We had the opportunity to review Science4Us.com Online Subscription (created by the same folks as VocabularySpellingCity!!) which is an online Science program geared toward grades Kindergarten through 2nd (but those in 3rd – 5th could use it as a review of previous things learned) and runs $7.95 per month per child. This program covers Physical Science (matter, energy, force & motion), Inquiry (science tools), Life Science (plants, animals, habitats, and more) and Earth/Space (history, materials, features, weather, exploring the universe and earth in space). I used this program with my Kindergartner.
There are two “sides” to this program…one for the student and one for the teacher. We will start with the student side.
This is what they see when they first login:
The FIRST thing the students should do is watch the video in the upper left corner…it will show them how to navigate through the system.
After that they can see “My Assignments” directly in the middle (these are / can be assigned by the teacher). They can click on that, or they can choose one of the “Books of Science” in the upper right. They also can find out more information about where they have been and general terms by clicking something in the “My Tools” box on the left. As they complete the assignments given by the teacher, the “My Assignments” box changes too. So this is a very simple way for them to login and simply click the first item in that box to get started. Or if you aren’t particular where they work, they can click one of the books and get started.
It is suggested by Science4Us.com that they start with the top three circles in the lower right box with each topic: Engage, Explore, Explain – and they should be done in that order. From there they can do any of the activities they would like (also found in that same box). Each topic has an “Evaluation” they can take when they are done with that module.
Above is a picture of what is being done in the “Engage” part for Science Tools. You can tell you are in “Engage” by the upper right box. As you can see, the pages are very colorful. The “notebook” is a place where the students can have a lot of fun and show some of their creativity. Often times they get to draw their own things using the available tools!
Above is an example of “Explore”. We had a lot of fun with this one! It was showing motion…and the difference between curves, uphill and downhill. (The screens get more and more difficult as the student completes the one prior.)
Below is another example of “Explore”…it is really neat all the different activities this program has! Here the students drag the name to the correct place.
And another explore example…this one was REALLY cool…you could move the picture around to see all different sides and planets. Then when you clicked on a planet it told you more about it. It was really neat!
Here is an example of an “Explain” activity; you can see the different areas discussed by looking at the very bottom starting at the left.
Below is one of our favorite activities…SillyBulls…the student gets to put the words in correct syllable order. One of the things I *GREATLY* appreciated about this program is that EVERY.THING “talks” to the child…it is understood that Kindergartner’s cannot read. Nothing frustrates me more than a program written for this age that doesn’t “talk” to them! So…I LOVED that about this program!
And ANOTHER bonus to this program…it works on other things besides just Science!
When it comes time to do the evaluations, the students get to see immediate results of how they did.
As you can see this is a pretty amazing program with A LOT of different activities to help the students learn.
A couple of things we would have like to see handled differently are the fact that if you stopped an activity in the middle for some reason…you had to start all over at the beginning again (which for some of the “explain” activities can be quite a bit of time) and we would have liked to be able to know how long a video would be playing.
Overall, VERY IMPRESSED!
Now for the “teacher area”. This area is kind of basic although it does allow you to “drill down” pretty specifically on a particular student and what they have completed, it doesn’t really offer a very good “general overview” of how the students are doing. I think the most impressive parts of “this side” is that there is A LOT of information provided for the teacher and that you can plan out the activities for the students in any order you prefer (by student). [I only reviewed this with one student so I cannot comment on how it works for handling more than one.]
This is what the assignment area looks like on the teacher side. It shows near the top middle right how long this session is expected to take (most are in the area of 30 minutes). There is “Professional Development” in the lower left which provides information for this module that would be important for the teacher to know…this can be viewed as a pdf or as a video. There is also “Teacher Support” (middle right) which gives a guide to how to teach this module for a particular grade level. Here is where some additional fun, hands-on / off the computer, learning games can be found.
Here is an example of one of the screens you can see for a student:
You can also look at the students notebook entries…and MAKE COMMENTS!
Overall we REALLY enjoyed this program and found it to be an extremely fun way to learn about science (as well as other things like alphabetizing)!
[As a side note that I always look for with Science related items especially - this is not a Biblical program therefore it shows millions of years. Personally we see this in so many things that we have found a way around it that we just don't point it out (if it is visual) or make a quick noise to cover "millions of years" being said. But, I did want to share this information with you so you would be aware.]
Read more Science4Us.com reviews from the Schoolhouse Review Crew!
Here’s praying you have fun learning!