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Teaching Strategies

Easy to Use Distance Learning Resources for Science

We all thought that with a little bit of diligence, the pandemic would be finished by now. But here we are, and school is starting again amid a massive aura of uncertainty and fear. Should we prepare to teach online or in person? Or are we preparing for a blended model? Whatever your district decides, I’m here to share some easy to use distance learning resources for your middle or high school science class to ease the burden.

Lessons

We used Nearpod with the Water Cycle, and the kids had a blast with the draw feature.

When it comes to whole group teaching during distance learning in my science class, Nearpod was the ticket. With this free platform, you can upload any presentation you already have in PowerPoint format. Then, you can edit it to make it a lot more interactive than it was before.

To give you an idea of the kinds of interactive features you can add to your old presentations, Nearpod includes:

  • Free draw with prompt (great for vocabulary and internal summaries)
  • Polls
  • Multiple choice questions
  • Matching
  • Long form free writes

In the spring, I tried to add an interactive element every couple of slides to make sure that my students were still engaged and to give them an opportunity to ask questions, check for understanding, or to simply give them a chance to express themselves (one of the biggest things I miss after transitioning to distance learning).

Homework

For homework, because focusing during a virtual lesson is really tough, I liked to reiterate the days learning with a guided reading. That way they have all the information they need at their fingertips to review and refresh.

I have created a catalog of over 50 of these resources, all coming in both printable PDF format and in a Google Slide version. If you decide to use PDFs for assignments with your students, you can have them download Kami, a Google Chrome extension that allows students to fill in PDFs. Personally, I prefer the Google Apps because they are easier to check when students submit them back to Google Classroom.

Here’s an example of one guided reading on the scientific method:

Get it directly from me or through TPT. You can also shop my entire collection of these Google Classroom friendly resources to find more great topics like the water cycle, antibiotic resistance, friction, chemical reactions, and much more.

Try my States of Matter resource for free, and get more free resources by subscribing:

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Games

If you’re like me, the saddest part of distance learning is definitely the lack of authentic interactions with students. Skribblio quickly became a favorite of ours when we needed to spend some time relaxing and enjoying one another’s company.

To play, you as the teacher can easily set up a room and get a sharable link that you can send to your students through whatever platform your school uses. The students will join in, and from there it’s basically Scrabble. Everyone gets a turn to draw from a selection of 3 secret words, and the rest of the group guesses. To sweeten the deal, you can even choose your own words to make this into a fun vocabulary review game!

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