Sat Jul 14, 2012 5:28 PM
Exploring "Experimental Design"
I enjoyed going through this SciGuide specifically because it was broken down into various grade-levels (K-4, 5-8, 9-12) and discussed the importance of looking at what students should be able to do across the continuum of grades. It also stressed the importance of designing investigations that are authentic, active processes that are both hands-on and minds-on. The lessons were mapped out according to grade level, as stated, and this was further divided into sections called "Designing an Experiment", "Scientific Investigations", and the "Scientific Method". These had links for both teachers and students (SciLinks) that had a great number of resources to use in the classroom. I especially liked learningscience.org and the link "Tools to do Science", as well as some of the science games for students. I will definitely use the information for my grade four students in laying the foundations of inquiry based learning. I thought the lessons were grade-appropriate and a good place to start the four phases of asking, predicting, trying, and observing. Overall, the site was full of useful links and ideas for the beginning of the year and getting kids involved in the scientific process.
Fri Jul 13, 2012 5:50 PM
The Rocks SciPack is filled with great activities for middle school students, however, I see many ways to customize the lessons for my fourth grade class. There are links to text, multimedia simulations, inquiry activities, and games that can be used with upper elementary school students. I especially like the link "Beyond Penguins and Polar Bears" that has science stories for students listed by grade level. I also find that I can easily use some of the interactive website links, specifically "Bitesize", the BBC KS3 Revision on the Rock Cycle. The flash simulations are useful to supplement lessons discussing sedimentary, metamorphic, and igneous rock formations. In the Additional Sources section there are grade-appropriate links to assessment probes and reading activities for teachers and students alike. Overall, I find that this SciGuide is a useful tool in beginning a learning cycle on Rocks.
Wed Mar 07, 2012 3:08 PM
Nuts for Nutrition!
This SciGuide has a plethora of resources for teachers that can be used in middle school or modified for lower grades. It was easy to navigate and the Topic Map with links at the beginning is a great way to find your way around the site. The lessons and interactives explore food as the source of energy, body systems and how they interact, the elements of human growth, and the calories and nutrients our bodies need. I will be using several links with my fourth grade students as we begin a unit on nutrition and fitness. There are several review sites I will use as well, such as "The Cell Explorer" and "Energy Flow Web" simulations. I like that the Guide has many links to Kid's Health.org which allows for students to research what is most relevant in their lives. I will use several simulations on body systems, as well as a nice game for the students to play called "Nutrition Decision" that examines food labels. As we begin in class to keep food and exercise logs, there are plenty of resources in this SciGuide that reinforce these activities. Several of the interactive links were inactive, however, that was the only difficulty with the Guide that I experienced. I will definitely use these resources in my class and would recommend the Guide to other teachers as well.