See Reviews of Instructor Dr. Karen Joseph
In this engaging, hands-on 7-week science mini course, elementary and middle school students learn about the special properties and behaviors of the simple, but important, water molecule.
Water is everywhere, but how well do we really understand this amazing, unique, and critical substance? Water covers 70% of our planet and is essential for all known forms of life. We will explore the amazing world of water with experiments, video, audio and text lessons, fun facts, frequent learning checks, games, and more. We will learn about water’s physical and chemical properties, the role of water on the earth and in the atmosphere and the importance of water in the bodies of living things.
Online lessons are posted on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. The lessons focus on new content. Students read the lesson, listen to audio, watch any videos, and do some experiments and activities or watch videos of the experiments and activities. I use many audio and video recordings to help students learn the correct pronunciation of new terms as well as to reinforce content.
Most lessons end with a learning check to see how well the student understood the content. Students should try to do as many of the experiments/activities as possible, since science is best learned by doing. Most students report spending about 30 minutes per day on the lessons.
In our live classes on Wednesday, we review content from the previous week using review questions and games, and we go over anything for which students need additional support. Although it is always best if students attend the live classes, I will post the recording of the class so that students who can’t attend can watch later.
Weeks 1, 2, and 3: Water’s Physical and Chemical Properties
- Solid, Liquid, and Gas
- Capillary Action
- Dissolving Action
- Surface tension
- Heat capacity
- Water as a solvent
- Boiling and Freezing Point
- Dissolved oxygen
Weeks 5 and 6: Water in and on the Earth
- Water Cycle
- Surface and underground water
Week 7: Water in Living Things
- How Humans Use Water
- How Our Bodies Use Water
- How Animals Use Water
- How Plants Use Water
Who should enroll?
This course is for all students in grades 4-8 who are curious and like active, hands-on learning, and want to know more about good ole’ H2O!
- High speed, broadband Internet
- Sound card and microphone (for live sessions)
- Streaming video capabilities to watch recorded lectures
Evaluation and Feedback
I use “learning checks” at the end of most lessons to assure both the student and the teacher that students understand the concepts presented in the lessons. Many of the learning checks are automatically graded by the computer. For the essay questions and projects, I generally grade every day, sending feedback to the students to help them understand questions they may have missed.
I welcome any and all communication from students and parents. I want to partner with you in your student’s education, so if at any time you have questions or concerns, my virtual door is open.
MICHELLE R SANDBERG –
Dr. Joseph is so enthusiastic and holds the students interest not just during hte live classes, but also in explaining the concepts in her daily lessons. The quizzes at the end of each lesson were very practical and fact based. When my daughter e-mailed Dr. Joseph with questions she always got back to her with a well explained answer. So appreciated! I HIGHLY recommend this class and I’d like my daughter to take it again (this time doing all of the experiments…). I am also interested in any other classes she teaches.
Tonya Hinrichs –
Wonderful class! Loved how Dr. Joseph presented the material on the class page in various ways, from fascinating videos to helpful audio links. She is caring and encouraging, and she made the live classes fun. What a great way to learn about science by using water! Thank you, Dr. Joseph!
You teach in such a way that makes the complicated material easier to understand and FUN!
Your class content and videos are superb – my son often calls me over to watch with him (and I love how you emphasize detailed answers and complete sentences – he told me you want him to capitalize just like I do!)
Dr. Joseph always answers all my curious questions about her course. She’s always willing to help out in any way possible. She uses different online videos, websites, and neat experiments to try out so the students get to see things in real life, which is hard to do in cyber school.
Dr. Joseph congratulates you when you succeed and helps you to understand when you don’t. Dr. Joseph cares about each of her students and is open to discussions about things we agree or disagree on. Dr Joseph is willing, helpful, and kind-hearted.
Dr. Joseph has helped me improve as a student by asking insightful questions. She asks questions that make you apply what you have just learned to real life situations and her questions make you think through what you have learned. When she teaches she doesn’t just give lectures. Instead she has interesting projects, she explains everything thoroughly, makes connections, and even videotapes herself performing lab experiments. She has opened my eyes to the world of the human body. Through her teaching I’m realizing that the human body is very complex and intricate. This realization has brought me to an appreciation for how our bodies function.
Dr. Joseph is my human anatomy and physiology teacher, and I honestly have to say that it is one of my favorite classes. I have learned so much, and I continue to learn from her lessons each day. Her teaching abilities are great, and the style she uses makes me understand the lesson. There isn’t a day that goes by when I don’t walk around the house stating “did you know” facts that I learned in her class. She brings a completely new meaning to “you learn something new everyday.” She has made a huge difference in my life. I think the main reason I like this class is because of who she is. Anyone can teach me the exact same lessons. But she makes me want to learn those lessons and want to explore them on my own. You may not want to learn, but I guarantee that Dr. Joseph will teach you in a way that you have not seen before.
Dr. Joseph is one of the better teachers I have had this year. She was very thorough with her lessons and she knows what she’s talking about. She always tries to include humor in her lessons. She’s very responsive to what we have to say or if we have any concerns. She was just an all-around good teacher.
Dr. Joseph always encourages me and tells me what I’m doing well. I started school late and had to make up a lot of work. Because of her encouraging me and always telling me to do my best, I got everything completed and was caught up with my class in less than 2 weeks. She shows us lots of videos that are found online or she will make videos for experiments. She also had us do a lot of creative activities.
Dr. Joseph has made learning such a fun and enjoyable experience for me this year. She uses her creativity to make the lessons more understandable and fun. I am really enjoying her class this year! She makes videos of experiments she’s performed, she uses pictures and diagrams to give us a visual of what she’s teaching, and she is always there and willing to help.
Dr. Joseph has helped me improve as a student by making her lessons very interesting and always being open to questions. She makes science come alive she always encourages me to think. She says questions lead to learning, so I should never stop questioning. When we had a lesson where the book contradicted the popular thought about something, Dr. Joseph went way above and beyond to research this topic and explain to me all the myriad complexities of the issue. It was fascinating. I really appreciated her effort. Not many teachers would have gone so far to satisfy the curiosity of one student.