WOW Wednesday: Shannon Zwahr, BMS Science Teacher

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Are you looking for a powerful set of tools that will help you teach your content and get all students to actively participate? Do you want to encourage students to work at their own pace and get excited about learning? Wouldn’t it be great if your students showed their parents and other students what they learn in the classroom?  

Transforming your classroom is only a few clicks away with SOPHIA! Sophia is an online platform that allows the teacher to create interactive course materials, create tutorials, and flip your classroom. It allows you to grab your students’ attention with text, images, audio, video, and screencasts all in one place. You can create awesome tutorials/lessons that your students will want to show others and its soooo easy!

I started using Sophia around November and have tried to use it every week with my students. I’ve created a tutorial for each topic that I teach in 5th grade science. Most of my tutorials include vocabulary practice (at you can create your own vocabulary cards and the students can play a matching game for FREE), an interesting reading passage that I create using PPT or find on the internet, and a couple of really insightful YouTube videos. (Thanks to Ms. Kankel, a teacher on my team, for telling me about an awesome site that will show only the YouTube video you want and NOT the related videos. It’s called

Below is a screenshot of one of my tutorials on Sophia.

Here’s how it works! Each tutorial is numbered and I give a few brief directions for students to follow. Students complete each task, write their answers on their teacher-made answer sheet, and then go to the next assignment. They love working at their own pace and watching the videos over and over again! Students can also earn points in Sophia for correctly answering three quiz questions that I’ve created! Another awesome feature of Sophia is that I can see how long students spend on each lesson and how well they do on the quiz questions.

Shannon Zwahr
BMS WOW Teacher
After students complete the lesson at their own pace, we grade their answer sheet together. This gives me the opportunity to review the material again with my students, evaluate what they’ve learned and reteach it immediately, if needed. It’s a win - win for everyone. Sophia is so easy and quick to use and create tutorials. You can also use Sophia to flip your classroom! Check it out for yourself at If you have any questions, I would love to hear from you, please email me at  

Have a blessed 2014!

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