Click the photos below to learn how these teachers are using NGRID’s educational resources in their classrooms. If you would like to share your perspective on the NGRID program, we welcome your feedback!
Cheryl Beck teaches 4th grade at Kingsford Park Elementary in Oswego, New York. She is a member of the New York State Teachers Union, and the New York Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. She has taught for 19 years.
Over the course of two weeks in June 2010, my 4th grade class worked in groups to explore energy-related topics relevant to New York State standards on energy. I presented National Grid’s Energy and Your Environment e-Book to provide background information to the students using the SMART Board. I also used NGRID’s Energy efficiency world e-Book to build background information on the topic. These and other materials from the NGRID Energy Explorer website were most helpful in facilitating learning at numerous stations in my classroom, which I set up to correspond to the various components of the site.
We used the website’s student resource link for our classroom technology station. Learning Station Day #1 was entitled Learn About Energy; Learning Station Day #2 was entitled Use Energy Efficiently; Learning Station Day #3 was Help the Environment; Learning Station Day #4 was ECO-Racer Game and Learning Station #5 was Stop the Guzzler Game. Each of the website’s student resources were engaging and interesting and enhanced the use of technology.
Another station that the students used to expand their knowledge was the Vocabulary Station. At this station I used several of the pages in the Energy efficiency world book. Students were able to read about kinetic and potential energy, and the visuals in the publications helped the students make important distinctions about these terms.
At the Creation Station students used the activity presented in Energy efficiency world to build a circuit. This step-by-step lab was laid out with explicit directions so that students could independently complete the lab at the station and then reflect on their learning with a question prompt. This is a critical skill that the students need to learn to be successful on the New York State Science test. The students had great fun at this station as they discovered just exactly how energy works. They were so involved in reading each step and completing this lab—you could sense that they were totally engaged in the activity.
For homework the students completed the Home Energy Efficiency Inspection listed on the last page of the Energy efficiency world book. This gave the students an opportunity to discuss with their family the concepts they had learned, and to apply their learning in a real-world setting. In addition, the students also completed the School’s Energy Habits page in the Energy and your environment booklet as a class project. Both of these activities helped students apply learning in a real-world context.
Since we live on Lake Ontario, which is home to three nuclear power plants, students are quite familiar with this form of energy and its impact on their environment. Using the NGRID website allowed me to teach the students about other renewable energy resources that may be more environmentally friendly.
During the unit students had the opportunity to discuss how energy use in the environment has changed over time. Part of the standard for this unit is for students to recognize the historical development of energy production and how energy production and use affects the environment we live in. Several of the articles listed in the NGRID resource materials provided students the opportunity to engage in lively discussions on resource conservation. I believe these discussions prompted my students to engage in environmental conservation issues that will directly impact their future.
The educational messages conveyed throughout the NGRID materials were that the children have a choice in how to live their lives responsibly and how to be informed consumers of energy both now and in the future. I further believe that this unit will impact their behaviors at home and in the classroom regarding energy conservation and the environment that we live in.
From my perspective as a classroom teacher, I found the NGRID website resources to be easy to use and extremely helpful as I planned this unit. The resources were laid out to build important background knowledge regarding energy and the environment. The games provided my students with fun and engaging ways to learn the content. The reading materials were leveled so that all of my students could access the information without difficulty. Using the SMART Board and the e-Book kept students interested and visually connected to the material I was presenting.
The quality of the materials was amazing, and made a rather dry topic for nine-year-olds something that they were excited about and wanted to learn. The technology station was easy to implement as students worked in groups of three to read and explore five of the student resource areas on the NGRID website. This gave me the opportunity to work with other students who were having difficulty with certain concepts.
The website is user friendly, so my students needed very little support when using it. In order to assess my students' level of understanding on this topic I used the Energy Test provided in the NGRID materials as a supplement to other assessments used. The assessment was also an important teacher element of this learning resource. The teacher resource link on the website was a great help to me as I planned the unit, as it offered me suggestions on how to ask probing questions of my students and gave me additional materials to supplement each of the learning stations.
I am so excited to be able to use this valuable resource with my students in the future. I have already ordered materials from the website to use with my students in the fall. I hope to begin to implement the resources earlier in the school year to help my students achieve mastery of this content. By using the website I was able to avoid running multiple copies of handouts, which saved my district money and in the long run will help the environment. I am thankful to NGRID for providing such an outstanding learning resource and look forward to a generation of consumers who understand the importance of energy and its impact on our environment.
National Grid’s Energy and the Environment e-Book –
Connection to NY State Learning Standards
National Grid’s e-Book, Energy and the Environment fits in nicely with New York State’s Science Learning Standard MST4: The Physical Setting. The standard states, Students will understand and apply scientific concepts, principles, and theories pertaining to the physical setting and living environment and recognize the historical development of ideas in science.
With this e-Book and its accompanying Teacher's Guide, I designed a thematic unit using my Smart Board for my 4th grade class based on the skills and understandings that students need regarding energy and the environment. Within this ‘Physical Setting’ Standard, the NGRID materials successfully address the following Key Idea 4,– Energy exists in many forms, and when these forms change energy is conserved. It also addresses Standard MST4E, PS4B – Students observe the way one form of energy can be transformed into another form of energy present in common situations (e.g. mechanical to heat energy, mechanical to electrical energy, chemical to heat energy).
The other resources (games and activities) on NGRID’s Energy Explorer website, from which I accessed the e-Book and Teacher's Guide, also aligned well with New York State Technology Standards MSAT.CT3D and TR2F. They were laid out perfectly to build on students’ prior knowledge of energy.