Overview Video of Phenomenal Science in Roadmaps – developed by Mary Burgess:
https://screencast-o-matic.com/watch/c3Q2oCVOr5h (5 min)

Phenomenal Science” (PS) is an NGSS-aligned, year-long, K-5 science curriculum created by Michigan teachers for teachers everywhere! The PS v2.0 curriculum is available on the web and, as of August 2022, it is available in a deeply-digital format called Roadmaps. The development and sustainability of Phenomenal Science has been made possible through collaborations between and support from many partners.

Following the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) framework, the inquiry-based, student-driven Phenomenal Science curriculum uses real-world phenomena to engage students. Every unit is organized using the 5E model of science education. Students use driving question boards and explorations to explain the real-world phenomena to themselves, to their peers, and to their teachers.  Students make their thinking visible through writing in science notebooks, creating models, and participating in discussions.  The curriculum includes 3-dimensional assessments and has students applying what they have learned to new, real-world situations.

And now, this highly-regarded curriculum is available in Roadmaps, a deeply-digital, visual format; now the PS curriculum takes advantage of the Chromebooks in students’ hands! For example, using their Chromebooks, and a drawing and animation app called “Flipbook,” students can create dynamic, running models to better explain the real-world phenomena they are investigating. The PS units, encoded in 2D Roadmaps are hosted on the Collabrify Roadmap Platform, a next-generation, digital learning environment.

Employing easy-to-use, highly-interactive productivity tools such as Flipbook, MediaWriter (enables students to use video as well as text, to express themselves), Map (concept-mapping), PDFpal (makes PDF’s writeable and collaborative!), the PS Roadmap lessons support student inquiry and support collaborative learning. While working together, synchronously, in a document, a student in class can talk, through the computer, to a peer at home, using the phone tool. MediaWriter enables students to watch YouTube videos without ads or annoying distractions. All directions can be read to the students; graphics and color coding are used to guide students through the lessons. 

A Roadmap lesson is a “one-stop shop” – it contains a lesson laid out visually plus information for the teacher (e.g., instructional tips, standards addressed) – that the students won’t see. In Collabrify, teachers can distribute Roadmap lessons to students – or use Google Classroom, Canvas, etc. Teachers can easily view student-generated artifacts – in real-time if desired – and provide the students with feedback via video or audio as well as text. The visual Roadmap format makes modifying Roadmaps for special needs students a breeze.

We believe Roadmaps and the Collabrify Roadmap Platform take inquiry science learning – and learning, general – to the next level. We are proud to add Phenomenal Science to our digital library of K-5 curricular Roadmaps (e.g., ELA – MAISA, math – EngageNY/Eureka, SS – MAISA). Get your students excited about learning and expressing themselves through science!

Prepared by:
Mary Burgess, Director, Phenomenal Science Curricula
Elliot Soloway, Arthur F. Thurnau Professor
Co-Director, Center for Digital Curricula, Univ of Michigan
CONTACT: [email protected]


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