The 5E Model lesson design is one of many lesson designs teachers can use to help students become 21st-century learners. With the 5E model, students explore the topic and gather information before explaining it to them. Incorporating technology into this lesson model can enhance the student experience and better prepare them for life outside the classroom. Below you will find different ways you can integrate technology into each part of the 5E model.
There are so many online labs and simulations that allow students to manipulate variables, make observations, gather evidence, and conclude what they are seeing. One of my favorite FREE sites to use is pHET simulations. They have a large variety of HTML5 simulations that are student-friendly to use, and they are adding more all of the time. A couple of my favorites are the build an atom where students can add particles to see how it influences the atomic name, atomic number, atomic mass, and charge of an atom. Another one is the balancing equations that have students changing the coefficient numbers in a chemical equation to try and balance the equation. There is also a new natural selection one where students can change a trait or environment to see how the population of a species will change over time. For a paid site, my favorite is exploring learning with the GIZMOS. To me, it is worth the price for what the students can do. One of my favorites is the slice and dice, which helps students understand that density is a characteristic property and that no matter how much substance you have, it will always be the same. Their fan cart one is also great for Newton’s second law. Plus, their new STEM challenges do a great job of covering various topics in a short amount of time. You should check out the chemical change / physical change one where they learn about counterfeit coins. These are great to use during the explore and elaborate phases of the 5E model.
Another way to incorporate technology into your 5E lessons is to have students create a video of what they are learning or what they learned. They can go onto flipgrid and create a short 30-second video to explain their observations and explain what they think is happening and why. They can use screencastify or WeVideo to create a screen recording that will take some through a google slide presentation, online investigation, or website where they explain their recording information. Videos are a way to differentiate your instruction for students who might have more difficulty writing about what they are observing and better explaining it through their own words. They can do this after the explore phase as the start of the explain phase of the 5E model or at the end during the elaborate or evaluate phase.
Students can present their findings during the Explore or Evaluate phase of the 5E model using Google docs, Google slides, Prezi, Google sites, Powerpoint, or a variety of other ways. They can use words and add pictures and animation to create an engaging presentation that they could then use to share with the class what they discovered. You could also have them develop mini-lessons to use in small groups to teach what they learned during the unit.
My student’s favorite thing to do before a test is to play an online review game. I like the ones that allow me to play the game live as a class and assign it for homework, enabling the students to play it at their own time and play it repeatedly. There are many online games to choose from, but my two favorites for quick multiple-choice/true and false reviews are Kahoot and Quizizz. Both allow you to play live or set as homework. I use Quizizz more than Kahoot because instead of grabbing someone else’s complete game, I can pick and choose the questions I want of other people’s games they have created, and in less than 5 minutes, I have a 20+ review game has all the questions I need. I also like Quizlet for vocabulary reviews. You create the words and definitions or pictures to describe them, and then students get to choose various ways they want to play to learn and review the vocabulary. Along with review games, you can also do interactive digital notebooks. I have nothing against paper notebooks. My students have an interactive notebook where they keep their focused notes and thinking maps. But when it comes to cutting and gluing in interactive notebook activities, I am all over the mess, and the time it takes them to cut, what brings me 10 seconds to cut take them 5 minutes. So instead, I use interactive digital notebooks that still have the students using the same level of thinking skills, but rather, they are dragging and dropping the pieces or typing their answers. Plus, it is so much easier to grade when I share them in google classroom. However, I must confess that I usually never grade the interactive digital notebooks. I share my teacher’s answer at the end and have them self-grade and use the information as feedback to see if they understand the topic.
These are just some ways to incorporate technology into the 5E model. The idea is to work smarter, not harder, and if technology can help with that, I am all for it. Using technology doesn’t mean the hands-on investigations or writing notes and drawing models goes away. It is just another way to reach the students and help them to understand the concepts.
For more information about using the 5E model in your classroom check out my Youtube Videos about the 5E Model.