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Back in School with Smithsonian Science @Home

SS@HOME goes beyond engaging your students when they are not able to be in the classroom for science. We asked teachers to share how they are using the Smithsonian Science @HOME resources in the classroom to enhance their teaching of Smithsonian Science for the Classroom. Here are 5 Strategies they shared with us:

5 Strategies for using the @HOME resources in the classroom:

Strategy 1. Support Absent Students–Use @HOME resources when students cannot be in the classroom or have gaps in attendance.

If a student misses a hands-on lesson, assign the @HOME Demonstration Video for that investigation and any resources to support the investigation. The video provides the student the opportunity to make observations and predictions, and collect data and analyze data, just like they were in the classroom. Supporting resources could include Lesson Notebook and Activity Sheets, simulations, or readings. The @HOME lesson plan lists the resources that are needed for each investigation.

Strategy 2. Provide Remediation–@HOME resources can help students that are struggling to understand concepts

If students are struggling with a concept after they have experienced the hands-on investigation, have students watch the @HOME Demonstration Video. The change in modality often helps students by providing an added visual experience that they can connect to their physical experience. @HOME Demonstration Videos also save time for the teacher—no more setting up an investigation all over again.

Strategy 3. Preview a Lesson or Investigation–Provide a preview to reduce student anxiety around a concept

Using the @HOME Demonstration Videos to allow students to preview the hands-on investigation they will be doing will help reduce anxiety that some students may have when they are not familiar with a concept. The videos help build confidence in the student by providing a visual of the expectations of the investigation. Students enter the hands-on experience with more confidence and less anxiety.

Strategy 4. Review a Lesson or Investigation–Provide a visual reference of previous investigations for students to connect their experiences to move a lesson forward

Rather than asking students to recall what they did during an investigation from memory, the @HOME Demonstration Videos can be used as a review tool along with student data collection and analysis to clarify what they did in the hands-on investigation. This visual reference can help students clarify and ask questions they may still have and provide an opportunity for them to clarify and reinforce their understanding before moving on.

Strategy 5. Use as a Formative Assessment Tool–Offers an opportunity for a quick check for understanding

Use @HOME Demonstration Videos as formative assessment tools. Strategically use the videos by pausing at specific points to ask students to make predictions about what is going to happen next based on prior results they experienced during the physical hands-on experiences. Use the guiding questions in the Teacher’s Guide if you are not sure what questions to ask or ask questions you have generated to pull out additional student understanding.

These strategies demonstrate that teachers have found ways to use SS@HOME in the classroom. SS@HOME also continues to be a reliable resource to support teachers and students during any school closure–planned or unexpected.

Want to learn more from actual Smithsonian Science for the Classroom teachers? Hear from these teachers about their experience with SS@HOME.

Whether you’re teaching from your classroom or teaching your students at home, you need to be able to engage your students in three-dimensional learning and continue to support ELA and math.

More about the SS@HOME Program

The new SS@HOME remote teaching and learning resources support teachers and keep students engaged with science when they are not together in the classroom. Adapted lesson plans maintain the continuity of the module storyline by integrating procedures in the Teacher Guide with newly developed demonstration videos and include instructions for using simulations and other digital resources.

SS@HOME includes:

  • Downloadable @HOME Lesson Plans for every investigation
  • Demonstration videos to replicate the classroom investigations
  • Getting Started with SS@HOME Remote Teaching and Learning eBook
  • A Guide for Remote Teaching and Learning: Supporting Distance Learning of K–8 Science eBook

Are you currently using Smithsonian Science for the Classroom? Sign into your digital content using your account. You’ll see you already have access!

Are you considering using Smithsonian Science for the Classroom? Your purchase of the program will include SS@HOME! No additional purchase is necessary.

Would you like to know more about the new remote teaching and learning solution for the K–8 Smithsonian programs? Complete the form below and a Carolina specialist will contact you to schedule a time to walk through the program. For immediate assistance, email us at

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