Discovering Something New

I used the website http://edutecher.com to help me find the first two resources listed for my middle school science classroom.  I had no previous experience with these two sites.

The first website I looked at was www.edufy.org. This free website provides teachers with activities to help teach STEM education.  They provide a place for teachers to share, edit and find great science lesson activities.  You can start off by looking at the most popular lessons or search for a specific topic.  I used the search box to find activities on cells.  The lessons give detailed information in the summary including a description of the lesson, grade levels, learning style, learning cycle using the 5 E Model, duration, number of views, standards and any tags associated with the lesson.  You can then save, print or tweet the activity.  Creating your own activities is also quick and easy and will be saved along with any activities that you find on the site to save under the My Stuff tab.  This site is easy to use and I immediately found a resource that I can use in my classroom in the next couple of weeks that turns my classroom into the human body and students learn how the levels of blood sugar in your blood affects your body.

The second site I looked at was www.explorelearning.com.  This website has Gizmos that are interactive simulations on different science topics.  You can search by standard or topic/grade level.  This site also allows you to set up classes and log ins for your students.  You can then assign your students the different gizmos.  There are teacher lesson handouts and student handouts that go with each simulation.  Students can also answer assessment questions about each Gizmo.  You can track student performance.  The site also has great tutorials to help you learn how to use the website.  The site also has a free ITunes app so students can use the simulations on an iPad.  The simulations can be used as a whole class lesson, small group, enrichment, homework, etc.  The simulations help students see science that can’t be replicated in a classroom.  The one downside to this website is the cost of subscription.  The website gives you the option of a 30 day free trial but does not discuss cost on their website.  You have to fill out a form to request more information.

easel.lyAnother site that I used for the first time this week was http://easel.ly. This is a free website that allows you to create infographics for your classroom.  It does not offer educator accounts and students need to have an email to create their own account.  I could not find a minimum age for registering in their Terms of Use.  The website gives a great introduction video to make it easier to navigate the website and create your own infographic.  I was able to create my own infographic within 10 minutes of creating an account.

You can also make it public and share with a web link or an embed code.  It also has the option to download your graphic or view in your browser.  The one thing I wish this site had is an educator account with student log ins.  I teach 7th grade (12-13 year olds) and am wary about asking them to create their own accounts, especially those requiring an email address.  I really think my students would love this site and I could easily print their products for classroom use.

Dembo, S., & Bellow, A. (2013). Untangling the web. Thousand Oaks, Ca: Corwin.

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