The One App I Use in Science That I Couldn't Live Without

Hey Y'all!!!

It seems like forever since I have written a blog post... Apparently my teaching has been getting in the way! LOL!!! Even though this post title says, 'science', you don't have to teach science to use this wonderful app. It is an amazing and fun way to teach, reinforce, or review content. I am SUPER lucky to teach in a district where all 3rd-5th grade math and science teachers have their own iPad cart. Let me tell you... I USE the heck out of my cart. Any time I can integrate technology into science, I do it! I use many apps in my classroom, however, this one is a staple!
The app is called Nearpod. If you've heard of it, then I'm sure you know how wonderful it is. If you don't have experience with Nearpod, I urge you to check it out ASAP! It can be used with ANY subject and ANY grade level!
Click the above image to go to Nearpod.
There are two different ways to use Nearpod: 1. you can shop on the Nearpod website and purchase pre-made presentations (think TPT but for the Nearpod app) or 2. you can create your own presentation in PPT, upload it to Nearpod, and add the extras there.
There are pros and cons to using a pre-made Nearpod vs. creating your own.
The one thing that REALLY matters to me is being able to create my own content that aligns to the 4th grade science TEKS (Texas Standards). Once you sign up for an account (it's FREE), you'll see this screen:
If you want to check out the pre-made presentations, click on 'Explore.' There are so many ways to search using as many filters as needed. You can filter by subject, grade, free or paid, etc. Below you can see the rotating current 'hot topics,' which can be really helpful is you teach about or incorporate current events into your classroom.
Since purchasing or adding pre-made Nearpod presentations to your library is pretty self-explanatory, let's talk about creating your own presentations (there's a much steeper learning curve with this). If you begin creating your presentation in Nearpod, it's going to look UGLY (trust me on this one). :) You want to create a PPT first. That way you can add your own digital paper, clip art, and fonts. I start with the title page, then add slides and content as desired. Because Nearpod has lots of activities, etc. that you can add to your PPT, I keep a running tab of what slides I have and what activities I want to add to the presentation and where. Below is what my PPT looked like before I uploaded it to Nearpod (This presentation was shorter because we weren't going to have a lot of time in class to work on this). I will NOTE... if you upload your PPT into Nearpod like this, the fonts are going to be boring. I guess it doesn't recognize certain fonts and defaults to a boring font. I finally got smart and saved my PPT as a JPEG, and then reinserted it into a new PPT.
Once you are ready, you can go to the Nearpod website to upload it. You can use the app to complete your presentation, but the Nearpod website is WAY more user-friendly when it comes to uploading your PPT and adding activities. Upload your PPT and you're ready to insert activities, videos, quizzes, etc. You have the choice to 'add content' (like a video), 'add web content' (website), or 'add activity' (quiz, draw-it, memory game, etc.). There is SO much that is possible for you to include in your presentation. This is my FAVORITE part, y'all!
Here is what the final Nearpod presentation looks like -
You can see that I added lots of different activities, a video, a couple drawing activities, and more. Now, you're ready for your students to get their NEARPOD on... There are two different ways to do this... student-paced and live lesson (teacher-led). Most of the time, I use student-paced because I have already taught the concepts. This is more of a fun review/reinforcement of previously taught concepts. No matter which method you choose, Nearpod will provide a code for the students to enter on their device. From there, the students will either continue on their own or wait for you to begin instruction. When students finish, Nearpod provides FANTASTIC reports for you to gather data on your students. These reports can even be sent home for the parents to see what the students have been doing. Nearpod has been a GAME CHANGER in my classroom. I love it as a fun way to review and reinforce concepts. I would be happy to share this Nearpod with you via email. Just leave your email in the comments!! Take care!!


  1. I cannot wait to try this. Thank you for sharing.

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