
Within each thematic unit, it provides another more specific general overview along with breakdowns between grade levels, lesson plan resources, and additional resources. Most of the informed sources and information available is rated for grades 9-12. However, with minimal “customization”, I was able to bring much of this information into the classroom. Admittedly, it does help I live in Hawaii and it is a topic already near and dear to the hearts of my students. The simulations are short and to the point – enough to explain a concept that engages our mostly media savvy students.
One of the most useful portions are the vetted links they have. NSTA has obviously worked closely with scientists and government agencies, such as NOAA, to develop and disseminate good information that as a teacher, I can feel comfortable using. Really neat media events that are easily used to guide instruction are linked within a box and is fast to access. For example, I really enjoyed seeing the coral spawning – a rarely seen reproductive event.