December 12, 2011
Two new chemistry Gizmos
We have released two new chemistry lessons focused on the concept of chemical equilibrium:
The two lessons use the same Gizmo but focus on different topics. In the Equilibrium and Concentration lesson, students observe reversible reactions to gain an understanding of why chemical equilibrium occurs and how equilibrium constants are calculated. The follow-up lesson, Equilibrium and Pressure, discusses partial pressure, Dalton's law, and Le Chatelier's principle.
We hope you enjoy the new lessons as we continue to expand our chemistry coverage!
December 06, 2011
Alejandra Guzman: ExploreLearning Educator of the Month
Alejandra Guzman has been teaching high school science for four years, first in Miami-Dade Schools in Florida and now at Stafford High School in Texas. She was named Teacher of the Year at Miami's Somerset Academy Silver Palms, and now serves on the Stafford MSD Technology Committee as well as the district's mentoring program for new science teachers.
Mrs. Guzman, or "Mrs. Gizmo" as some of her district administrators refer to her, started using Gizmos in 2009 and has been integrating them into her teaching practically every week since then. Since moving to Texas, she has been helping her new district get set up with Gizmos. She has also been presenting Gizmos at science and technology conferences around Texas, demonstrating their effectiveness in her specialty, Biology.
Mrs. Guzman points to the Plants and Snails as an example of how Gizmos can help save on lab expenses, avoid experimentation on live animals, and allow for faster data collection. Plants and Snails is also her personal favorite, because students often have difficulty understanding how photosynthesis and respiration are interdependent. As with many lessons, she covers the concept in her lecture, but then uses a Gizmo to drive and reinforce understanding.
"Gizmos are great because they are teacher and student friendly and they require no lab prep! They are very easy to use and all of the work (lesson plans, background, vocabulary, worksheets, assessments) are provided. Gizmos make teaching easy and fun!"
December 01, 2011
Gizmos contributed to a jump in standardized scores
The Atlanta Journal and Constitution recently published an article about the importance of science education in preparing children to enter the 21st-century workforce.
The article emphasizes how students are at risk of dropping out of school if they lack confidence in their ability to handle academic challenges. It then goes on to talk about how Gizmos, with their emphasis on deep conceptual understanding, help students succeed:
Kelly Stewart, a former science teacher at Ridgeview Charter Middle School, saw her eighth-grade students' science CRCT scores jump 8 to 13 percent in two years after she received a grant from SSEF to put Gizmos in her classroom.
“Gizmos gave my students online labs and simulations that we couldn’t have done in middle school,” said Stewart, now school data analyst for Fulton County Schools. The program is visual, interactive and allows her students to grasp concepts and make connections they wouldn’t otherwise.
To learn more about the effectiveness of Gizmos in improving student achievement, read about the research behind Gizmos.