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June 26, 2012

Two math Gizmos highlighted in NCTM article

A recent article in the NCTM magazine Teaching Children Mathematics describes an activity, designed by two professors, that aims to help teachers select clear, effective technology for their classrooms. The article lists five criteria for selecting technology (National Research Council, 2001):

  1. Transparency: How easily can the idea be seen through the representation?
  2. Efficiency: Does the representation support efficient communication and use?
  3. Generality: Does the representation apply to broad classes of objects?
  4. Clarity: Is the representation unambiguous and easy to use?
  5. Precision: How close is the representation to the exact value?

Based on these, the teachers selected a variety of applets to use in their classes. Among these, they chose two Gizmos that provide nice visuals to help teach number sense with the number line.

The Rounding Numbers (Number Line) Gizmo is noted for its use of "hills" on the number line to help illustrate rounding. In this Gizmo, points can be dragged onto a dynamic number line. When in "hill" mode, the points will slide to the nearest valley (the nearest 10 or 100), helping students to visualize rounding. (By the way, interesting things happen when points are exactly halfway between two valleys – like, for example, 35 when rounding to the nearest 10, or 350 when rounding to the nearest 100. Why don’t these points slide to a valley right away? Thought-provoking discussions about the "round up" convention can ensue!)

Also, the teachers chose Number Line Frog Hop (Addition and Subtraction) Gizmo, in which Fred the Frog hops along a number line to try to catch flies. If Fred hops more than 10 units, he can jump as a "single jump," "tens then ones," or "ones then tens." The latter two modes highlight the "parts" of a number (place value, essentially). In addition, as a teacher points out in the article, you can show repeated addition in this Gizmo as a bridge to multiplication.

Posted by Dan at 12:20 PM in Edu/Tech, Press Clippings, Training and Professional Development, Using Gizmos | Permalink

June 19, 2012

Australian correlations, and refined Gizmos browsing

Gizmos are now correlated to the Australian Curriculum! You can now search for math and science Gizmos for that align with Australian standards from grades 3-10.

As part of this expansion of our correlations, we have overhauled the Browse Gizmos page to make it a little easier for educators to delve into the library of more than 450 Gizmos.

Browse Gizmos ImageNow when you first open the Browse Gizmos page, you can easily choose to browse by academic standard, by grade and topic, or by textbook correlation.

If you select to browse by academic standard, the site will do its best to display standards from your country. But if it can't correctly specify your country (or if you feel like browsing standards of another country), you can click on the "Switch Country" button available in that section. We currently list standards for the United States, Canada, and Australia, and we will be working on adding more countries as Gizmos continue to become more popular around the world.

Posted by ExploreLearning at 12:06 PM in Site Announcements | Permalink

June 06, 2012

Math Gizmos Win 2012 AEP Distinguished Achievement Award

ExploreLearning Gizmos have again been recognized by the Association of Educational Publishers. This year, Math Gizmos won the Distinguished Achievement Award: Supplemental Resources/Mathematics.

One of the largest and longest-running programs of its kind, the AEP Awards are widely recognized by educators, administrators, and parents as a mark of outstanding educational value.

Congratulations to the developers who work so hard to make Gizmos the best library of online simulations for math and science. And thanks to all the educators who use Gizmos to bring the power of inquiry-based learning to their classrooms. 


Posted by Meredith Cole at 10:25 AM in Press Clippings | Permalink