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Engaging Every Student

September 23, 2021

Using Pear Deck for K-12 Science Instruction

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Victoria Thompson

Science is such a hands-on subject that, often, technology is reserved for research and writing. Reflecting on my science classes when I was a student, other than lab equipment and the occasional computer to write a lab report, technology was fairly uncommon. When I think of my experiences teaching science, most of the inquiry activities didn't involve technology — technology was used as a supplement to instruction, not the vehicle for instruction.

Thankfully, the expanded presence of 1:1 devices in K-12 classrooms and tools like Pear Deck give us new opportunities to design interactive science lessons. Whether bringing your lesson to life in a virtual format or supplementing hands-on activities with formative assessment and reflection, Pear Deck provides opportunities for you to elevate your science instruction!

Here are four tips for using Pear Deck in the science classroom.

Use the critical thinking templates to foster sustained inquiry in your classroom.
Sustained inquiry happens when students engage in an extended process of asking questions, finding resources, and applying information to what is being taught. Engaging students in sustained inquiry can be challenging, but Pear Deck’s critical thinking templates can help. There are several to choose from; some of my favorites invite students to illustrate their thinking, consider other points of view, and interpret their surroundings. These critical thinking templates are great for inquiry-based activities and lessons, as well as class discussions and scientific thinking. They are also a wonderful tool for lesson openers and exit tickets.

Encourage students to do digital lab reports.Did you know that Pear Deck has a self-paced digital lab report template? Students can create an interactive digital lab report directly in Pear Deck and share it with their teacher and classmates! When you are doing a lab experiment, simply toggle your Pear Deck presentation to “Student-Paced Mode” to allow students to advance through the report as they conduct the experiment. This is an innovative way to incorporate research-based activities and lab projects into your classroom. When it’s Student-Paced, students can respond on their own time.

Take your presentations to the next level with Pear Deck science templates.
Pear Deck has guided templates for science that include atom diagrams, graphic organizers, the periodic table of elements, cause and effect, as well as claim, evidence, and reasoning. These templates are customizable, so you can modify the questions and media as you see fit. They can help make the visual aids in your lessons more interactive and, because responses are anonymous, they have the potential to increase responses.

Collect student feedback on lessons, experiments, and labs. Student engagement is at the core of Pear Deck. You can use the various slides in Pear Deck to gather student responses on how a lesson went, how difficult an activity may have been, and how challenging they perceived a homework assignment to be. As mentioned previously, responses from students are anonymous so they can feel free to be open and honest with you about their work. You then have the opportunity to implement their feedback into your instruction, demonstrating that you’re responsive to the needs of your students.

No matter what content you teach, whether chemistry, biology, physical science, or something else, Pear Deck can help you elevate your instruction and make your science class even more interactive.

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Victoria Thompson

STEM Integration Transformation Coach

Technology Access Foundation

Victoria is a STEM Integration Transformation Coach at Technology Access Foundation — a nonprofit leader redefining STEM education in public schools — a consultant for Ignite EdTech, and a learning specialist for NCCE.

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