The Amplify Science digital teacher experience offers many useful features, including:
You’ll find preparation and instructional information at the unit level, lesson level, and activity level within Amplify Science. Check out our navigation tour to see what this looks like, or simply keep reading.
For unit-level information, select a unit from the Year Overview page and you’ll see the Unit Overview page, which looks like the following:
Be sure to check out the Printable Resources section — it provides useful PDFs, including Coherence Flowcharts and collections of all of the Print Materials that come in the kit.
When you select a lesson from the Unit Overview page, you’ll come to the Lesson Brief, where you’ll see the following (exact content will vary):
Notice the Classroom Slides within the Digital Resources section on the right-hand side. These can be used to present and use the lesson’s activities with students (find Classroom Slides tips and tricks here!).
While the Classroom Slides are one option to use in delivering instruction, you can also simply reference the numbered tabs along the top of the Lesson Brief, which contain activity-level information. Within each activity tab, you’ll first see basic information about what students are doing in the activity and how long it should take.
Under the summary, you’ll see 2–4 tabs (depending on what type of information is applicable to the activity). The first one is always present and contains step-by-step instructions for implementing the activity.
Heads up: even if you choose to implement the lesson with Classroom Slides, you will need to access that Possible Responses tab within the corresponding activity to find answers or example responses.
Want a copy of those images to keep nearby for reference? Here’s a printable PDF.
Classroom management tools
To help your students quickly identify the exact content you want them to be working on, you have the option of assigning lessons in Amplify, Google Classroom, and Microsoft Teams. This article explains those features in detail.
Another optional feature included in teachers’ Amplify Science accounts is Start Class. This allows teachers to see which students are logged in and where they are in the lesson, to direct logged-in students to a particular lesson, and to use the attention-getting Eyes Up feature. You can find out more about how to use Start Class and Eyes Up here.
Teachers can use Classwork to review and score or comment on student work. Students access that feedback, as well as a record of their past work and any assigned content, via their version of Classwork, which is called My Work.
For assessments in particular, teachers can access student responses in Classwork, but they also have the option of using the Reporting tool to spot trends. Accessible via the Global Navigation bar, Reporting allows teachers the opportunity to review student assessment results and track their growth across a unit.
Sims and apps
Every unit of Amplify Science 6–8 has at least one custom application (or app) associated with it. There are two main categories of apps: Simulations (or Sims) and Modeling Tools. You can think of Sims as responsive tools that produce data and Modeling Tools as mediums for students to consolidate and show their thinking.
You can read more about the apps used in a particular unit by locating the Apps in This Unit resource under Teacher References on the Unit Overview page.
You can access Sims from the lessons in which they are used (links will be embedded in the Lesson Brief and within the respective activity at point-of-use), but you also have quick access from the Programs & Apps menu within the Global Navigation bar.
Modeling Tools, meanwhile, are only accessible from the applicable lesson or activity. Some Modeling Tools are paper-based.
Students access apps in the same way as teachers.
Each Amplify Science 6–8 unit includes a set of custom-written informational texts that are designed to support students’ understanding of science ideas, practices, and crosscutting concepts, as well as to showcase the work of diverse scientists. You and your students can access the articles from links embedded within the lesson in which they’re used, or via the Amplify Library (located in the Programs & Apps menu of the Global Navigation bar).
Printable PDFs of the individual articles are also available in the Digital Resources of the applicable lesson, but you can also print a compilation of all the unit’s articles at once using the file located under Printable Resources on the Unit Overview page.
Throughout the program, you will model a variety of strategies that students will then use on their own to make sense of increasingly complex science texts — an approach called Active Reading. This includes article annotation, which both you and your students can do digitally using the Library tools. Students can even submit these annotations to you for review! For more details on how digital annotation works, please review this video.
The following is a list of articles that are available in the Amplify Library (just search the title!) but are not actually referenced in the Teacher’s Guide, nor are they needed to teach the program with fidelity outside of California.
The bonus articles feature real scientists currently active in their fields and represent the diverse ethnicities, backgrounds, sexual orientations, perspectives, and experiences that make the scientific community so rich and interesting. They also offer additional opportunities to engage students in focal science practices and concepts. The unit with which the article fits best is noted in parentheses, but our pedagogical support team can give you more detailed guidance on where you might want to incorporate any of the articles, if you’d like!
Who Becomes a Space Scientist? (Geology on Mars unit)
Meet a Scientist Who Studies How Plants Find Water Underground (Matter and Energy in Ecosystems unit)
Meet a Scientist Who Changed How We Think About Brain Cells (Metabolism unit)
Meet a Scientist Who Studies Variation in Monkey Populations (Natural Selection unit)
The Limits of Natural Selection (Natural Selection unit)
Meet a Scientist Who Studies Underwater Currents (Ocean, Atmosphere, and Climate unit)
Bringing Back the Buffalo (Populations and Resources unit)
Meet a Scientist Who Studies How the Environment Affects Our Traits (Traits and Reproduction unit)
The Amplify Science assessment system provides an innovative means of supporting all students in developing deep understanding. Check out this article for information on the type of assessments that are included in Amplify Science 6–8 units, and how to access them. These resources may also be helpful as you learn your way around the Amplify Science assessments:
To learn how to lock and unlock assessments, look here.
Each core unit in Amplify Science Grades 6–8 includes a differentiated lesson following the unit’s Critical Juncture assessment. To learn how this works, please see this article.
Amplify Science Grades 6–8 includes special units called Engineering Internships. These units utilize the Futura Workspace app and generally work a little differently than the other units you’ll encounter in Amplify Science. To find out more, watch the videos here.