Implementing Aha!Science Units

Each unit is designed to include several components as the means for improving student understanding of a topic. As you learn more about these components, you will also discover additional ways to use them to meet the specific needs of individual students. Aha!Science is made up of Instructional Modules, Lessons, Games, Simulations, Activities, Journal, and Quizzes. Each link below provides you with specific ideas for implementing that component.

 


How should I implement Instructional Modules?

  • Instruction Modules are designed for whole class Instruction of science concepts and procedures. Use the Instruction Modules to support your science Instruction. Instruction Modules are ideal for projection and full class participation. Use the pause feature to clarify meaning and pose questions to the whole group. It is important to engage students in the Module through discussion and interaction to support their science understanding.
  • Another effective implementation is to have students take notes during the video and collectively review what notes were critical to take. Review is supported in the summary at the end of each Instruction Module Students have a hard time pulling out important facts to remember and recording them in an effective way. By modeling note taking in support of science learning, you will be providing a critical skill for students to use in other core courses.

How do I incorporate Lessons into my classroom?

  • Lessons parallel the Instructional Modules in grades and topic areas. Each Lesson focuses on one or two key scientific concepts or topics presented in the Instruction Module and asks students to participate in their learning through interactive Lesson components. By having students work individually through the Lessons, you will get reports to follow the learning for each individual student. These Lessons are also great tools for small group and whole class Instruction and review.

 


How do I incorporate Simulations?

  • Aha!Science Simulations provide students with the opportunity to experiment with and explore what they have learned in the Instruction Modules and Lessons. Students get to work with digital manipulatives and variables to create different scientific outcomes, strengthening their understanding of the scientific method in situations that are relevant to them.

 


How do I use the Games with students?

  • Games are great motivators for students, but educators sometimes think students are learning little for the instructional time it takes to play a Game. Aha!Science designed Games in which students build fluency through application of science facts and concepts, as well as higher-order thinking and strategy. The best use of Games is to have students work with a partner or individually. Because Games embed increasing levels of difficulty, be sure students play the Games multiple times playing so they advance to the more difficult levels.

How do I use the Activities to promote learning?

  • Activities are designed to be implemented with a whole class. Because Activities are a printable PDF, they are not completed using the computer. To implement, provide the Instruction to the whole class, then have students work individually, in small groups, or through whole-class discussions.
  • Activities offer an opportunity for students to truly learn by doing. Activities are experiments or projects that are engaging and integrate use and application of the scientific method. Students will practice observation, analysis, and summarization in these hands-on, inquiry-driven Activities. Preread the Activity so you have all the materials students will need. Use the variations to extend students’ learning. Because of the open nature of the Activities, be aware of your time. It will be easy for students to get engaged in the learning as they work through each Activity. 

 

 


How do I use the Quizzes to inform me about student learning?

  • Each Instruction Module has an associated Quiz. The Quizzes work best when students are working independently but can be used as a review tool in small groups or with the whole class. Students are encouraged in the Quiz to learn from their mistakes through immediate feedback and the review feature. Strongly suggest that students retake Quizzes when they feel they were not successful; the teacher management system tracks every attempt.
  • It is important to note that the scoring is for academic grading purposes as Aha!Science is an instructional program and not an assessment program. Quizzes track whether students are progressing through a concept. Use the reports in Aha!Science to identify the concepts students are mastering and which concepts are causing them problems. The reports also show how much time students take, providing insight into fluency growth.

How do I use the Journal feature with my students?

  • The student Journal is a dynamic feature for both students and educators to use. A guiding prompt and/or questions are presented to the student in the Journal. Journal entries are available for each Aha!Science Activity and are a great way to extend students’ hands-on learning into language arts and application of the scientific method. Students are often asked to state a hypothesis, reflect on observations, and analyze and summarize what they learned in an Activity. This builds conceptual and process fluency across science topics.
  • Journaling is a great way to wrap up and reflect upon a project. It also provides a foundation and notes for further inquiry. Journal entries can be submitted for review before they are submitted for grading, enabling the teacher to provide directive comments and feedback to the student, as well as an explanation of the final assigned grade.
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