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!
Susan O'Connell teaches second grade at Rosendale Elementary in Niskayuna, New York. She has an MA in elementary education and a BA in English. She has been teaching school for 12 years and is on her third term as a Board of Education trustee for the North Greenbush Common School District.
In second grade, I focus on safety in our Health curriculum and energy in our Science curriculum. My students need to learn ways to be safe in school and outside of school, and the Electrical Safety World videos on the NGRID Energy Explorer website teach how to be safe from an electrical and natural gas standpoint. We discuss “I can” statements in our school, so I wanted the students to know “I can be safe around electricity and natural gas.” The students liked the short video clips and especially enjoyed the real-life situations conveyed by the students in each episode.
I used the video teacher’s guide to introduce what energy was before we got started and discussed important vocabulary I knew they needed in order to understand the videos. We also talked about the key concepts introduced in each lesson after each video. The students were amazed by the way electricity reaches their homes to bring them power, and the dangers associated with electricity.
The students learned valuable information in each episode, such as: their bodies are conductors of electricity; the importance of calling 811 before digging; the need to stay at least 10 feet away from power lines; the warnings to not put any electrical appliances near water and to never put a fork into a plugged-in toaster; the fire hazards caused by frayed plugs; the importance of not climbing trees near power lines; why natural gas smells; how to detect and respond to gas leak dangers indoors or outside; and what students should do to be safe in a car if a power line falls on it. The episodes showed the students how to solve problems together and how to research information to learn more. My students realized they are not too young to learn about electricity and natural gas safety measures.
As a follow-up activity to watching the videos and discussing their content, I had the students use sticky notes and write the three things they wanted to remember the most about being safe. They shared their “Be Safe” ideas orally, and we made a poster to hang in the classroom.
The Renewable Energy World e–book from National Grid is filled with useful information that builds upon our science learning standards and provides multiple learning opportunities to go deeper into the energy unit taught in my classroom.
Finding materials that align closely with the New York State Elementary Science Core Curriculum is not always easy or affordable, so you can imagine how thrilled I was to use the e‑book with my class of 27 second grade students. Looking closer into Standard 4: The Physical Setting, you will notice that Key Idea 4 focuses on students learning about energy existing in many forms, and about how when these forms change, energy is conserved. Also, Performance Indicators 4.1 and 4.2 specifically link to areas in the material provided. Over the course of two weeks, we read content from the e‑book that directly met student learning objectives. The students completed Cloze passages with a partner as a follow-up activity to gain a better understanding of the content. We used the assessment available in the back of the e‑book, and my students loved the Brain Blasts at the bottom of the pages.
The Common Core Learning Standards in NYS focus on reading nonfiction text in content areas that provide opportunity for close reading. I was very pleased with the Renewable Energy World layout and the challenges presented within the text. The variety of text features provided multiple examples for my students to build knowledge upon. They learned about various forms of energy, and the e‑book enabled multiple discussions on important topics that went deeper into essential learning, focusing on the advantages and challenges with each of these forms of energy.
In addition, my students learned advanced vocabulary associated with forms of energy, and the visuals provided in the e‑book were current and interesting. The e‑book from National Grid was very useful in covering our curriculum requirements and providing the rigor needed to go beyond our grade level expectations.