By: Kendall Hunt RPD with contributions from the editorial team of ByDesign Science
Last summer, we posted a blog sharing five reasons we love Pathways2.0, our faith-based, customized reading and language arts curriculum for grades 1–8. But we didn’t ask you to take our word for it . . . we shared testimonies from parents and teachers across the country who love it, too!
Today, we’re doing the same for our faith-based elementary science curriculum, ByDesign Science. Once again, we’re using the thoughts of those who know best: educators nationwide.
In fall 2020, Kendall Hunt Religious Publishing and the Seventh-day Adventist (SDA)/North American Division (NAD) Office of Education completed a curriculum survey involving more than 745 teachers, principals, and administrators who use our various curricula. Several of the questions asked respondents for their thoughts on the most valuable aspects of our programs, so we’re sharing their responses with you today as we take a look at “The Top-Five Things We Love About ByDesign Science”!
#1: Faith-based curriculum
Unsurprisingly, the strong Christian basis of this curriculum was the most common answer to the survey question, “What specific things about the ByDesign Science program do you find the most valuable?” In responding to this question, 30% of participants mentioned the integration of faith and Scripture within the program.
One of the most important points for educators was that in ByDesign, faith isn’t an afterthought; it’s an essential part of the curriculum. “Every single lesson draws the learner back to our Creator,” one wrote, and another added, “I love how everything keeps being centered back to God.”
Educators also praised the balanced nature of ByDesign Science and our high school biology curriculum, ByDesign Biology. Although both programs feature the faith-based focus that sets Kendall Hunt Religious Publishing programs apart, they also include a balanced look at evolution.
“I love the integration of creation and evolution throughout the biology textbook. I am so happy that it doesn't 'ignore' evolution but also has pro-creation arguments,” one reviewer wrote.
#2: Labs and hands-on activities
The second most commonly cited “most valuable feature” of ByDesign Science was its engaging labs and experiments, mentioned by 22% of respondents.
The many Explore-A-Labs and Scientific Inquiries, along with the accompanying Student Science Journal, allow students to participate in hands-on inquiry learning, and teachers praised them accordingly. But crucially, it isn’t just educators who love these aspects of the curriculum—the kids do, too! “I enjoy the lab papers and kits. Students look forward to lab days,” wrote one respondent.
To make it easy for teachers to bring hands-on learning to life safely, Kendall Hunt Religious Publishing also offers grade-level kits that contain all the items necessary to complete the inquiry labs. This was another aspect of our inquiry learning program that teachers loved. “I really appreciated the curriculum lab tubs for purchase,” one respondent noted.
#3: Digital features and curriculum access
Coming in third, with 12% of respondents mentioning them in their responses to the question on valuable aspects, were the varied digital resources included with ByDesign Science. Educators praised both large and small aspects of our online features, from the ability for students to read books at home during COVID-19 distance learning to the way in which readers can hover over a highlighted vocabulary word in the e-text and see the definition.
Teachers also expressed appreciation for the fact that ByDesign offers both digital and print copies of resources such as the Teacher Edition, Student Edition, Student Science Journals, and blackline masters, giving teachers the flexibility they need, especially this year.
“It’s great to have both print and digital so that teachers can use what fits their style,” one participant wrote.
#4: Teacher resources
Whether they were print, digital, or both, teacher resources were mentioned by around 10% of respondents as a key part of the appeal of ByDesign. Yearly planning and pacing guides; extra features in the Teacher Edition, such as Science Background and Scripture Spotlights; and multi-grade support resources all drew mention from survey participants.
“I use the yearly planning/pacing guide, and that saves me so much time,” said one respondent. Another added, “The standards alignment resources help to connect between learning objectives, learning activities, and assessments on a specified topic.”
And that’s not even mentioning the included lesson supports for students, prewritten chapter and unit assessments, professional development resources, and cross-curricular connections!
“Very, very teacher- and student-friendly,” summed up one respondent. We couldn’t agree more!
#5: Well-structured curriculum
Many respondents praised the structure of the ByDesign curriculum, noting that its logical scope and sequence is developmentally perfect for young scientists.
“The program spirals information over the years, and so students continue to go more in depth each year about the same concepts,” one participant wrote. Another commented, “The size of each lesson is appropriate for my students. It's just the right amount of new information and builds well on what was taught previously.”
By creating a student-tailored curriculum structure—not to mention a beautifully designed textbook— ByDesign Science keeps students engaged and eager to learn.
“Content is well written and paced well. Students love science while using these materials,” said a respondent. Their fellow educator added, “I like how easy it is to follow and get students excited about science.”
And in the end, isn’t that what it’s all about?
For more information on how you can bring these amazing benefits to your science classroom, contact Kendall Hunt Religious Publishing today!