Best Practices for Website Use

Science Spin K-1 is one flexible teaching tool! Teachers use the magazine for whole-group instruction, small-group instruction, choice time, and independent reading. Here are some best practices for using the website to enhance children’s reading experience.

How do I use the website for whole-group instruction?

Some teachers set aside time for Science Spin K-1 once a month. Children take their spots on the classroom rug.

1. First, log onto the website and play the video. Our videos are not only delightful, they also give important background knowledge to help children better understand what they are going to read.  

Click here for more information on using Science Spin K-1 videos. 

2. Now you can introduce vocabulary words that will be in the issue. Kids can hear the words and definitions read aloud and also see photos of them. That helps kids tackle reading the issue with confidence, and, of course, helps them build vocabulary. 

Click here for more information about using our vocabulary slideshows. 

3. Next, open the digital issue on your smartboard. Don’t have a smartboard? No problem! Many teachers pull up the issue on their laptops or classroom computer, and connect it to their projector

Teacher Tip: You can play the text to audio feature to hear the issue read aloud. We have regular and slow speeds. Each word is highlighted as the issue is read. This is a great way to model fluency (and give you a moment to catch your breath!). 

Now everyone can do the interactive page 4 activity as a class. Ask children the answers to the questions and have different volunteers come up to click the answers. 

Click here for more information on using the Science Spin K-1 digital issue. 

Want to do another whole-class learning activity? Project the STEM Activity Skill Sheet and do the activity together, or complete the Reading Checkpoint Skill Sheet as a class. 

Click here for more information on using Science Spin K-1 Skill Sheets. 

Remember—there’s no one right way to use the Science Spin K-1 website for whole group work! While some teachers use all the online resources at once, others prefer to watch the video, read the digital issue, complete the Reading Checkpoint Skill Sheet, and do the STEM Activity at different times. 

How do I use the website for small-group instruction?

You might choose to work with just a small number of children on one issue of Science Spin K-1. This is a great strategy for reading groups and/or leveled instruction. Here is how you can do it. 

1. Each student has his or her own copy of the print magazine. First, show the video for the issue on a class computer or laptop. 

2. Then pre-teach vocabulary by clicking the Vocabulary Words button. Kids can hear the words and definitions read aloud as well as see a photo of the word. 

3. Then you can call on different children to read different sections of their print article aloud. You can also have the whole group read the issue chorally.

4. Finally, do the back-page interactive activity, Reading Checkpoint Skill Sheet, and/or STEM Activity as a group!   

How can I use the website during center time or choice time?

Many teachers set up a laptop and open the Science Spin K-1 website on it for center time or choice time. 

• You can set it up to a specific issue page if you want children to watch the video or listen to the issue 

• You can also let children choose what videos to watch or what issues to listen to based on their interests. Just set the website up to the video or issue archive. 

There are two ways to get to the archive. You can click “All Issues” or “All Videos” at the top of the website to get to the archive. You can also click “All Issues” or “All Videos” under Archive to get there. 

Can I use the magazine and website for independent reading?

Of course! You can assign a specific issue for a child to read either at home or on a computer in class. To use an issue for independent reading, utilize our Class Password option. Click here to learn about using the Class Password. 

Can I use the issue archive for independent reading?

Absolutely! You can use the archive to help students find an issue on a topic that interests them. 

Click here for more information on using the Science Spin K-1 archive. 

You can also use the archive to help students find an issue that matches their reading ability. Our issues get more challenging to read as the school year progresses and as children become stronger readers. 

For developing readers, you can pull up easier issues from the first half of the year. 

First, click “Archive.” Then choose September and October in the search bar on the left-hand side to select only those months.   

For more advanced readers, you can select the spring issues. 

What an incredible way to personalize and differentiate instruction for independent reading!