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5 Social and Emotional Strategies for STEM Learning in Twig Science Nevada

The skills we want to help young students develop don’t just include those directly connected to the subjects being taught. Nevada Academic Content Standards for Science give guidance on how students should investigate matter, forces, and living things, of course, but they also emphasize skills like working in teams, collaboration, and engaging in argument from evidence. These skills are important parts of students’ social and emotional learning (SEL), but why is SEL so important and what makes it ideal for bringing into science lessons?

Science lessons—even virtual ones—provide great opportunities to give students investigative problems they must work together to solve. The engineering design process is a perfect opportunity to encourage students to team up, develop and test ideas, appreciate each other’s creativity, and talk about their successes and failures.

As students work in teams, they’re learning to communicate, to respect the ideas of others, and to understand why everybody’s role is important. These are essential aspects not only of classroom collaboration, but also of being part of society. Good teamwork improves students’ social skills. It makes them more self-confident. It even reduces bullying. And it helps children to go on to become successful adults.

That’s why we made teamwork, communication, and collaboration fundamental components of Twig Science Nevada. It’s there in all of our story-driven investigation modules, and we also created special 3-D Team Challenge mini-modules totally focused on teambuilding and how scientists and engineers work in teams. In doing so, we came up with some useful ideas for increasing the SEL value of lessons that we thought we’d share with you—you’ll find all of these in the Twig Science Nevada Team Challenges and investigations, but they can be adapted for any lesson.

Here are our favorite five ideas:

1. Student-agreed Science Expectations – Children hate being told what to do when they don’t understand why they’ve got to do it.

It’s a good idea to get students to discuss the factors that create a productive learning environment. Guide them to come up with their own ideas for how investigations should be carried out in an environment that encourages collaboration and respect. Children hate being told what to do when they don’t understand why they’ve got to do it—but if they are included in creating the rules, they respect and learn from them. Twig Science Nevada mini-modules include sections where students brainstorm “Science Expectations.” They think about what good teamwork involves and how it could work better, and they produce a Science Expectations poster to display in the classroom throughout the year. Examples of Science Expectations could include “We respect each other,” “We let everyone share their ideas,” “We encourage each other,” or “Everyone helps to clean up.”

2. Team-building exercises – Prepare students for just about every situation they’ll ever encounter in their professional and personal lives!

Before getting students to embark on in-depth, full-length engineering investigations, it can be helpful to have them take part in shorter, low-stakes team-building exercises. In the Twig Science Nevada mini-modules, we suggest various icebreaker activities, storytelling games, and classroom discussions. These get students engaging in civil discourse, deliberating, debating, building consensus, compromising, communicating effectively, and giving presentations. These are incredibly valuable skills that not only prepare students for the long-form storyline investigations that make up the main Twig Science Nevada modules—they prepare them for just about every situation they’ll ever encounter in their professional and personal lives!

3. Reflection points – Students review and discuss their work as a form of self-assessment.

Involving students every step of the way in thinking about what they’re doing, why they’re doing it, and how they could do it better helps to embed the skills that they are developing. We made sure to put frequent reflection points in Twig Science Nevada to give students a chance to discuss how teams are working together and whether everyone is getting their chance to take part. The important thing about reflection is that it’s a form of self-assessment. You’re not grading the students, and there are no correct or incorrect responses. The purpose of the discussion is for students to think about the investigation processes and to share and reflect on different ideas. What have they enjoyed? What was easy and what was challenging? How do their experiences in their teams connect to experiences outside the classroom?

4. Real-world connections –  Get students acting out behaviors that they’ll be able to use again and again throughout their lives.

A big part of Twig Science Nevada’s collaborative investigations is how they connect to the way real-life scientists and engineers work in teams. Giving students this real-world connection adds meaning and purpose to what they’re doing. As they take on the roles of scientists and engineers, they’re acting out behaviors that they’ll be able to use again and again throughout their lives. They’ll understand that scientists, too, have team roles. They listen to each other. They’re respectful when they disagree. They build on each other’s ideas. Students will associate these attitudes with success as they act them out and become used to recognizing them in the world around them.

5. Language routines – Communication is a fundamental component of teamwork.

How students use language is an important indicator of their levels of understanding and respect. Communication is a fundamental component of teamwork, which involves a careful balance of being able to express ideas and opinions and also listen to those of others. It’s directly connected to our social and emotional development because language is our primary method of expressing what we feel about ourselves and each other and describing what we agree and disagree about. Twig Science Nevada includes a number of repeated language routines (e.g. Turn and Talk, Collect and Display) that structure the way students use language in investigations. They’re encouraged to use the words they feel comfortable using—without the need for formal “perfection”—while given the support to connect these to scientific vocabulary when they’re ready. The language routines support English Learners—and other students who lack confidence—to take part fully in discussions. Communicating in an inclusive, encouraging, understanding environment leads to confidence, and confident communication increases students’ ability to work well as team members in the classroom and as successful and respectful citizens.


To find out how you can implement Twig Science Nevada in your school or district, get in touch today.

Getting Started with Twig Science Nevada and Canvas

Twig Science Nevada with Twig Distance Learning has been carefully designed to give teachers flexible tools to adapt to hybrid, synchronous, or asynchronous environments. 

We wanted to make it as easy as possible for teachers to integrate the program into their preferred ways of working. We know how hard it can be in this time to have to learn and relearn whole new ways of achieving the same things. The Twig Science Nevada platform can be used as a standalone solution, but we’ve also made it straightforward to develop courses and assign lessons and assignments using your existing Learning Management System (LMS).

Canvas is a very popular LMS, so we’ve chosen this to demonstrate how easy it is to use with Twig Science Nevada. Below you’ll find links to video guides to successfully combining Twig Science Nevada and Canvas. We hope you find them useful!

All of these tasks can be just as easily performed whichever LMS you use. Get in touch with us if you would like a guide to using Twig Science Nevada with your LMS.

1. Constructing Canvas Courses

How to make your courses as simple and easy to navigate as possible.

2. Designing Micro-Lesson Chunks

Why it is important to construct courses using bite-sized chunks, especially when your students are doing a lot of their learning online.

3. Creating Exciting Assignments

Some tips on developing genuinely engaging assignments.

4. Using Multiple Assignment Types

Keep it interesting for students by changing up your assignment approaches.

5. Assessing Student Understanding

Three-dimensional assessment provides opportunities for assessment that students actually enjoy. Here’s how you can make the most of this.


If there’s something you want to do with Canvas and Twig Science Nevada but you don’t know how, or else you want help creating great learning opportunities using another LMS, get in touch today

Getting Started with Twig Science Oklahoma and Canvas

Twig Science Oklahoma with Twig Distance Learning has been carefully designed to give teachers flexible tools to adapt to hybrid, synchronous, or asynchronous environments. 

We wanted to make it as easy as possible for teachers to integrate the program into their preferred ways of working. We know how hard it can be in this time to have to learn and relearn whole new ways of achieving the same things. The Twig Science Oklahoma platform can be used as a standalone solution, but we’ve also made it straightforward to develop courses and assign lessons and assignments using your existing Learning Management System (LMS).

Canvas is a very popular LMS, so we’ve chosen this to demonstrate how easy it is to use with Twig Science Oklahoma. Below you’ll find links to video guides to successfully combining Twig Science Oklahoma and Canvas. We hope you find them useful!

All of these tasks can be just as easily performed whichever LMS you use. Get in touch with us if you would like a guide to using Twig Science Oklahoma with your LMS.

1. Constructing Canvas Courses

How to make your courses as simple and easy to navigate as possible.

2. Designing Micro-Lesson Chunks

Why it is important to construct courses using bite-sized chunks, especially when your students are doing a lot of their learning online.

3. Creating Exciting Assignments

Some tips on developing genuinely engaging assignments.

4. Using Multiple Assignment Types

Keep it interesting for students by changing up your assignment approaches.

5. Assessing Student Understanding

Three-dimensional assessment provides opportunities for assessment that students actually enjoy. Here’s how you can make the most of this.


If there’s something you want to do with Canvas and Twig Science Oklahoma but you don’t know how, or else you want help creating great learning opportunities using another LMS, get in touch today

Getting Started with Twig Science Next Gen and Canvas

Twig Science Next Gen with Twig Distance Learning has been carefully designed to give teachers flexible tools to adapt to hybrid, synchronous, or asynchronous environments. 

We wanted to make it as easy as possible for teachers to integrate the program into their preferred ways of working. We know how hard it can be in this time to have to learn and relearn whole new ways of achieving the same things. The Twig Science Next Gen platform can be used as a standalone solution, but we’ve also made it straightforward to develop courses and assign lessons and assignments using your existing Learning Management System (LMS).

Canvas is a very popular LMS, so we’ve chosen this to demonstrate how easy it is to use with Twig Science Next Gen. Below you’ll find links to video guides to successfully combining Twig Science Next Gen and Canvas. We hope you find them useful!

All of these tasks can be just as easily performed whichever LMS you use. Get in touch with us if you would like a guide to using Twig Science Next Gen with your LMS.

1. Constructing Canvas Courses

How to make your courses as simple and easy to navigate as possible.

2. Designing Micro-Lesson Chunks

Why it is important to construct courses using bite-sized chunks, especially when your students are doing a lot of their learning online.

3. Creating Exciting Assignments

Some tips on developing genuinely engaging assignments.

4. Using Multiple Assignment Types

Keep it interesting for students by changing up your assignment approaches.

5. Assessing Student Understanding

Three-dimensional assessment provides opportunities for assessment that students actually enjoy. Here’s how you can make the most of this.


If there’s something you want to do with Canvas and Twig Science Next Gen but you don’t know how, or else you want help creating great learning opportunities using another LMS, get in touch today

Getting Started with Twig Science and Canvas

Twig Science with Twig Distance Learning has been carefully designed to give teachers flexible tools to adapt to hybrid, synchronous, or asynchronous environments. 

We wanted to make it as easy as possible for teachers to integrate the program into their preferred ways of working. We know how hard it can be in this time to have to learn and relearn whole new ways of achieving the same things. The Twig Science platform can be used as a standalone solution, but we’ve also made it straightforward to develop courses and assign lessons and assignments using your existing Learning Management System (LMS).

Canvas is a very popular LMS, so we’ve chosen this to demonstrate how easy it is to use with Twig Science. Below you’ll find links to video guides to successfully combining Twig Science and Canvas. We hope you find them useful!

All of these tasks can be just as easily performed whichever LMS you use. Get in touch with us if you would like a guide to using Twig Science with your LMS.

1. Constructing Canvas Courses

How to make your courses as simple and easy to navigate as possible.

2. Designing Micro-Lesson Chunks

Why it is important to construct courses using bite-sized chunks, especially when your students are doing a lot of their learning online.

3. Creating Exciting Assignments

Some tips on developing genuinely engaging assignments.

4. Using Multiple Assignment Types

Keep it interesting for students by changing up your assignment approaches.

5. Assessing Student Understanding

Three-dimensional assessment provides opportunities for assessment that students actually enjoy. Here’s how you can make the most of this.


If there’s something you want to do with Canvas and Twig Science but you don’t know how, or else you want help creating great learning opportunities using another LMS, get in touch today

Discover the Magic of Twig Science

At Twig we are committed to the 3-D science standards vision of “All students, all standards.” Through our programs, we provide experiences and opportunities to inspire each and every student. 

Elementary School

Twig Science is a complete Pre-K–8 program built for the 3-D science standards, in which students investigate, design, build, and understand phenomena using a blend of hands-on, digital, video, and print resources. 

Find out more about how Twig Science can inspire your students in this video…

Pre-Kindergarten

Research shows students decide how they feel about science at an early age, so Twig Science makes sure to get them excited from the very start. Through story-led modules, Pre-K students explore phenomena with hands-on investigations, captivating videos, fun interactives, and songs. 

Find out more!

Middle School

Are you teaching Middle School students? We’ve got your back. In Twig Science, students become immersed in multimedia storylines, embark on virtual field trips, and experience how people from all backgrounds achieve success in STEAM careers. They collaborate with scientists, make sense of phenomena, and solve problems using cutting-edge technology. Get a taste:

If you’d like to find out more about what we can do for you, feel free to get in touch at tssales@twigeducation.com