FOSSweb—Your online portal to all things FOSS!

Natalie Yakushiji, FOSS Professional and Leadership Developer, Lawrence Hall of Science
September 05, 2019 | Technology

Welcome to the start of a new school year! Now is a good time to make sure your FOSSweb resources are set up for yourself and your students and to familiarize yourself with any new changes or updates that have taken place on FOSSweb over the summer. Perhaps there are parts of FOSSweb you did not know existed—there certainly are many useful features on our website for all to find, explore, and use to make their teaching lives easier.

It is imperative that you know whether you are a self-registered teacher or a SIS (Student Information System) teacher. A self-registered teacher is responsible for creating their own FOSSweb account, activating the modules they will be teaching onto their account with the appropriate access codes, and creating their own Class Pages for student access. SIS teachers will have all of these tasks completed for them by their district administrators. Please contact your district administrator if you are unclear which category you fall into.

[Screenshot of FOSSweb homepage]

FOSSweb login page for self-registered teachers. SIS teachers have a specific homepage for their districts.


  • If you are new to FOSS and need to set up your FOSSweb account, please see the walk-through videos for a "self-registered teacher." District-registered teachers will have this process done for them by the district and should receive their login information from their administrator.
  • Verify you have access to the modules you will be teaching this school year. If you have changed grade levels and you are a self-registered FOSSweb user, you may need to add the access codes for the new modules you will be teaching to your FOSSweb account. To do that, login to your FOSSweb account. On your Teacher Page, click on the green "Manage My FOSS Modules" link in the upper right of your "My FOSS Modules" section. Enter the access codes for the new modules you will be teaching. Access codes can be found printed on the inside front cover of each Investigations Guide. Click "Submit" when you have completed adding in your codes.
  • If you made any notes in the Interactive eInvestigations Guide last year, revisit those notes (they will be highlighted in blue--rather than the standard red icon) prior to teaching that module again this year.
  • Watch the Teacher Preparation Videos for each part of each investigation to get a sense of what the part is about and which materials you'll need to prepare.
  • Download the Teaching Slides in the format most convenient for you to use with your class(es). Teaching slides that are PowerPoint compatible are available for all modules and courses (grades K–8) under Resources by Investigation for each part. Interactive whiteboard resources (Promethean and SMART) are available for grades K–5 © 2015 under the "Teaching Slides" tab in the "Digital-only Resources" column of the Module Detail Page for the module you are teaching.
  • It is always wise to download the new assessment masters and assessment coding guides (answers) prior to giving any assessments. You'll find these listed under "Assessment" in the "Teacher Resources" column for the module/course you are teaching. Assessments are periodically updated, prior to the start of a new school year, in order to provide students and teachers with assessment items that will accurately assess student scientific knowledge and understanding. The most up-to-date version of the assessment will always be available on FOSSweb so it is best to get in the habit of printing these from the website.
  • Teachers and students will be "timed-out" of FOSSweb after 30 minutes if there is no activity on the site during that time. This is so FOSSweb can be in compliance with national policy to limit access to sites with accessible data (such as FOSSmap data). Teachers and students will need to authorize an extension of time by clicking on the "Extend" button when their 30-minute time span is almost up. If teachers/students are actively using the site, this does not occur. We are working on updates to make this an easier process. Stay tuned for that!
  • Be sure to check the "Important Module Updates" and "Module Teaching Notes" links for the module you are teaching to check to see if any new, important information has been noted for teaching the module. You'll find these links on the Module Detail Page for the module you are teaching under the first column on the left, "Teaching the Module."
  • There is a new "Family and Community" page on FOSSweb under "About FOSS" on the top menu bar with information on how to keep your families and community stakeholders informed about the FOSS program.
  • Check out the list of updates that have occurred on FOSSweb over the last couple of months. You can find those listed here.
[Screenshot of FOSSweb homepage]

Each FOSS module/course has its own Module Detail Page to access module-specific resources. Click on image to open in a new tab.

Student Access

  • Set up a Class Page for your students to login to so they can access the student-facing resources on FOSSweb. For a K–2 class, we recommend that teachers set up a "Common Class Page" where all students use the same username and password to log into the page. For grades 3–8, teachers should set up an "Individual Student Login" Class Page where each student will have his/her own username and password to log into FOSSweb. This is necessary for any classes taking the assessments online using FOSSmap. If you are a self-registered teacher and need assistance in setting up your Class Page, access the specific walk-through videos for these topics here. SIS teachers need to provide their students with the unique URL provided to them by their district so that they can login and access their teacher's Class Page.
  • For those teachers using FOSSmap to assess student progress, be sure to also check out the walk-through videos for information on how to assign assessments on FOSSmap and use the various teacher reports that FOSSmap provides for you to assess students.
  • If you wish students to access the tutorials and virtual investigations available for certain modules in grades 3–5, these resources must first be assigned to your students so they can access them from your Class Page. These particular resources often mimic the active investigations done in the classroom, so we've made them initially inaccessible to students so they do not have access to them prior to doing the active investigation. All other multimedia and videos can also be assignable, although their default is to be accessible to all students initially. There is a separate walk-through video that details how to assign content on FOSSweb.
  • As a reminder, students can only access the Student eBook and/or the Student Interactive eBook if you have activated Premium Content onto your FOSSweb account. Premium Content is available through our vendor, Delta Education. Once obtained, teachers would be provided a separate Premium Access Code, which when activated, will unlock those resources for students. For classes that have access to the Student eBooks and access to individual tablets, teachers should consider downloading the FOSS app so that students can access the Interactive eBook directly from their devices without needing to be logged into FOSSweb. Currently, this feature includes most devices (tablets, iPads), but not for Chromebooks. That technology will be included soon. You will find more information about the app under the "Digital-only Resources" column of the Module Detail Page for the module you are teaching and then under "Student eBooks."


  • We have a new set of resources targeted specifically for administrators supporting teachers as they implement FOSS. We call it the "Administrators Toolbox." You can access that resource set on FOSSweb, or read more in FOSSconnect.

We sincerely hope that you find useful tools on the FOSSweb platform. As always, if you need any assistance with accessing your FOSSweb account or utilizing any of our resources, please refer to our Help Pages, our Walk-Through video page or contact us using this form. Have a wonderful school year.