June 27, 2013
ExploreLearning Collaborates with Science Leaders on NGSS
ExploreLearning was in Williamsburg, VA this week as a sponsor of the National Science Education Leadership Association’s (NSELA) Summer Leadership Institute. ExploreLearning team members collaborated with science leaders from across the nation, exploring the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). ExploreLearning held focus groups to gain an understanding of science professionals' thoughts and direction for implementation of the NGSS. We were excited to hear what educators had to say in the focus groups and other conference events. Keep an eye out for our upcoming Gizmo NGSS alignment and some great NGSS focused professional development classes to help teachers integrate core ideas, practices, and cross-cutting concepts into their standard-aligned lessons.
See how Gizmos are ideal for
supporting the NGSS. Take a free trial today!
To learn more about NSELA, visit NSELA.org.
June 20, 2013
Gizmos Support the Common Core
A deputy superintendent in Pulaski County Special School District in Arkansas wrote to tell us that Gizmos support the Common Core:
"Gizmos are a quick and easy way for teachers to incorporate interactive technology into their math and science lessons to support the Common Core, I love Gizmos!"
If you would like to try Gizmos in your classroom, take a free trial.
June 07, 2013
Expert Corner: Get a Jump on Fall with ReflexKathleen Kaplan is a Regional Manager for Professional Development at ExploreLearning. With a M.Ed. in Secondary Math Education, she taught all levels of high school math before joining ExploreLearning in 2012. Kathy combines her passion for math and science education with her technology background to partner with teachers in increasing student success.
As a teacher, can you imagine what math class would be like if all of your students were fluent in their math facts? If you are already a Reflex customer, you can help make this dream come true for your students and fellow teachers by encouraging your students to use Reflex over the summer. You can find great implementation ideas on our blog that will inspire both students and teachers like this one from Virginia:
An elementary school in Loudon County Public Schools, Virginia, is gearing up for the summer months with a great idea inspired by the summer vacation tradition. They call it a "Reflex Road Trip!"
Students need to collect three "Green Lights" a week on Reflex on their way to their destination. Each traffic light on the log they created symbolizes getting the Green Light, and each light will need to be initialed to prove they did it (and they have five a week on their log in case they go the "extra mile").
At the end of the summer, when students have completed the required Green Light days, they earn a special Reflex Driver's license!
We think this is a terrific idea for encouraging summer Reflex usage, and we look forward to hearing about how the students will be starting next school year with a strong math facts fluency foundation!
If your school or district does not have Reflex yet, talk with our sales staff about ways to bring the program to summer school.
Instead of losing ground this summer, help your students come back more ready to succeed than ever. And, students will enjoy Reflex so much, they may even thank you for it!
Take a free Reflex trial and see why it's the most effective (and the most fun!) math fact fluency solution.
Shawn O’Hara: ExploreLearning Educator of the MonthShawn O’Hara has a degree in Geology and spent 13 years working in the environmental industry. She is currently a chemistry teacher at a high school in Lewisville ISD, Texas. In 2006, she was named Creek Valley Middle School’s Teacher of the Year, and Lewisville ISD Secondary Teacher of the Year.
Shortly after Ms. O’Hara began teaching in Lewisville ISD nine years ago, she learned about a new program called ExploreLearning Gizmos that the district was implementing in middle and high schools. Since she began using them, she has experienced the tremendous growth of the Gizmo library and lesson materials available to teachers and students. Gizmos continue to be an integral part of the successful science experience she provides her students.
A couple of Ms. O’Hara’s favorite Gizmos are “Distance-Time and Velocity-Time Graphs” and “Phases of the Moon.” Students struggle with the concepts of distance-time, velocity-time, acceleration-time, and all that goes with these topics. “I would have them first do an activity with a motion sensor and then follow that up with the Gizmo. Doing the Gizmo really reinforces the learning, especially when they have to write about the motion relative to the created graph.” With the Phases of the Moon Gizmo, “students can manipulate the motion of the moon and see views from Earth and space.” Being able to manipulate variables allows students the ability to test their hypotheses and answer their own “what would happen if…” questions.
When her students are struggling, absent, or miss a lab, Ms. O’Hara has no trouble finding a Gizmo to fill in the gaps and support their learning. “If a student has a long-term absence and has Internet access at home, he/she can keep up by using the support materials.” She also loves the assessments and thinks that they provide the perfect quick check of student understanding. She has immediate access to the results, and at a glance she can see who has mastered the concept and who needs more support.
“Lewisville ISD has identified Gizmos as a powerful resource for teachers and has continued to make an investment in making them available to all science and math teachers.” Ms. O’Hara looks forward to continuing to give her students the opportunity to explore science with Gizmos.
June 04, 2013
6 new sets of Lesson Materials - the math Gizmo update continues!
Even with summer almost here at ExploreLearning headquarters, the Math Lesson Materials team is still hard at work! We've just published 6 new sets of Lesson Materials, accompanying these geometry Gizmos:
Segment and Angle Bisectors (the Gizmo formerly known as "Bisectors in Triangles")
As always, our goal here is real student understanding, beyond just formulas or memorization, with an inquiry-based approach. (A good example is the Distance Formula Gizmo, at the top of the list above. Our goal in this lesson is to help students see that the distance formula is not some crazy new formula they need to learn - it's really just an application of the Pythagorean Theorem.)
This release brings us up to 69 high-school- and middle-school-level math Gizmos with updated Lesson Materials. Reminder: Our updated Lesson Materials have 4 documents (Student Exploration Sheet, Answer Key, Teacher Guide, and Vocabulary Sheet), each available as a .doc or .pdf. You'll need to be logged in to see all four document.
If you'd like to try these Gizmos, or any of the others in our library, sign up for a free trial today!