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Remote learning resources & advice

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Melissa Portillo Melissa Portillo 1245 Points

Hello everyone!! 

I am a future teacher and I am interested to learn more about what types of resources are available when teaching elementary school science remotely. I know times are tough and it’s hard to adjust for students, making it extremely hard to keep them engaged through a computer screen. Are there any tips or tricks that you guys use in order to maintain control of your classroom online? Are there any specific science websites that are used to help students learn remotely and keep them engaged throughout the lesson? If you could give a future teacher advice what would it be?

Maria Guadarrama Maria Guadarrama 650 Points

Hello Melissa, 

I am also a future teacher but have luckily had some experience doing science activities remotely. When it comes to science activities, you have to keep in mind safety precautions. Also, you want to make sure that if any materials are sent home you let the parents know. If the activity requires adult supervision, I suggest for you to do the activity. You can have students observe and include interactive worksheets. These worksheets have to go along with your science lesson. This will make the students engage in the learning process.

Aryssa Jassoy Aryssa Jassoy 824 Points


There is an app called Peardeck which allows students to draw and label things and then submit them to the teacher. You could use this to have them draw and label the parts of the water cycle for example. It's so much easier than typing everything out, and it is a better solution that having students take a picture of what they drew and emailing it. I also saw someone else mention movement breaks, I believe this is so important during distance learning as children tend to zone out after sitting in front of a screen for hours. GoNoodle is a good resource to use for movement breaks.

Good luck!

Kendra Logar Kendra Logar 1133 Points

Hi Melissa!
I am also a future teaching finishing up my ELED degree. Throughout my clinical observations I came across this really neat website called Pear Deck. It is an "add-on" in google slides that allows you to make your power point interactive! This will really help with keeping students engaged and will allow you to see who is paying attention and who is not. You can use Pear Deck to teach, review, or just for more social emotional needs. You can pose questions for them to answer in real time and you are allowed to see all of their responses as they submit them! You can ask questions that require a written response, multiple choice responses, or you can even have them draw an image as their response! I really like this tool and think it is so versatile! Along with Pear Deck, Google Jam board is another great tool! This is similar to a google slide, however there is a drawing tool and a post-it note tool. This is good for making notes and observations on the fly rather than having everything typed up. One thing to keep in mind through all of this madness is that we are all learning. No one is an expert at teaching through a computer screen. Take it one day at a time and you'll do great! Good luck! :)

Carolyn Mohr Carolyn Mohr 88013 Points

Hi Melissa,

I came across this video clip that features a fourth grade teacher sharing some great distance learning resources.  I hope you will have time to check the video out at:

This particular teacher has several videos for distance learning.


You asked about advice for future teaching; I use the NSTA Library to store my science resources.  It is easily accessible and no matter what school district I teach at, I will be able to have my 'electronic' file cabinet of resources at my fingertips.  I now have over 300 resources (articles, book chapters, archived web semiars, etc.) stored in my library.  I also have personal files I have uploaded through the years.  I hope you will start to collect resources for your future science teaching!  Best of wishes for a great, effective teaching career.

Best wishes,

Carolyn Mohr

Adjunct Professor, Dominican University

River Forest, IL

Ariel Kimbrough Ariel Kimbrough 1515 Points

Hey Melissa!

So I am not a current teacher, but I have had to connect with students via zoom since this pandemic has begun. To maintain control of the students, I give brain breaks and have them get up every once in a while to strecth. I treat it as if I am in a classroom because having students sit behind a computer screen all day is not healthy and it is harmful to their eyes. By doing this as well as other bodily movements, it keeps them active and awake. When I was in middle school, my teacher often used "Bill Nye the Science Guy" and other fun science videos to keep us engaged. I think fun, but informative videos will help students stay engaged as well as whole classroom discussions. It is hard for everyone during these times, so I would tell a future teacher to keep their head up and make sure you stay in contact with the students. Children love knowing that their teacher cares about them in and out of school. Having open communication is key!

Jessica Rice Jessica Rice 1510 Points

Hi Melissa,

I found a journal article that may be of interest. It talks about a collaborative life science project that participants can use via a mobile device. It could engage students to make observations, record data, and get active outside! 

Here is the link:

Hope this helps! 

Lizeth Garcia Lizeth Garcia 554 Points

Hi Melissa!

No one could have possibly predicted the abrupt transition to remote learning and unfortunately there is no telling how long it will last. Here I have attached a blog post by Marcy Buchanan that shares various great resources that can be implemented while distant teaching.

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