Middle School Physical Science Curriculum Guide

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1 Middle School Physical Science Curriculum Guide Contents General Course Information... 2 Instructor Orientation... 2 Core Instruction... 2 Supplemental Instruction... 2 Complementary Instruction... 2 Types of Learning Activities... 3 Interactive Flash Activities... 3 Videos... 3 Exploratory Sections... 3 Practice Questions... 4 Web Activities... 7 Odyssey Writer Activities... 7 Odyssey Community Activities... 7 Additional Learning Aids... 7 Toolkit... 7 Vocabulary... 8 Hints... 8 Calculator... 9 Support for Science Literacy... 9 Expected Durations... 9

2 General Course Information In Odyssey Middle School Physical Science, students investigate topics in chemistry and physics, including physical and chemical changes, atoms and elements, mixtures and solutions, the periodic table, states of matter, motion, gravity, density and buoyancy, energy, heat, the properties of waves, and light. Lessons are presented in an engaging, game-like format, with multiple opportunities for students to practice what they have learned. Physical Science, combined with appropriate content from the Odyssey Middle School Nature of Science course, provides the equivalent of a full year of science education for students in grades 6 8. Topics from Physical Science may also be combined with other Odyssey Middle School Science courses to create integrated science programs of study. Instructor Orientation Core Instruction Odyssey Middle School Science may be used for core instruction in science content. The course may also be used in a summer school setting, a computer lab, at home, or in similar situations where core instruction may be needed outside of regular science class and a certified science teacher may not be available to assist the student. The software provides a complete solution including direct instruction, guided practice, and assessment. In this scenario, the instructor s primary role is to monitor student progress. Supplemental Instruction Odyssey Middle School Science may also be used as a supplement to in-class instruction. Activities can be assigned to students as extra practice. Activities may also be assigned to individual students or groups of students requiring extra help with a particular concept. The content can also be used for students who would like to explore topics in greater depth. Physical Science may also be used as a test-preparation tool to allow students to review concepts they have already been taught. In this scenario, the instructor s role is to choose the most appropriate activities and learning goals for each student. Odyssey can create custom learning paths for each student to assist with this. Complementary Instruction Teachers may assign activities to students to complete outside of normal class time, allowing inclass time to focus on practice, hands-on labs, and otherwise assisting students. Alternatively, entire activities or portions of activities may be used as a whole-class activity to introduce a concept. In this type of implementation, you will be able to focus more on assisting students with their individual needs, since prep time and class time does not need to be devoted to delivering direct instruction.

3 Types of Learning Activities Interactive Flash Activities Interactive activities in Odyssey Middle School Science include direct instruction through videos, self-paced exploratory sections, and opportunities for students to practice and receive feedback. Each of these components is discussed in more detail below. Videos Each video segment is between two and three minutes long and is accompanied by text and animation illustrating the concepts that are taught. There are between two and four video segments in each activity. Exploratory Sections There are two types of exploratory sections found in activities. Interactive explorations allow students to explore concepts in greater depth in the order of their choice.

4 Slide shows allow students to explore a concept in a prescribed order, although they can move backward and forward through slides they have already visited. Practice Questions Students can practice concepts and skills and receive feedback in several different formats. Check-in questions keep students engaged and allow them to gauge their understanding following direct instruction.

5 Multiple choice questions are more challenging and provide detailed feedback for both correct and incorrect answers. Many questions target common misunderstandings students have about a particular concept. Some multiple choice questions are more game-like, and allow students quick practice and feedback.

6 Fill-in-the-blank questions allow students to practice calculations and enter other short responses. Incorrect answer choices direct students to segments reteaching the key concept being assessed. Students may also be asked to choose correct answers from menus; for example, to label a diagram or complete a table. Incorrect answer choices direct students to segments reteaching the key concept being assessed.

7 Finally, students may complete graphic organizers summarizing the key concepts of an activity by dragging answer choices to their correct locations. Web Activities Web activities are links to web sites outside of Odyssey. Web activities include simulations of science concepts, news articles, and other online activities designed to enrich the content. Odyssey Writer Activities Odyssey Writer activities are short writing assignments that students complete and submit to the teacher to be graded. Odyssey Community Activities Odyssey Community Activities allow students to respond to a prompt in a message board format. These activities allow students to share their thoughts with their peers and discuss what they are learning. Additional Learning Aids Toolkit A student toolkit for each Odyssey Middle School Science course includes access to a scientific calculator, periodic table of the elements, links to simulations in the course, reference charts for the course, information about science fairs and competitions, information about possible STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) careers, and further explorations in science.

8 Vocabulary Odyssey Middle School Science includes a custom glossary of vocabulary words including pronunciations for all terms and illustrations for many. The vocabulary is available throughout interactive activities. Hints A hint is available to students who may need extra support or may have forgotten a key concept during guided practice questions. The hints often teach problem-solving strategies, such as process of elimination.

9 Calculator A scientific calculator is available to students throughout the interactive activities and in the student toolkit to assist them to answer questions involving calculations. Support for Science Literacy Nine learning activities include articles from Science News for Kids appropriate for students in grades 6 8. These articles include think-aloud features that model reading strategies, links to difficult vocabulary words in the glossary, and read-aloud functionality that allows struggling readers to have a section of text read to them. Expected Durations The following are the expected durations for a student to complete different sections of Odyssey Middle School Science. These numbers are averages, and individual students may require more or less time, depending on their individual needs. Interactive learning activity (FL activity): minutes (depending on length of activity) Web activity (WA activity): 30 minutes Odyssey Writer activity (OW activity): minutes Odyssey Community activity (OC activity): 15 minutes Lesson quiz: 15 minutes per attempt, 30 minutes total

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