Dear Mystery Science,
I’m a special education teacher and each of my students has different abilities. I’ve heard wonderful feedback about Mystery Science from other teachers at my school, but I need more ideas for how to differentiate the curriculum for my class! I’d love to use Mystery Science this year, but what adaptations can I make?
We’re excited to help you get started with Mystery Science, Flynn! We definitely understand that students have varying learning styles and needs.
We regularly hear success stories from teachers of special-education classes. With closed captions, hands-on lessons, and looping videos, we strive to keep all students engaged and able to access the lessons. Special education teachers regularly tell us that our format is more effective for their students than any other science program they’ve used!
Although we may not have lessons perfectly prepped for differentiation, we do have some resources available that may serve as accommodations for your students.
Here are some features and resources you may find helpful this year:
1. You have the option to turn on closed captions in your account settings.
We know that students have varying learning preferences, so we recommend that you turn on the closed captions in your account settings. This will ensure that the captions are automatically on for each video.
Here’s a screenshot to help you enable this option:
2. We have transcripts (full lessons only) available for students who may need support with comprehension, processing, and/or vocabulary reinforcement.
When you open a lesson, scroll down below the video, and you will see the Transcripts listed in the Extensions section on the right side of the page.
Here's a screenshot to help you find the transcripts:
3. You can change the speed of the video.
Some students find it beneficial to view the same lesson at a slightly slower speed in order to support their auditory learning.
Here’s a screenshot to help you see where to access the settings:
4. We provide step-by-step instructions along with visuals.
Our content team members also model the activity in each step! Our looping videos show students exactly what to do and allow them to revisit instructions.
Here’s a screenshot to help you see an example of the visuals used:
5. We make our digital worksheets and assessments editable so that they meet your students' needs.
You can download and edit the documents in varying formats to make whatever changes will work best for your students.
Here’s a screenshot to help you see the different options:
6. Student Links allow students to view lessons at their own pace using their own devices.
Within each lesson, you can find student links to share with parents and students. Students do not need logins or accounts to access the Mystery Science student links - by clicking on the link, they will be able to view the content.
Here’s a screenshot to help you see how to share the student link:
Our goal is to be as inclusive as possible of students with a wide range of backgrounds and needs. We hope these suggestions help you have a great year teaching Mystery Science with all of your students!
Curious to learn more? Here are some other resources you may find helpful: