New lessons and features to kick off the year in Stile
At Stile, we're constantly reflecting on ways to improve the lessons and resources we create for science teachers around Australia and the world. From late 2020, we've been busily writing new lessons and creating new features that we hope you enjoy!
So, what’s new for 2021?
- Updated Skill builder unit
- Updated Periodic Table unit
- Updated Plants unit
- Updated Chemical Reactions unit
- Updated Light unit
- Updated Genetics unit
- Updated cognitive verbs
- New 'Unit update available' banner
Updated Skill builders unit
In the Science Education Report 2020, 60% of teachers disagreed that their students can manipulate data in Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets. Based on this feedback, we made it a priority in 2020 to create resources to help you teach these skills. Our skill builder lessons are wholly designed to provide you with opportunities to explicitly teach your students essential scientific inquiry, literacy and numeracy skills thereby helping to prepare students for success in their senior years.
New skill builders:
- Controlled variables and controls (skill builder and application)
- Identifying errors
- Minimizing random errors
- Minimizing systematic errors
- Selecting data in spreadsheets to evaluate claims
- Examining trends in data using spreadsheets
- Evaluating validity and reliability
- Cognitive verbs
Like all lessons in Stile, the skill builders have been carefully designed to scaffold students from lower-order to higher-order questioning. The skill builders include videos, visual supports and worked examples to reduce the initial cognitive load on students, making sure that all students are able to achieve success.
Updated Periodic Table unit
The unit update you’ve been waiting for is finally here!
In October, we released a major update to our Periodic Table unit including two brand-new lessons. The first is an introductory lesson about groups and periods to ensure students gain a solid understanding of how the periodic table is organized. The second looks at reactivity trends in the periodic table with two stunningly beautiful animated videos!
View The Periodic Table unit.
Updated Plants unit
This unit has grown in size! We’ve completely updated our Plants unit with four new lessons and many updated lessons.
In our new lesson on plant anatomy, students learn about the different parts of a plant. They are guided through the lesson with the help of a new avatar, Bamboo Bendrix!
Students are then introduced to plant reproduction in a brand-new section of this unit. They explore the parts of a flower and break down this concept by dissecting a flower. The creepy Lady Corpsey – a corpse flower avatar – guides students through sexual reproduction in plants. Students then try to grow a plant in a project on asexual reproduction.
In this unit, students will also learn about plant organs and how leaf cells support photosynthesis. There are extension activities on carnivorous plants giving you the opportunity to easily differentiate for your students.
Bamboo Bendrix and Lady Corpsey
View Plants unit.
Updated Chemical Reactions unit
New lessons to go off with a bang!
In response to feedback from the wonderful teachers in our Stile Teachers Facebook group, in August we expanded our Chemical Reactions unit by writing brand-new lessons and creating new graphics.
These new lessons are scaffolded to slowly step students through what chemical reactions are, writing word and symbol equations, and balancing chemical equations.
They’re developed in line with best-practice teaching pedagogy where the teacher is the facilitator of the lesson, guiding students through worked examples and providing feedback throughout.
The amazing new artwork includes a poster that provides a quick guide to balancing chemical equations for your classroom wall.
View Chemical Reactions unit.
Updated Light unit
You’ll fall in love at first light! In September, we completely updated our Light unit with new lessons and artwork.
We added two new lessons, including one on the electromagnetic spectrum. In this lesson, students examine how visible light is related to other types of electromagnetic radiation through three interactives!
In our Light unit, students explore the properties of light and how it interacts with different mediums. This unit is grounded in real-world science as students examine a lens that can turn your phone into a microscope. The lens was invented by Dr Steve Lee, the career profile for the unit.
If you’re looking to beautify your classroom in 2021, check out this poster which we created for this unit!
View Light unit.
Updated Genetics unit
We’ve mutated our Genetics unit because you know … sex cells.
In October, we added three new lessons to our Genetics unit. In our Punnett squares lesson, students are guided through how to complete simple genetic crosses and practise converting fractions, percentages and ratios. They then continue to draw on these skills and apply them in the sex-linked inheritance and codominant inheritance lessons.
In this unit, students examine what DNA and genes are, and explore how cells divide so that we can grow, repair and reproduce. They also extract DNA from strawberries and design a poster to raise awareness about cancer.
From a genetic condition that causes skin to go blue, to blood types and tortoiseshell cats, this unit is packed with real-world examples to engage your students and show them the relevance of science in their everyday lives.
Like all of our lessons, this unit has been updated to integrate several high-impact teaching strategies, including explicit teaching, worked examples and structuring the lesson from lower- to higher-order thinking. We’ve also incorporated multiple opportunities for students to practise numeracy skills.
View Genetics unit.
Updated cognitive verbs
To provide clarity to students when answering questions in Stile, we’ve updated all questions to begin with a bolded cognitive verb. Cognitive verbs, also known as task words, signal to students the depth of the question and how to go about answering it. They encourage structured lessons that are scaffolded from lower- to higher-order questions (explicitly indicated by the verb in the question) and provide further teacher clarity. We’ve also created an accompanying skill builder that you can use to explicitly teach this important skill to your students.
View our blog post on cognitive verbs here.
‘Unit update available’ banner
Thanks to our new 'Unit update available' banner, it's even easier to see when new versions of units are available. This helps to ensure that you have the most up-to-date resources for your students.
For more information on the 'Unit update available' banner, read this article.
We're really excited about these new features and lessons, and look forward to hearing your thoughts on Stile and science in 2021!