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Engagement for Virtual Science Lessons

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Anel Velasquez Anel Velasquez 445 Points

Any suggestions on how to create an engaging learning environment during virtual science instruction? I find that many teachers are just assigning worksheets for students to complete and nothing else. I want students to view science as exciting, especially in this virtual world. 

Hello Anel, I haven't been in a classroom yet but I do have siblings who do virtual classes. A few things I've noticed keeps them engaged in their science classes. Sometimes their teacher has them go on scavenger hunts around the house. For example, they were doing a lesson on the colors of the rainbow so their teacher had them go find objects that matched the colors so they could make their own rainbow. Another thing their teacher tries to use is whole-brain learning. They create a movement for the different vocabulary words that the students are to use when they hear the teacher say them or they say them themselves. 

Kim Leslie Kim and Leslie 30 Points

Oh my. The word "worksheet" makes me cringe everytime. In my time as a science teacher, there is literally only one worksheet that I would stand behind as a super valuable endeavor (it was on developing ideas about gravity and thought problem work re: dropping an object through a tunnel that extended all the way through the core and out, and what would happen to that object as it fell... students did the first part on their own, then had to partner up, share ideas and create a collaborative sketch/understanding, and then group up with even more peers to create a final hypothesis sketch... it was a hell of a worksheet :)).

Anyway, I think it's important to remember to have the "instruction" (meaning the info/directions/synchronous time) be super short and then feel comfortable having the students go away from the screen and actually DO stuff. Like Gabrielle suggests, scavenger hunts... or hands-on tasks, observations, virtual experiences like PhET simulation work, interviews with people in their household, etc. The "virtual" part of the experience can and should be relatively small.

Shelby Pettigrew Shelby Pettigrew 1250 Points

I don't know if you've tried it yet, but peardeck through Google Slides is a great resource for keeping students engaged. I believe they added a feature where students can go at their own pace, but you can also make it to where it presents on all screens at the same time. What makes it great is that you can insert peardeck slides in where students respond to questions by typing, choosing multiple choice, drawing, and more. (AND IT'S FREE!) We actually use it a lot in my education courses at my university because it's so great for formative assessment. 

Dale Dale Koryn Dale 50 Points

One website, that I really like to use for interaction is Seesaw. This website, lets you add videos, create questions, add photos, text, links to other websites, give feedback to your students, grade their work and lets you pick grade level activites. This website allows students to be interactive and creatve. They can pick and choose what they want to make and how they want to make it. This website also benefits the teachers because it allows for all of the students work to be in the same place. 

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