On this episode, listener Elissa asks “How can students do activities when they don't have supplies at home?” It is imperative that your students have the ability to engage in science activities even if they are doing them from home.
Nicole and Erin provide a few useful strategies to help make sure your students can do activities when they aren't in the classroom.
Helping Your Students do Science Activities from Home
In order to ensure equity, you must make sure that all students have the ability to participate in activities from home. But, this is tricky in a remote learning scenario. Here are a few ways that you can ensure equal access to these activities.
Utilize online simulations so that students won't need additional supplies.
Simulations are great way to allow students to investigate without the use of additional supplies. Also, simulations allow students to manipulate variables in a controlled setting.
There are countless simulations available to use online. And, most of these simulations are free to access and use for your class.
Build take home bags of supplies for students.
Many teachers have started to put together bags of supplies for their students. Generally, these include inexpensive, disposable materials. Schools offer pickup days so that students can obtain supplies.
However, doing this is tricky for several reasons. For example, you must be very careful about the type of materials that you provide to your students. You may be liable in the event that a student is injured.
Also, creating these resources is time consuming and produces a lot of waste. For these reasons, Erin suggests using alternative methods for having your students complete activities.
Allow students to plan their investigations using the supplies they already have.
Provide your students with background information and have them chose what materials that they will use.
For example, students may create a ramp to investigate kinetic and potential energy. Allow students to choose the ramp height and the materials that they will use. To monitor their investigations, have students submit a proposal before they start.
Also, have students create presentations about how they completed their investigation. This is a great way to discuss experimental design and issues that students may have with their design.
When students can't do the activity themselves, rely on recorded demos and videos.
It isn't always possible for students to do activities from home. So, this is a great time to use a demonstration. Also, many demonstrations have already been recorded by other teachers. These are often available on Youtube™.
Using YouTube™ for Demos
Nicole suggests using YouTube™ videos without the audio. Often, the videos include explanations. However, there is an options for your to embed or share videos without the audio so that students are able to figure out the meaning themselves.
Want to learn more?
Here are some other episodes that you might want to listen to:
- Sadler Science: How to Successfully Scaffold the Experimental Design Process