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The Autumn of our Reconnect. School will be opening. But how?

School will be opening. But how?

by Gary Kaplan

School will be opening September 16. How it will open is still uncertain. Three operational models have been defined by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education: fully in-person, fully remote, and a hybrid of the two. It is up to each district to decide which option to choose. The decisions will not be strictly pedagogical: much will depend on health and safety conditions. Final school plans for reopening are due at DESE August 10.

Tools and strategies using JFYNet’s ELA software

Tools and strategies using JFYNet’s ELA software

Hosted by Greg Cunningham, Blended Learning Specialist

JFYNet is often called a test prep program. It’s true that one intended result of our online curriculum is to help students succeed on MCAS, Accuplacer and SAT, the standardized tests that weigh so heavily in the balance of their future options. But tests measure skills, and what we are really doing is helping students develop the skills that are measured on those tests.

JFYNet staff report on the new COVID-19 normal.

Hero Educators Abound

by JFYNet’s Blended Learning Specialists: Eileen Wedegartner, Greg Cunningham and Cathie Maglio

Eileen Wedegartner

In a COVID-19 update April 2 Governor Baker apologized for not being able to name a specific date when something had happened. “I feel like March 6 to today has been one long day,” he mused. “I can’t keep track of it anymore.”

I knew what he meant. These last few weeks have been a whirlwind when life as we knew it drastically changed. Seemingly overnight, the streets in Boston fell silent and New York, the city that never sleeps, fell into a coma. Baker ordered all schools closed for three weeks and then extended it even longer, to May 4. District leaders, school administrators, teachers, parents and even students are mobilizing to try out learning in different ways. As I watch my own children navigate classroom meet-ups on Zoom and Google Hangouts, I am thankful for the efforts teachers are making to fill the void we in the community feel without school.

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    Science Resource Summary

    Free Science Resources

    A multi-disciplinary treasure trove for teachers, students and parents

    JFYNetWorks provides online resources to support remote learning in all core subject areas. To support the STEM curriculum, we have developed this annotated guide to science resources. It lists free resources in all domains of science, and details activities, multi-media lessons and teacher guides for all levels. We hope it will be helpful to teachers, students and parents.

    Multi-disciplinary Resources

    Christa McAuliffe Center for Integrated Science Learning

    A project of Framingham State University, this website is a curated list that will help parents, students and educators looking for free resources they can use via remote learning. These resources are at a variety of levels, from pre-k to high school. The site has 3 parts. A key section is STEM at Home. This section is a curated list of free resources. When you click on a topic, you will see a list of resources with a short description. For each resource the descriptions give you a basic summary, type of activity, area covered, and appropriate age group. This is a work in progress and users should check periodically for updated resources. There is a wide variety of activities including digital labs, interactive lessons, demos, videos animations, and tutorials. This site also includes math activities that teachers can assign and parents and students can work through together. There is also a section of science sites in Spanish and Portuguese. STEM at Home also lists videos, webcasts, and WGBH broadcast options. Another section of the website is the DIY Universe. In this section you can create your own exhibit or multi-media show in three areas: Stars, Solar Systems, and Origin/History of the Universe. Users can access these resources as a parent, teacher or student. Another section, ISS image of the Week, provides images from the International Space Station with linked educational activities. Last, but not least there is a link to webinars that will help teachers and parents hone their remote learning skills. This is one of the best websites for easy access to a wide variety of resources.

    The Source Book for Teaching Science

    This is a collection of free resources that provides everything from illustrations and simulations to exercises you can use with your students. Although some of the links are inactive, there are plenty of resources to use. The website gives resources in all the major areas of biology. There are simulations, illustrations and online textbooks in each area. There are also informative online spreadsheets with data that can be used as the basis of many assignments. This site includes lesson plans that teachers can use to create online assignments for their students. Although this website emphasizes biology, there are resources for chemistry, physics and earth science. There are many resources to choose, but teachers will have to pick from a long list to find what will work best for their students.

    National Science Foundation

    This website provides resources in all areas of science. The links take you to a list of resources for each area. One advantage of this website is that it identifies the appropriate grade range for many sites. You can click this link to go to any subject area. In addition to science there are links for math, social science, computing and education. Some of these listed resources, such as Cells Alive or Chem4Kids have been around a long time, but that doesn’t mean they still don’t have valuable information. This site is also a collection of resources. Teachers can choose and assign specific activities to their students.


    This website has a very large collection of resources and activities in almost every subject. Once you choose an area, you can filter by grade and type of activity to narrow your choices. There are complete interactive lessons and activities. Most activities have support materials so that teachers have a complete assignment for students. Activities are varied and there are games, multiple choice and short answer questions for students. Teachers can create classes and give students assignments. Teachers can view student activity and these reports can be exported to Excel. The program is fully integrated with Google classroom.

    National Science Digital Library

    This is a large collection of resources. Activities vary and some activities are more comprehensive than others. The teacher can filter by grade, standards and subject. Although this website is known for science, teachers can choose activities in life science, applied science, physical science, mathematics and history.


    You can enter this site as a teacher or a student. If you are a teacher or a parent, you should look at their webinar which gives advice on using their program. This website includes resources in science (starting at grade 1), math (grade 1 through college), and social studies. Teachers can use the Flexbooks. These are online textbooks that have accompanying activities. There also individual activities and videos available. For example, students can move the chromosomes to display the phases of meiosis this site does not filter by Massachusetts standards, you can use the Common Core filter. This site is very comprehensive. [account creation required]

    NSTA Freebies for Science Teachers

    These resources have been vetted and recommended by the National Science Teaching Association. You can filter by type of activity or key word. There are activities for students, but there are also publications for professional development. If you are looking for activities, use the filter by keyword and select the other materials category.

    We Are Teachers

    Here is a list of virtual classroom platforms, online quizzes and assessments, video lessons, and even complete curriculum plans. These resources are not generally free, but they will be available at no cost right now. Some of the resources offer at least a 30 day or more free trial. There are many things to choose from. They provide a short description of each listed resource and what type of offering will be available during school closures.

    National Education Association Stem Resources

    A short list of high-quality activities you can use. There are only 7 resources listed, but they have some very good activities. Not everything listed features complete activities. Activities range from K-12.


    Thoughtco provides resources for educators in all areas of science. In each area, you can find lists and articles. These resources can serve as the basis of an activity, but they are not interactive and the articles do not include comprehension questions. Teachers would have to develop questions and accompanying activities to convert these resources into complete assignments. This website also includes humanities resources.

    Khan Academy

    If you prefer your students to work with a more traditional method, then choose Khan Academy. Khan Academy provides a very comprehensive selection of short videos and accompanying online exercises for some topics. The videos are lecture style and the video is basically an explanation in a mini-lecture. It’s not for every student, but some students really do better with Khan’s straightforward approach. Teachers can enroll classes and check on student progress with reports.



    This website is sponsored by Harvard. You have to sign up, but it’s free. There are online learning assets, including videos, assessments, and simulations. The focus is biology, but some other topics are included. Teachers can create online classes and teach lab skills remotely. Right now the virtual experiments might be particularly useful for teachers seeking alternate methods to provide continuity through remote learning.

    Bozeman Science

    This website has videos that cover important concepts in high school biology. The videos have clear, colorful explanations, and some have accompanying worksheets contributed by teachers. There is a section of draft assessments organized by Next Generation Science Standards. This website connects to the wonder of science- -you can choose assessments, videos, and resources. Teachers can find resources for earth and physical science too.


    This is a large collection of resources. You can filter by level, activity, and topic. Activities include videos with a pdf teacher guide and student handout. There is also a small section on earth science.

    Concord Learning Center

    Concord has a large collection of resources. Some of these activities are simulations that teachers can use to design a lesson for their students. If you have your own webpage, you could post the links to the activities and also add questions. Other activities already have accompanying questions.

    Busch Gardens Resources

    This website, a joint effort between Busch Gardens and SeaWorld, has a variety of activities. Although it features K-12 activities, many of the activities are geared for lower grades. Both students and teachers can access activities geared for them. In classroom activities, there are workbook style lessons. Teachers can download these activities and assign them. Teachers can substitute class discussion sections with written responses or Google hangouts. There are also teacher guides in many areas that are online textbooks with reading and assignments. Another useful, dynamic section is Saving a Species. This section has many videos and a teacher toolbox goes with the videos. The videos are on YouTube, so students can watch these shows on their tablets, laptops, phones or smart TV.


    American Association of Chemistry Teachers

    This website includes complete activities for teachers that make great e-learning lessons. Some of the activities are better for classroom work but there are many activities that feature a video. You can give directions to your students to complete the activities on their own or you could do this work as a group by Zoom or Google hangout. The advantage of these activities is that they include a teacher guide, a student activity sheet and an answer key. These documents are in Word and pdf format, so you can decide what works best for you. These activities cover 14 different areas of high school chemistry and there are hundreds of lessons for your students. There are also activities for middle and elementary school students.

    General Chemistry Interactive Solutions

    This website includes a collection of resources that you can use to teach topics. There is good information, but many of the activities are not as dynamic or interactive as other websites.

    Concord Learning Center

    This website is similar to Concord’s biology page. There are 165 resources for teachers to use. These activities vary. Some are simulations and other activities are meant for classroom work (although some activities might be done at home through teacher instruction). Lessons vary from activity general plans to complete lessons with accompanying guides for students and teachers.


    The Physics Classroom

    This website has a large collection of resources for physics teachers. There are many links to varied resources that include online textbooks, interactive activities, physics videos and complete physics lessons with varied activities.

    MIT Blossoms

    This is a very large collection of resources that varies in quality and functionality. Some activities are excellent, but others are either non-functional or old-fashioned. Since this is a large collection of sites, it definitely worth investigating. Some activities require a sign-up to use. There is a short description of each website, so you can quickly decide if this activity would work well for you.

    The Physics Front

    The Physics Front has complete lessons and online activities. You can browse by course, level, or topic.

    The Science Spot

    Although this is a very basic website, you might want to use it if your students have limited access to online curriculum. Some of the materials are simple to download, so students could access the work easily on their phones.


    Engineering Activities for Kids (when Under Quarantine)

    This is a collection of activities that students can do at home. This site is useful for teachers looking for activities to assign or parents trying to engage kids in stimulating work.

    Try Engineering

    Teachers can find lessons plans to download and activities for their students on a wide variety of engineering topics.

    Teach Engineering

    In this large collections of resources, you can filter by subject, topic, lesson type and grade level. You can also choose a curricular unit with multiple activities. There is a time estimate and description for each activity.

    U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

    This website emphasizes practical activities that teachers can assign. The activities focus on creating inventions. There are separate activities that focus on many high interest topics such as the relationship between engineering and tattoos or 3-d printing.

    YouTube Resources

    Professor Dave Explains (Science and Math)

    Professor Dave offers short simple video explanation on a wide range of topics in science and mathematics. These videos are mini-lectures. Although the videos are good, teachers will have to develop accompanying lesson plans or pull activities from another source.

    Crash Course(Science and other subjects)

    These are short, easy to understand explanations on many topics. You can study biology, chemistry, engineering, math history and many other subjects. They are colorful and easy to understand. The videos have caption options, which will be helpful to ELL students.

    The Amoeba Sisters(Biology)

    Two high school teachers started this channel to demystify science. These are fun, colorful videos that your students will enjoy. Some of the videos may be suitable for middle school students. They also have a website that has GIFs, handouts, resources, and science comics. You can also access the videos from this website.

    High School Biology Lectures(Biology)

    If you prefer more traditional lectures, try this channel. This is not a complete course in biology, but there are 28 videos on YouTube. The narrator has some interaction with the students, but mainly lectures. The videos have good graphics and they vary in length. They also have a website You can view the videos on the website and there are a few games (flash based).

    Stanley Bergkamp (Physics)

    These videos focus on higher level physics and chemistry topics. The teacher covers AP Physics, Honors Physics and AP Chemistry. These videos are traditional classroom lectures and each video is 45 minutes to an hour. The explanations are good, but they are not flashy. You get a high-quality detailed lecture on physics and chemistry topics. This will appeal to students who like detailed explanations and prefer a lesson that mimics a classroom setting.

    James Dann (Physics)

    James Dann gives short explanations on a variety of physics topics. The videos are mini-class style lectures, whiteboard demonstrations, students performing experiments and physics demos.

    Michael Farabaugh (Chemistry)

    This channel provides a complete chemistry course with class lectures, concept video demos, labs and unit quizzes (with explanations).

    PBS Digital Studios, Physics

    This channel is sponsored by PBS. These are high-quality videos that are engaging and easy to understand. There are experiments you can try at home, as well as a group of video puzzles to experiment with and figure out.


    Compiled by Joan Reissman, the MCAS Maven.

    Remote Learning with JFYNetWorks

    Education is a culture-defining and socially unifying process.

    First and foremost, we hope all our friends and colleagues are managing to weather these extraordinary circumstances with patience, fortitude and a dash of humor.

    Here at JFY, we are working hard during this period of shutdown and social distancing to guide and support our partner schools and their students in making the transition to remote learning.

    JFYNetWorks has been providing online academic support to schools since 2000, but we can’t think of a time when our online curricula and teacher support were more vital. It’s almost as if the past twenty years were preparation for this rocket launch from classroom to cloud.

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      Videos On Demand from JFYNetWorks

      Videos On Demand by JFYNetWorks, Developed for Teachers and Students

      We at JFYNetWorks want you to know that we are ready, willing and able to help you and your students keep education on track.

      E-learning can help mitigate disruptions. Our ELA and math curricula are aligned to the state standards and flexible enough to support regular classes as well as all benchmark assessments. We are working with our school partners to maximize deployment of our online resources to help students keep current with their classes and prepare for MCAS and Accuplacer. As always, we are providing online coaching and professional development to our teachers.

      If you have questions, requests or suggestions please contact Gary Kaplan, Executive Director at 617-338-0815 x 224 or

      Student HOW TO Guides

      Click Here to View JFY Video On-Demand
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      Click Here to View JFY Video On-Demand

      Online Learning and Test Readiness. Preparation, Tips and Strategies.

      Click Here to View JFY Video On-Demand
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      Didn’t find what you were looking for? Click on the button below or visit our RESOURCES tab.

      On Demand Videos Found Here

      If you have questions, requests or suggestions please contact Gary Kaplan, Executive Director at 617-338-0815 x 224 or email him at

      COVID-19 Response-JFYNetWorks Mobilizes Resources

      COVID-19. We Are Here to Help During This Time of Uncertainty

      Dear partners and friends:

      We at JFYNetWorks want you to know that we are ready, willing and able to help you and your students keep education on track during this unprecedented and prolonged period of uncertainty and disruption.

      E-learning can help mitigate the disruptions. Our ELA and math curricula are aligned to the state standards and flexible enough to support regular classes as well as all benchmark assessments. We are working with our school partners to maximize deployment of our online resources to help students keep current with their classes and prepare for MCAS and Accuplacer. As always, we are providing online coaching and professional development to our teachers. In addition, we have on-demand videos available on our website to assist with MCAS prep.

      The Dance of Blended Learning with Meredith Hubbell

      A gifted teacher shows how it’s done

      by Cathie Maglio, Blended Learning Specialist

      One of my favorite classes is the Grade 10 Level 1 English Learners class at East Boston High School taught by Meredith Hubbell. I am amazed at the strategies Meredith has developed to help students build their English language skills. One of those strategies is our JFYNet online reading comprehension program which Meredith uses nimbly and adroitly in combination with other methods.

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        JFYNetWorks Podcasts

        Podcasts from JFYNetWorks

        JFYNetWorks addresses today’s college readiness pursuit by providing focused blended learning programs in high school to help students build the academic skills they need to enter college or technical training earning academic credit. The JFYNetWorks blended program model — infusing specialized online content into the regular curriculum — also facilitates scalability, as the low cost of the online platform can easily be expanded to entire schools. Listen to our podcasts to learn more.

        Listen. Download. Share.

        Kingsman Academy Public Charter School Presents in DC

        JFYNet Partner School takes their rebuild process to DC

        JULY 2020 PODCAST – This month’s podcast features excerpts from a presentation by Kingsman Academy Public Charter School in Washington, DC, a JFYNet partner school. The presentation to the DC Public Charter School Board took place on June 20th, and describes the process begun shortly after the school’s opening in 2015. The Kingsman staff and administration realized that their operational plan was not serving the needs of their student population as they had thought it would and spent the next few years redesigning the school from the ground up. The current move to competency- based learning is the final step of their rebuilding process.

        Click here for a transcript of this podcast.

        Jorge Santana now leads students towards success at PACE Academy

        Executive Director at PACE Guides At-Risk Students Towards Success

        JUNE 2020 PODCAST – This month’s podcast features Jorge Santana, the Executive Director of the PACE Career Academy Charter School in Pembroke, New Hampshire, a JFYNet partner school. In this episode, you’ll hear how Mr. Santana was an at-risk student while growing up, worked early in his career to find systemic solutions to help students connect with mentors, and how PACE Academy works with students who are considered at risk and struggle with education due to other factors in their lives. We also hear two current students at PACE Academy discuss how they have found success with the help of Mr. Santana and all the staff members at PACE.

        Click here for a transcript of this podcast.

        Teachers: Impact of COVID-19 on Students and More

        Educators Shifting to Remote & Distance Learning

        MAY 2020 PODCAST – This podcast features educators from Durfee High School in Fall River, Mindess Elementary School in Ashland, and Newton South High School discussing how the shift to remote learning due to the Covid-19 shutdown has impacted daily schedules, allowed some students to thrive, thrown other students off stride, and may create a “new normal” for education in the future.

        Click here for a transcript of this podcast.

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        Inside MCAS 2.0, Strategic Coaching Tips for Students

        Improved Student Achievement: The JFYNet Track Record