1. The handouts are designed for a middle school audience. However, ability levels vary widely. You may need to modify the reading level and number of questions depending on the nature of the group you are working with. Completing a lesson in a single period may not be possible for some students. You might consider breaking a lesson up over several days or completing some sections as a group. Please use your experience and knowledge of the ability levels of your students as you decide what course to take.
2. Most science teachers have taught the scientific method in one form or another for many years. The new standards changes the focus towards science practices or skills, which can create confusion as to what exactly to teach and how to teach it. It is important to have an agreed upon plan within your school or school district for teaching these important concepts. If science practices are taught in a different way every time a student enters a new grade level or has a new teacher, students must be retrained and become easily confused by differing expectations. The "Scientific Practices" unit on "How About Science?" represents years of collaboration between teachers of various grade levels, who have the goal of creating consistency and continuity as students move through their middle school years and beyond.
3. How you implement the lessons in your class depends on your access to computers or other internet connected devices. If you have access to only one computer, the videos will need to be displayed on a screen and the worksheets completed as a group. This is a great option given that the questions may generate some interesting discussions. If you have a classroom set of computers, students can work individually using ear buds or headphones and pause the videos as needed. If everyone doesn't have headphones this stills seems to work fine if the volume is not turned up very loud.
4. "How About Science?" activities are designed to assist teachers in meeting the national science standards. However, please consult the standards and use supplemental activities on topics when you find it necessary.
5. Regarding video quality, most schools have issues with internet connection speeds. High resolution playback requires a good internet connection. Both Vimeo and YouTube have controls for adjusting the resolution. If the video is fuzzy you may need to increase the resolution. If playback becomes choppy you made need to reduce the resolution. (see the arrows below) If you have high speed internet you can use the highest resolution possible and expand the videos to full screen. To expand to full screen click "YouTube" or "Vimeo" in the control bar and then click the arrows (Vimeo) or box (YouTube).