December 30, 2008

Seven new math Gizmos!

As 2008 draws to a close, we're happy to introduce seven brand new math Gizmos!  Here's a quick overview...

First is a trio of related Gizmos.  In Function Machines 1 (Functions and Tables), you can introduce input-output machines and record data in data tables. Function Machines 2 (Functions, Tables, and Graphs) takes that a step further, adding graphs. In Function Machines 3 (Functions and Problem Solving), students program their own machines, model and solve real-world problems, and begin to think about inverse functions.

The Pattern Flip (Patterns) Gizmo challenges students to recognize and extend patterns in a fun carnival-game-like setting.

Fraction Artist 1 (Area Models of Fractions) is a creative Gizmo in which students create modern-looking paintings, in the style of Piet Mondrian, and then describe their paintings using fractions. This Gizmo serves as an introduction to the already-published Fraction Artist 2 (Area Models of Fractions).

In Factor Trees (Factoring Numbers), students can create factor trees in Factor mode as they break composite numbers into their prime factors. In Build mode, students can build numbers by multiplying primes. The two modes allow students to see these as two sides of the same coin.

Finally, the Reaction Time 2 (Graphs and Statistics) Gizmo uses the "catch the ruler" and "click a target" experiments to allow students to collect data, interpret graphs, and explore mean, median, and mode.

All of these Gizmos come with a full set of Lesson Materials and Assessment Questions.  (You have to be logged in to see all of these materials, as always.)

This brings our yearly total to 39 new Gizmos for 2008 -- one more to go to hit our goal of 40 for the year!

In addition, all of us at ExploreLearning would like to say "thank you" for helping us have a successful 2008!  We're pleased to be a partner in math and science education for so many teachers and students.  Happy holidays and best wishes for a happy new year to all.

Posted by Dan at 11:31 AM in Site Announcements | Permalink

December 19, 2008

Gizmos Rock in NYC!

Kathryn Selkirk had some fantastic comments about her experiences with Gizmos, that we wanted to share. Kathryn is a science teacher at The Donald Hertz School in NYC, and she uses Gizmos regularly as interactive simulations for understanding math and science concepts.  This is what she had to say:

"I'm continuously impressed by the range of math and science Gizmos available. The math Gizmos provide meaningful practice for students and the science Gizmos imaginatively present complex science concepts in a kid-friendly format. Overall, Gizmos are interactive and provide students the opportunity for self-directed learning.  Gizmos rock!

I love the proportion Gizmo in which kids can "beam" themselves to the surface of other planets and calculate their weight relative to gravity. It's clever yet effective. My students really enjoyed the Pangaea Gizmo and screen capture function, which they used to document their work."

Check out both of these Gizmos:

Thank you, Kathryn!

Posted by ExploreLearning at 04:10 PM | Permalink

December 18, 2008

Attend an "Introduction to ExploreLearning Gizmos" Webinar in 2009

If you are new to ExploreLearning, or are taking a free trial, learn more about the power of Gizmos by attending a one-hour webinar.

We have a number of sessions starting up again in 2009! You can sign up for a webinar in January by clicking on one of the links below:

Monday, January 12, 2009, 3.00-4.00pm Eastern time

Posted by ExploreLearning at 03:55 PM | Permalink

December 10, 2008

Use of Gizmos After School Hours Reaches All-time Highs

ExploreLearning announces that use of Gizmos during non-school hours has reached all-time highs! Thirty-nine percent of teacher users access Gizmos on weeknights and weekends, while 23 percent of students using Gizmos work with them outside of class time.

“We are very pleased with the number of students and teachers who are choosing to extend the school day with Gizmos, It means teachers are finding creative ways to bring Gizmos into their instruction and students are responding in a very positive way.”

David Shuster, Ph.D., Founder of ExploreLearning

For some informative examples of how teachers and students are using Gizmos to extend learning beyond the school day, read the press release we recently issued.

Posted by Julia Given at 12:54 PM in Press Clippings | Permalink

December 02, 2008

Three new Gizmos published!

We're happy to announce that we've added 3 new Gizmos to our elementary mathematics library...

The Balancing Blocks Gizmo is a cool 3D Gizmo intended to help teach volume of prisms. Students build three-dimensional figures out of cubes, and rotate them to see them from any angle (great spatial-relations practice). As a challenge, can your students build a figure of a given volume that also balances on the tip of a cone?

In the Rock Art Gizmo, students learn about reflections, rotations, and translations, inspired by art found on cliff walls in the American Southwest. The built-in "old paintings" challenge students to use transformations to match ancient paintings.

The Fractions Greater than One Gizmo is the third in a set of three fraction tile Gizmos. (The first two are Equivalent Fractions and Adding Fractions.) Students can make their own fraction tiles using the "Fractionator" and add them. Sums greater than 1 are shown as either improper fractions or mixed numbers.

We hope you enjoy these and find them to be valuable practice for your students!

Posted by Dan at 02:20 PM in Site Announcements | Permalink

Site Maintenance Scheduled

In order to perform routine maintenance, the ExploreLearning site will be unavailable between approximately 10:00 PM on Friday, December 5 and 1:00 AM on Saturday, December 6, 2008.

We apologize for any inconvenience this causes you.

Posted by ExploreLearning at 11:55 AM in Site Status/Known Issues | Permalink