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!
Kelly Hall teaches fourth grade at Charles J. Jaworek Elementary in Marlborough, Massachusetts. She has an MA in education and has participated in many curriculum committees.
I have been an educator in the state of Massachusetts for 22 years. Two years ago, I switched from third to fourth grade and had to learn a new curriculum. When I moved to fourth grade, the science content was overwhelming and the unit on Electricity and Energy made me a little nervous. I somehow stumbled across the National Grid Energy Explorer website that is designed for teachers and students. It was a blessing and gave me the foundation and confidence that I needed to teach my students in this specific area.
Last year I ordered the website's free classroom set of Your Renewable energy world booklets for my students. I was very excited when they arrived and passed them out immediately. It is a very colorful booklet that includes many graphics, facts, information, and activities, which appealed to my students. Not only does it address my science curriculum, but it is also a great resource for teaching many of our nonfiction reading standards. Since mine is a self-contained classroom, I try to integrate multiple content areas as much as possible. I loved that the children could read the booklets in class and then take them home to share with their families. In this way, using this magazine created a link between our community and the classroom. The book is also available on the site as an e-book, so it could be projected and read as a whole class for a shared text experience, or I could print/copy out specific pages that align with my curriculum. There is also a teacher's guide with background information, questions, and extensions for educators.
This year I decided to venture to another area on National Grid's website, the Ethics Explorer. Most teachers spend the first few weeks developing a classroom community. We use Responsive Classroom at my school and have a daily morning meeting. I used the pages of the Ethics site with my students as a springboard for several classroom discussions. I used one page/slide a day projected on the board. Many of the vocabulary words used on this site were new to my students (e.g., integrity, ethics, tolerance) and needed to be explained with examples. As twenty-first century skills are established with our students, we need our students to become innovative citizens and leaders. The Ethics site addresses some of my social studies and ELA standards. Fourth graders need to establish classroom rules that are agreed upon, and in so doing, learn about citizenship. I used the printable sheet as a pre-teaching tool to find out what they know about community and community service. We are starting a school-wide project related to this next month.
My plan this year is to continue using the free e-books from the Energy Explorer site, and have my students become familiar with the games and activities on the student pages. There are so many things to explore and learn about here! I hope you can find ways to use this resource in your classroom, not just for science!