Using Actively Learn for STEM Subjects
In order for students to make gains in reading comprehension, they need to be engaged in deep reading across the curriculum. However, we know that STEM teachers need to balance literacy with covering the required content for their classes. STEM teachers are often worried that emphasizing reading comprehension will detract from the class time needed to review concepts, perform experiments, and complete problem sets.
But focusing on reading can actually deepen students' knowledge of and interest in STEM fields. Here is how Actively Learn can help STEM teachers integrate reading into their curriculum and deepen learning of STEM content.
clarify ideas and processes
STEM teachers make heavy use of embedded media to illustrate concepts to their students. Imagine showing students what proper lab procedure looks like as they read through the steps, or illustrating a math problem that entails knowing how gears work. Many students have trouble visualizing technical language, which is why Actively Learn is invaluable in clarifying what the text is trying to communicate.
STEM teachers can also give immediate feedback and assign targeted supplementary content to individual students who are struggling with a particular concept. Your students won't be left behind as the material moves forward.
make concepts relevant
STEM teachers can deepen knowledge and interest in their subjects by assigning students current events articles that draw on what they're learning in class. An article from NPR about a recent hurricane can bring a lesson on climate to life, just as reading stories about bioethics in Wired Magazine can pique interest in how the human body works.
Teachers can find articles in our catalog or import them from the web, then create questions and notes that connect the content to what students have studied in class. Great resources include HowStuffWorks, Scientific American, Nature, Discover Magazine, and PBS.
Imagine anonymously projecting a student's lab results and asking the class to figure out why his or her outcomes were unique. Or having partners collaborate on a research project by easily sharing documents and annotations. Students in Actively Learn can even respond to each other's brainstorming ideas about how to construct an effective levy or map the orbit of objects in space.
Actively Learn makes it possible for students to extend the collaboration they experience in labs and group projects, and for teachers to share insights from individual student work.