March 20, 2014

Lesson Material Updates

Gizmos are a great way to provide conceptual understanding of complex mathematical concepts. Check out these interactive mathematics Gizmos that just received updated Lesson Materials.

Addition of Polynomials

Integers, Opposites, and Absolute Values

Circles

Number Systems

Least-Squares Best Fit Lines

General Form of a Rational Function

Addition of Polynomials

In the Addition of Polynomials Gizmo, students use tiles to model and add two polynomials of the form ax2 + bx + c. The Gizmo provides feedback for incorrect steps, and the randomized problem generator allows for unlimited practice to support mastery.

Also, check out the User Lesson Materials from members of the Gizmos community. Kathleen Kaplan submitted a lesson plan for the Addition of Polynomials Gizmo that includes a real-world problem involving the distance between jets, where students will need to subtract polynomials.

Posted by Heather Jones at 09:12 AM in Site Announcements, Using Gizmos | Permalink

February 14, 2014

Statistics Gizmos Lesson Material Updates

"As a scientist, you're not supposed to make decisions without the data.”

— Francis Collins, American physician-geneticist

The ability to understand and fairly represent data is becoming more important in math and science education. Check out the updated Lesson Materials for these Gizmos. They are great for teaching students about statistics and they provide students new ways to share results from their science experiments.Histograms

Describing Data Using Statistics

Histograms

Correlations

Trends in Scatter Plots

Least-Squares Best Fit Lines

For example, the Histograms Gizmo helps students explore data using histograms, which show how many data values are in each interval. Some popular classroom applications include looking at patterns of birthdates, growth patterns or even frequencies of M&M colors in a bag!

Posted by Heather Jones at 02:15 PM in Site Announcements | Permalink

January 31, 2014

Lesson Material Updates for Quadratics Gizmos

150DETIf you are planning on teaching quadratics this month, you are in luck! Check out these Gizmos that have been updated with new Lesson Materials.

Quadratics in Vertex Form

Quadratics in Factored Form

Modeling the Factorization of x2 + bx  + c

Modeling the Factorization of ax2 + bx + c

From factoring to graphing, Gizmos has got you covered.

Posted by Heather Jones at 09:03 AM in Site Announcements | Permalink

January 15, 2014

Gizmos iPad App is a Hit!

6a00d8341e234753ef019b0415d30b970d-320wiThe addition of the Gizmos iPad app has really created a stir in the education community. Teachers are “rejoicing” and students more engaged than ever!

Here’s what some educators had to say,

“Woo-hoo! I have been waiting for this app to be available. Gizmos are such a valuable learning tool. Thanks!” – Ontario Elementary Teacher

“What?? Really? That is amazing! I am downloading it now. THANK YOU!” –  NY Science Teacher

 “Rejoice, those of you who have been asking for Gizmos on the iPad. They are finally here.” – Blog, Windsor-Essex Catholic DSB, Ontario

Learn how to get started with GIzmos on the iPad or download the app today.

Posted by Heather Jones at 12:07 PM in Site Announcements, Testimonials, Using Gizmos | Permalink

December 23, 2013

The Gizmos iPad app is here!

NowOniPad_Gizmos
Now you can access over 400 Gizmos on your iPad with our new app!

Once you've downloaded the app you can use it in two ways:

  1. To get the full Gizmos experience, including assessments, correlations, class management features and Lesson Materials, you'll want to use it via our website. Simply navigate to the Gizmo of your choice on ExploreLearning.com and hit the 'Launch Gizmo on iPad' button.
  2. Or you can also use the app directly. Open the app, login using your Gizmos username and password and select your desired Gizmo from an alphabetical list. 

Please note: the second method does not provide easy access to all the related features and content on the website such as assessments, Lesson Materials, class management features, etc.

Enjoy exploring our large library of simulations from the convenience of your iPad!

Posted by ExploreLearning at 03:59 PM in Site Announcements, Using Gizmos | Permalink

December 06, 2013

Warm up to new Lesson Materials

Winter weather got you stuck indoors? Have some fun and explore some of our exciting new Gizmo Lesson Materials.

Inscribed Angles 6a00d8341e234753ef019b0234c56d970d-320wi

 Finding Patterns

 Geometric Probability

 Roots of a Quadratic

 Stem-and-Leaf Plots

 Box-and-Whisker Plots

With the Geometric Probability Gizmo, students can randomly throw darts at a target and see what percent are "hits" to study the relationship between the area of the target and the percent of darts that strike it.

Posted by Heather Jones at 08:41 AM in Site Announcements, Using Gizmos | Permalink

October 30, 2013

Celebrate Fall with New Lesson Materials

Et gizmoCelebrate the fall season with new Lesson Materials! Six of our math Gizmos have updated materials just in time for a little fall fun. 

Use the Elapsed Time Gizmo, along with its newly updated Lesson Materials, to give students an application of “borrowing” when subtracting, in a real context. (Perhaps you and your students want to calculate elapsed times after a class apple-bobbing contest?)

If Geometry is more your speed, try the Chords and Arcs Gizmo. The updated materials guide students as they explore how a central angle in a circle is related to the arc and its intercepts (and if the visual reminds you a bit of a piece of pumpkin pie, well, so be it). Students can also explore the relationship between chords and their distance from the circle's center.

Other Gizmos with updated Lesson Materials include:  Arc

Adding Real Numbers

Multiplying with Decimals

Adding Vectors

Geometric Sequences

Wishing you all a happy and safe fall season!

Posted by Heather Jones at 02:49 PM in Math (Real World), Site Announcements | Permalink

October 21, 2013

Expert Corner: Changes to Roller Coaster Physics

KurtKurt Rosenkrantz is a science curriculum writer and Gizmo designer for ExploreLearning. Kurt holds a Master of Science in Geology from the University of Cincinnati, and a bachelor's degree in Earth Science from Harvard. He taught high school and middle school science for eight years before joining ExploreLearning in 2005.

A while ago, a teacher named Joshua Buchman suggested a way to improve our popular Roller Coaster Physics Gizmo. In the Gizmo, a toy car rolls down a track, over several hills, and into an egg. The egg will either crack or not.

Rc physics gizmoIn the original Gizmo, the egg would crack if the momentum of the car was over a certain threshold value. Mr. Buchman pointed out that it was more likely that the kinetic energy of the car, rather than its momentum, would be the critical factor. He argued that the car would need to travel a certain distance into the egg, overcoming the resisting force of the eggshell, for the egg to crack. In other words, the car would have to do a certain amount of work to crack the egg, and the work it could do depended on its kinetic energy.

This argument made sense to us, but we wanted to check that it was true in practice before changing the Gizmo, which was designed with the help of real-world experiments that took place in the EL offices a decade ago. To investigate, I bought toy cars, a track, and several dozen eggs. I set up the track at a steep angle and went to work.

Rollercoaster2Right away I realized that I needed to establish a consistent definition of “egg breaking.” It turns out that a very tiny impact can cause a small fracture in the egg, and that the fracture grows bigger and bigger as the force of the impact increases. Eventually I decided that the most consistent criteria I could use was “eggshell breaks completely into two halves.” So, any fracture that did not go all the way around the egg was considered a negative result.

Rollercoaster3After several very messy sets of experiments using cars of different masses, I plugged the data into a spreadsheet. Sure enough, the minimum kinetic energy required to break the egg was much more consistent than the minimum momentum required to break the egg. With experimental results supporting the scientific argument, we decided to make the change. In the updated Gizmo, the car now needs to have a minimum kinetic energy of 0.25 J to break the egg. We have adjusted all of our lesson materials and assessment questions to reflect this new result.

We hope you enjoy the new-and-improved Roller Coaster Physics Gizmo, and thanks again to Mr. Buchman for bringing this to our attention!

 

 


Posted by Heather Jones at 08:47 AM in Math (Real World), Site Announcements, Using Gizmos | Permalink

October 16, 2013

New Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards Information on Gizmos Website

We are pleased to share that we have added new NGSS and Common Core sections to ExploreLearning.com.

The goal of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) is to provide students with critical knowledge and skills for success in t he 21st century. Gizmos help students of all ability levels to develop the deep knowledge that the Common Core's content standards demand, while enhancing their mathematical expertise, as outlined in the St andards for Mathematical Practice.

Common Core Link

 

 

The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) is a collaborative, state-led initiative to provide standards that are rich in content and practice. These standards are organized across disciplines and grades to provide all students an internationally benchmarked science education. Our library offers hundreds of science simulations that integrate the three dimensions of NGSS.

NGSS link

 

 

Visit both of our new pages today to see how Gizmos can prepare your students for success!

 

Posted by Heather Jones at 12:11 PM in NGSS, Site Announcements | Permalink

October 07, 2013

Algebra Lesson Materials Updated

The ExploreLearning curriculum team has been hard at work serving all your algebra-related needs!  We’re happy to report that we’ve updated the Lesson Materials for these Gizmos:

Direct and Inverse Variation

Standard Form of a Line

Absolute Value with Linear Functions108DET

Point-Slope Form of a Line

Solving Equations by Graphing Each Side

Cat and Mouse (Modeling Linear Systems)

Cat and Mouse (Modeling Linear Systems)- Metric

Linear Inequalities in Two Variables

Linear Programming

Arithmetic Sequences

We’re always trying to support real, conceptual understanding of these topics. For example, using a fun and playful setting, the Cat and Mouse Gizmo helps students connect real-world meaning to slope, y-intercept, and the intersection of lines.

 

Posted by Heather Jones at 10:49 AM in Math (Real World), Site Announcements, Using Gizmos | Permalink

October 04, 2013

New! Number Sense Lesson Material Updates

Calling all elementary and middle school math teachers! Some of your favorite Gizmos just got an update. Check out our new Lesson Materials for each of these Gizmos:

Beam to Moon (Ratios and Proportions)

Beam to Moon (Ratios and Proportions) – metric98DET

Adding and Subtracting Integers

Adding and Subtracting Integers with Chips

Modeling One-step Equations

Modeling and Solving Two-step Equations

Square Roots

Mean, Median, and Mode

The Beam to Moon Gizmo uses the concept of weight differences between the earth and the moon to teach proporations. You can even use this Gizmo as part of an interisciplinary lesson to integrate related math and science concepts.

Posted by Heather Jones at 08:40 AM in Math (Real World), Site Announcements, Using Gizmos | Permalink

September 30, 2013

Growing Geometry Gizmo Lesson Materials

CaptureGeometry is the branch of mathematics concerned with points, lines, angles, shapes, and solids.  Without a true understanding of the properties and relationships of these figures, students are likely to struggle as they progress toward higher math courses. Gizmos are such a great fit when building students' understanding of geometry because they provide an interactive, inquiry-based experience that reinforces the conceptual understanding students need.

The ExploreLearning team is constantly working to keep your Gizmo resources updated, and we are pleased to share these math Gizmos have all new Lesson Materials.

Rotations, Reflections, and Translations

Dilations

Surface and Lateral Area of Prisms and Cylinders

Surface and Lateral Area of Pyramids and Cones

Parallel, Intersecting, and Skew Lines

Constructing Parallel and Perpendicular Lines

Circumference and Area of Circles

Constructing Congruent Segments and Angles

269DETAs always, our goal is real student understanding, beyond just formulas or memorization. For example, in the new Student Exploration Sheets with the Rotations, Reflections, and Translations Gizmo, we work to help students see that each type of transformation is really just a specific rule – a function, essentially – which can be applied to any figure, point by point, to create the transformed figure.  In the Mathematical Background, found in the Teacher Guide, we expand on this “transformations as functions” idea, to help support teachers in how they might want to present this topic.

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 documents.)

Posted by Heather Jones at 11:31 AM in Math (Real World), Site Announcements, Using Gizmos | Permalink

June 04, 2013

6 new sets of Lesson Materials - the math Gizmo update continues!

194DETEven 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:

Distance Formula - Activity A

Proving Triangles Congruent

Reflections

Translations

Triangle Inequalities

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!

Posted by Dan at 10:52 AM in Site Announcements, Using Gizmos | Permalink

May 15, 2013

Math Gizmos - Lesson Materials - 3 new sets released

177DETAlert, Gizmo mavens! More new Lesson Materials have been released for your viewing/learning pleasure!

Perimeters and Areas of Similar Figures - Suppose you took a figure and doubled all of its side lengths. How would its perimeter change? What about its area? Why?

Concurrent Lines, Medians, and Altitudes - If you cut a triangle out of something sturdy, like cardboard, where is its balancing point? How would you find it?

Introduction to Exponential Functions (formerly known as "Exponential Growth and Decay - Activity B") - What's an exponential function all about? How do the y-values behave? What do all exponential functions have in common?

As always, our goal here is real student understanding, beyond just formulas or memorization.

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 documents.)

At this point, 63 high-school- and middle-school-level math Gizmos have now received the updated Lesson Materials "treatment." We hope you and your students enjoy these latest new ones!

If you'd like to try these Gizmos, or any of the others in our library, sign up for a free trial today!

Posted by Dan at 12:04 PM in Site Announcements, Using Gizmos | Permalink

May 02, 2013

Math Gizmos - new Lesson Materials released today

271DETAnother new batch of math Lesson Materials is hot out of the oven!  We've cooked up some geometry for you and your students:

Pythagorean Theorem with a Geoboard

Pythagorean Theorem - Activity B

Similar Figures - Activity A

In these lessons, we work to build students' understanding of these topics, beyond just the formulas or definitions. How can you use a geoboard to show that, in right triangles, a2 + b2 = c2? Also, we've often heard that similar polygons have the same shape but not necessarily the same size. What exactly does that mean in terms of side lengths and angle measures?

As always, 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 documents.)

So we are now up to 60 high-school- and middle-school-level math Gizmos with updated Lesson Materials.

If you'd like to try these Gizmos, or any of the others in our library, sign up for a free trial today!

Posted by Dan at 03:46 PM in Site Announcements, Using Gizmos | Permalink

April 09, 2013

New Lesson Materials for 3 more math Gizmos

261DETAnother new batch of math Lesson Materials went live today! This batch includes some nice variety - one geometry Gizmo, one statistics/ratio/proportions Gizmo, and one exponentials Gizmo.

Investigating Angle Theorems - Activity B

Estimating Population Size

Exponential Functions - Activity B

These 3 Gizmos take our usual inquiry-based approach to teaching math. We strive to ask rather than tell, with students using the Gizmo as an exploratory "what if" tool to build their understanding of the topic at hand. In particular, "Estimating Population Size" is a favorite of mine. It uses the "capture-recapture" method of estimating the fish population of a pond, leading to some really good mathematical thinking. Check it out if you haven't already!

As always, 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 documents.)

This brings us to 57 high-school- and middle-school-level math Gizmos with updated Lesson Materials - with lots more on the way! 'Tis a busy year in the ExploreLearning math curriculum development factory.

If you'd like to try these Gizmos, or any of the others in our library, you can sign up for a free trial today!

Posted by Dan at 01:18 PM in Site Announcements, Using Gizmos | Permalink

March 14, 2013

Like a Gizmo? Please share!

You can now share your Gizmo lists with other educators through email, Facebook and Twitter. When other educators click the link you send, they can quickly import the Gizmo lists you suggest into their class tabs. We hope this new feature makes it even easier to find Gizmos that are useful for your classes!

Stephen Lippa, our ExploreLearning Education Consultant in Canada, thought this feature was so cool that he made a quick video about it to show how it works. Check out the new share function in his video below:

 

Posted by ExploreLearning at 10:02 AM in Site Announcements | Permalink

March 07, 2013

New Lesson Materials - 3D geometry, with a splash of statistics


193DETA new batch of math Lesson Materials went live today! This batch features a unique blend of flavors - mostly geometry (volume of three-dimensional figures), but spiced with a dash of statistics (scatter plots and making estimates):

Prisms and Cylinders - Activity A

Pyramids and Cones - Activity B

Solving Using Trend Lines

How do you find the volume of a prism (or its close cousin, a cylinder)? How much "space" does a pyramid take up compared with a prism? (Or, a cone compared with a cylinder?)

Also, what's a scatter plot, and how can you use them to spot trends in data, and then make reasonable estimates or predictions?

These 3 Gizmos (and the newly-published Lesson Materials) are designed to address those topics.

As always, 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 documents.)

We're now up to 54 high-school- and middle-school-level math Gizmos with updated Lesson Materials, with more to come.

If you'd like to try these Gizmos, or any of the others in our library, you can sign up for a free trial today!

Posted by Dan at 06:01 PM in Site Announcements, Using Gizmos | Permalink

February 06, 2013

New Lesson Materials - triangles and parallelograms, oh my!

341DET
We're still cranking away in the ExploreLearning Lesson Material factory! Today, we have released 3 new sets of Lesson Materials on the site. This batch explores more geometry topics:

Classifying Triangles

Special Parallelograms

Parallelogram Conditions

What defines an isosceles triangle? What conditions guarantee that a quadrilateral is a parallelogram, or that a parallelogram is a rhombus... or rectangle... or square? These Gizmos - along with the new Lesson Materials - are designed to help kids explore questions like that, in an interactive way.

As always, 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 documents.)

One quick note about the Student Exploration Sheet (SE) - the SE may be longer than most student "worksheets" that you're accustomed to. We do NOT expect teachers to assign the whole SE! (At least, not all at once.) The lesson that we generally recommend is this: page 1 of the SE (Prior Knowledge Questions + Gizmo Warm-up) plus ONE of the activities in the SE. That would total 2-3 pages. (Of course, feel free to revise our SE in any way you'd like - that's why we publish them in .doc form.)

In general, we write multiple activities within one SE to make it easier for teachers to differentiate instruction. In other words, more activities = more options.

Overall, this bring us up to 51 high-school- and middle-school-level math Gizmos with updated Lesson Materials, with plenty more to come.

If you'd like to try these Gizmos, or any of the others in our library, you can sign up for a free trial today!

Posted by Dan at 06:20 PM in Site Announcements, Using Gizmos | Permalink

February 05, 2013

New Gizmo: Unit Conversions 2 - Scientific Notation and Significant Digits

1052DETWe have just created a new lesson for a Gizmo that was released last year, and the new Gizmo is called Unit Conversions 2 – Scientific Notation and Significant Digits. This Gizmo provides a great platform for learning about two fundamental topics: scientific notation and significant digits. To do this, first we had to update the Gizmo so that it follows all of the significant digit rules. Next we created a new set of lesson materials to teach about measuring and calculating with significant digits. 

We suggest starting with the original Unit Conversions Gizmo to familiarize students with conversion factors and dimensional analysis, and then move on to this new Gizmo

Take a free Gizmos trial to try out this new Gizmo--and all the others in the world's largest library of interactive online simulations for math and science.

Posted by Meredith Cole at 02:27 PM in Site Announcements, Using Gizmos | Permalink

January 09, 2013

Lesson Materials - 3 new sets - Geometry Gizmos

176DETHappy 2013, Gizmologists! To kick off the new year, we're happy to announce 3 new sets of Lesson Materials. Again, we've been working in the realm of geometry:

Perimeter and Area of Rectangles

Classifying Quadrilaterals - Activity B

Similarity in Right Triangles

As always, 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 documents.)

We hope these materials help your students dig into the concepts of geometry in a real inquiry-based way. Gizmos are great "what if" tools, and the Student Exploration Sheets encourage students to dig into the concepts themselves: What is always true about these figures? Under what conditions?

This bring us up to 48 math Gizmos with updated Lesson Materials. Stay tuned, as we'll keep rolling out more throughout the year!

If you'd like to try these Gizmos, or any of the others in our library, take a free trial today.

Posted by Dan at 10:43 AM in Site Announcements, Using Gizmos | Permalink

December 21, 2012

Holiday card contest winner

Card2012-numbers

This year we decided to have a little contest for our holiday card to see if teachers could name all the Gizmos in the sleigh -- plus two special friends from ExploreLearning Reflex!

190 Gizmologists entered our contest, and today we chose a winner. Congrats to a teacher at Flat Rock Elementary School in Powhatan, Virginia. Your Gizmos Flip Camera will soon be on its way to you!

And here are the answers:

  1. Distance Time
  2. Photosynthesis Lab
  3. Triangle Angle Sum
  4. Freefall Tower
  5. Concurrent Lines, Medians and Altitudes
  6. Cell Structure
  7. Modifying the Factorization of Ax2 + Bx + C
  8. Rainfall & Birdbeaks 
  9. Virus Lytic Cycle
  10. Energy Conversion
  11. Triangle Beam Balance
  12. Cell Division
  13. Crabby
  14. Coach Penny

 

Posted by ExploreLearning at 03:06 PM in Fun/Humor, Site Announcements | Permalink

December 17, 2012

Geometry Gizmos - 3 new sets of Lesson Materials

Just in time for the holidays, we've released 3 new sets of Lesson Materials to support 3 of our more popular geometry Gizmos:

Area of Parallelograms (formerly called "Area of Parallelograms - Activity A")

Area of Triangles (formerly called "Area of Parallelograms - Activity B")

Triangle Angle Sum - Activity B

As always, 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 documents.)

In addition, FYI, some of the Assessment Questions (the 5 questions you see below the Gizmo when you are logged in) have also been updated to better match the new content. As a result, any existing Assessment Results (visible to logged-in teachers) for these 3 Gizmos have been archived - look for the "Archived Results" link at the top of the Assessment Results window. (They'll be available until January 28.)

Enjoy the new materials, and happy holidays.

Posted by Dan at 08:00 AM in Site Announcements, Using Gizmos | Permalink

August 28, 2012

Math Gizmo update - 3 new sets of Lesson Materials

It's Back to School time for many, and in celebration - well, OK, at least in recognition - of this, we're happy to introduce 3 new sets of Lesson Materials!

The new Lesson Materials accompany a few of our more popular pre-algebra to early-algebra Gizmos:

Introduction to Functions Gizmo

Slope - Activity B Gizmo

Slope-Intercept Form of a Line - Activity B Gizmo

All of our updated Lesson Materials have 4 documents (Student Exploration Sheet, Answer Key, Teacher Guide, and Vocabulary Sheet), each available as a .doc (for easy editing) or a .pdf (for smaller filesize). You will need to be logged in to see all four documents.

Functions - and in particular linear functions - are big concepts in math.  We hope these Gizmos and these new Lesson Materials will help students really understand what they are, how they work, and why they're important.

Enjoy, and happy back to school!

Posted by Dan at 11:33 AM in Site Announcements, Using Gizmos | Permalink

August 15, 2012

Gizmo Sampler for the iPad now available

Gizmos_iPad2The Gizmo Sampler for iPad is now available for students and teachers with current subscriptions to ExploreLearning.com. The Gizmo Sampler allows access to selected Gizmos right from your iPad. Just download the app to your iPad from the iTunes Store and login with your existing user name and password to get started!

Posted by Meredith Cole at 01:17 PM in Site Announcements | Permalink

July 02, 2012

We do solemnly publish and declare: 4 new sets of Lesson Materials

In celebration of the upcoming July 4th holiday, we declare the independence of 4 new sets of Lesson Materials!  (They're published, is what I'm saying.)  These Lesson Materials now aspire to life, liberty, and the pursuit of conceptual understanding.  Have a look:

Dividing Fractions Gizmo

Estimating Sums and Differences Gizmo

Percents and Proportions Gizmo

Proportions and Common Multipliers Gizmo

All of our updated Lesson Materials have 4 documents (Student Exploration Sheet, Answer Key, Teacher Guide, and Vocabulary Sheet), each available as a .doc (for easy editing) or a .pdf (for smaller filesize). You will need to be logged in to see all four documents.

This brings us up to 39 math Gizmos with updated Lesson Materials.  Check them out - our goal as always is to guide students toward real understanding of the math concepts, not just rote practice.  (You might even say that we hold the importance of conceptual understanding to be self-evident!)

Posted by Dan at 05:37 PM in Site Announcements, 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

May 30, 2012

3 sets of new Lesson Materials - math Gizmos

We've released 3 more new sets of Lesson Materials to the wild:

 Conditional Statements Gizmo

Biconditional Statements Gizmo

Dividing Polynomials Using Synthetic Division Gizmo

The first two Gizmos are word-tile-based Gizmos that encourage students to think about logic, truth values, and definitions.

The third is a number-tile-based Gizmo that's designed to help algebra students see the connections between synthetic division and polynomial long division.  (They're really the same thing, if you see them side-by-side.)

As always, logged-in teachers will have access to all 4 of our Lesson Material documents (Student Exploration sheet, Exploration Sheet Answer Key, Teacher Guide, and Vocabulary sheet), available either as a Word document or as a pdf.

This brings us to 35 math Gizmos with updated Lesson Materials as part of this project. Let us know what you think, and stay tuned for more to come!

Posted by Dan at 11:34 AM in Site Announcements, Using Gizmos | Permalink

May 02, 2012

Math Gizmos - 3 new sets of Lesson Materials

The math content team is happy to report that we've published 3 new sets of Lesson Materials!

Using Algebraic Expressions Gizmo

Finding Factors with Area Models Gizmo

Isosceles and Equilateral Triangles Gizmo

As always, logged-in teachers will have access to all 4 of our Lesson Material documents (Student Exploration sheet, Exploration Sheet Answer Key, Teacher Guide, and Vocabulary sheet), available either as a Word document (for easy editing if you like) or as a pdf (smaller file size).

It's an assortment of topics in this batch - from writing algebraic expressions, to number sense (with prime numbers and factor trees), to triangles.  We hope you'll find these useful, and will help you bring inquiry and real understanding to these topics for your students.  (It's a fun challenge to walk students through these lessons with questions rather than just telling them what they need to know. Good questions + a Gizmo can be a powerful formula for understanding rather than memorizing.  That's always what we're after.)

This brings us up to 32 math Gizmos with new Lesson Materials now, as part of our Math Update project!  Lots of outlines and drafts are in progress, so stay tuned for more updated Lesson Materials to come.

Posted by Dan at 03:00 PM in Site Announcements, Using Gizmos | Permalink

April 09, 2012

Math Gizmos - 6 new sets of Lesson Materials!

We're happy to announce that we've published 6 new sets of Lesson Materials!

Operations with Radical Expressions Gizmo

Order of Operations Gizmo

Using Algebraic Equations Gizmo

Percent of Change Gizmo

Polynomials and Linear Factors Gizmo

Rational Functions Gizmo

As always, logged-in teachers will have access to all 4 of our Lesson Material documents (Student Exploration sheet, Exploration Sheet Answer Key, Teacher Guide, and Vocabulary sheet), available either as a Word document (for easy editing if you like) or as a pdf (smaller file size).

We think you'll find some great inquiry-based lessons here, to promote true understanding of the math, and to help you and your students to get the most out of Gizmos.

This brings us up to 29 math Gizmos with new Lesson Materials now, as part of our Math Update project!

Posted by Dan at 11:06 AM in Site Announcements, Using Gizmos | Permalink

April 03, 2012

Two new science Gizmos

Have you ever wondered what happens to the food you eat? Most of us are pretty familiar with the path of the digestive system--mouth, esophagus, stomach, and so on. But what would happen if our digestive systems were designed differently? What if food went through the small intestine before the stomach? What would happen if the pancreas was attached to the large intestine? Do we really need a gallbladder?

The new Digestive System Gizmo allows students to arrange the organs and structures of the human digestive system in any way they like. By measuring how well different nutrients are digested and absorbed, students can discover for themselves the important role that each organ plays in the digestive process. Perhaps somebody can use this Gizmo to improve the design of our own digestive system!

An important skill in all areas of science and math is the ability to convert a measurement or value from one unit to another. The Unit Conversions Gizmo allows students to answer questions such as "What is the height of Mount Everest in kilometers?" or "How fast is sprinter Usain Bolt in miles per hour?" With 55 preset problems (and 12 additional randomized questions) to choose from, students will get plenty of practice converting distance, time, speed, mass, volume, and density units. This is a great review before end-of-year tests as well as an excellent way to start off next Fall.

We hope you enjoy the new Gizmos and please let us know what you think!

Posted by krosenkrantz at 03:57 PM in Site Announcements | Permalink

March 07, 2012

New Lesson Materials for 3 math Gizmos!

We've published new Lesson Materials for 3 math Gizmos:

Simplifying Radical Expressions - Activity A

Simplifying Trigonometric Expressions

Sum and Difference Identities for Sine and Cosine

These 3 Gizmos help students with some fairly advanced topics. Unlike most Gizmos, these are very procedure-focused rather than exploratory. We ask students to work through the steps of a problem, one-by-one, with careful feedback given for any incorrect choices. Each Gizmo will always start with the same 2 problems (which are addressed specifically in the Lesson Materials), and then are randomized after that, to allow for nearly unlimited practice.

As usual, each set of updated Lesson Materials includes 4 documents (Student Exploration sheet, SE Answer Key, Teacher Guide, and Vocabulary sheet), all of which are available as a .doc or a .pdf.  (Note: You will need to be logged in to see all the documents.) These replace the older html Exploration Guides.

We're now up to 23 math Gizmos that have updated Lesson Materials (63 total, if you include the purple "elementary" math Gizmos which already had them). We also have plenty more "works in progress" going on in the background.

Enjoy! And stay tuned for more in the coming weeks and months.

Posted by Dan at 10:33 AM in Site Announcements, Using Gizmos | Permalink | Comments (0)

February 01, 2012

New Math Lesson Materials Published

We've just published 2 new sets of Lesson Materials for two of our most popular math Gizmos!

Polygon Angle Sum - Activity B

Quadratics in Polynomial Form - Activity A

As usual, each set of updated Lesson Materials includes 4 documents (Student Exploration sheet, SE Answer Key, Teacher Guide, and Vocabulary sheet), all of which are available as a .doc or a .pdf.  (Note: You will need to be logged in to see all the documents.)

This brings us to 20 math Gizmos with updated Lesson Materials (well, 60 if you count the more modern "purple ones" that have never had anything but Lesson Materials). We still have a long way to go in this project, but there's plenty of progress happening "behind the scenes."

We hope these new Lesson Materials are a help to you and your students - lots of good explorations and thought-provoking questions here.

Posted by Dan at 02:58 PM in Site Announcements, Using Gizmos | Permalink

January 02, 2012

Ring in the new year with new Gizmos

We have released two new science Gizmos to start the new year. Both Gizmos are appropriate for students in elementary school through high school and cover highly requested topics.

The first Gizmo is called Dichotomous Keys. In this Gizmo, students use dichotomous keys to identify a variety of plants and animals, including California albatrosses, Texas venomous snakes, and more. Students can then try creating their own dichotomous keys for organisms in the Gizmo or for organisms found where they live.

The second new Gizmo is called Measuring Volume. In this Gizmo, students can use a variety of containers and tools to measure the volumes of liquids and solids. Students can fill containers from a faucet, pour water from one container to another, add objects to containers, and measure the dimensions of objects with a ruler. An eyedropper is available to add or remove small amounts of water, and a magnifying glass can be used to get a closeup view of a meniscus. Students can test their skills using the "Practice" mode of the Gizmo.

We hope you enjoy using the new Gizmos and wish you a great beginning to the new year!

Posted by krosenkrantz at 04:04 PM in Site Announcements | Permalink

December 12, 2011

Two new chemistry Gizmos

We have released two new chemistry lessons focused on the concept of chemical equilibrium: 

Equilibrium and Concentration

Equilibrium and Pressure

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!

 

Posted by krosenkrantz at 04:15 PM in Site Announcements | Permalink

October 10, 2011

New lesson materials published!

We've posted 3 sets of new Lesson Materials today!  In addition, the Gizmos themselves (all 3 of these) were updated to gain some new problem types, so your students will be able to get more practice with more types of problems.  Check them out:

Dividing Exponential Expressions

Multiplying Exponential Expressions

Factoring Special Products

As usual, each set of updated Lesson Materials includes 4 documents (Student Exploration sheet, SE Answer Key, Teacher Guide, and Vocabulary sheet), all of which are available as a .doc or a .pdf.  (Note: You will need to be logged in to see all the documents.)

This brings us to 18 math Gizmos with updated Lesson Materials. We have a long way to go on the math side, but we're hard at work on it!

Hope these new materials are a help - to teachers and students alike.

Posted by Dan at 05:05 PM in Site Announcements, Using Gizmos | Permalink

August 15, 2011

New Titration Gizmo

Just in time for the new school year, we are pleased to announce a new chemistry Gizmo called Titration. In this Gizmo, students can measure the quantity of a solution of known concentration needed to neutralize an acid or base of unknown concentration, allowing the unknown concentration to be determined. A special "Worksheet" tab on the Gizmo gives students a hand in completing the calculation and allows them to check their work. In addition to titration, the Student Exploration sheet for the Gizmo covers several important topics such as pH calculation, titration curves, acid-base reactions, and the importance of choosing the correct indicator. 

We will be working on several more chemistry Gizmos this year to expand our coverage of this subject. Enjoy the Gizmos and good luck with the start of the year! 

Posted by krosenkrantz at 09:07 PM in Site Announcements | Permalink

August 02, 2011

New Lesson Materials - 3 "Pathfinder" Math Gizmos

We're happy to announce that today we have published new Lesson Materials to go with 3 of our "Pathfinder" math Gizmos:

Solving Two-Step Equations

Solving Formulas for any Variable

Exponents and Power Rules

These sorts of Gizmos ask students to solve problems, step-by-step, with feedback for any wrong answers along the way.  They focus on algebraic procedures, but in a thoughtful way.  The new Lesson Materials will help get students started, thinking about what they are doing, and then the Gizmo can take it from there, providing feedback for students.

By the way, we have also updated the Gizmos themselves.  You'll find a deeper bank of problems to allow for more student practice.

Give them a try!

And, as they say, "more to come"!

Posted by Dan at 05:51 PM in Site Announcements, Using Gizmos | Permalink

June 14, 2011

Science curriculum project is complete!

For the past two years we have slowly but steadily added enhanced curriculum materials (Student Exploration Sheet, Answer Key, Teacher Guide, and Vocabulary Sheet) to our science Gizmos. Today we published the final batch of enhanced materials for: 

Uniform Circular Motion

Torque and Moment of Inertia

Atwood Machine

Moment of Inertia

Center of Mass

Determining a Spring Constant

Period of Mass on a Spring

We are proud to say that now every science Gizmo on the website has a full set of curriculum materials, available in Word format (allowing you to edit and customize these materials for your own use) and as PDFs. We hope you enjoy these materials and look forward to similar improvements to our math library in the coming months.

Posted by krosenkrantz at 10:30 PM in Site Announcements | Permalink

April 26, 2011

Updated science curriculum highlights electricity and magnetism

Five more science Gizmos have been updated with expanded curriculum materials, leaving only seven more to do! This batch highlights several Gizmos on electricity and magnetism:

Advanced Circuits

Magnetic Induction

Pith Ball Lab

Coulomb Force (Static)

Dye Elimination

Each of the enhanced Gizmos now features a Student Exploration Sheet, Answer Key, Teacher Guide, and Vocabulary Sheet. These are available as pdfs and Word documents to allow easy editing for your own use. Enjoy!

 

 

Posted by krosenkrantz at 03:29 PM in Site Announcements | Permalink

March 31, 2011

Updated science curriculum materials -- getting close to the end!

Five new sets of expanded science curriculum materials have been published, leaving us with only 12 more science Gizmos to go! We have added updated materials to the following Gizmos:

Longitudinal Waves

Sound Beats and Sine Waves

Phased Array

Doppler Shift Advanced

Holiday Snowflake Designer

Each enhanced set of materials includes a Student Exploration sheet, Answer Key, Teacher Guide, and Vocabulary sheet, all available as a Word document or pdf. Enjoy!

 

Posted by krosenkrantz at 11:36 AM in Site Announcements | Permalink

March 01, 2011

First new Gizmos of 2011

Ripple Tank Gizmo We are proud to announce the first new science Gizmos of 2011! They are Ripple Tank and Electromagnetic Induction

In the Ripple Tank Gizmo, you can run a variety of experiments to demonstrate wave motion, diffraction, reflection, interference, and even refraction with several submerged obstacles. The wavelength and wave strength can be adjusted in each scenario. This Gizmo really complements our other wave Gizmos such as Longitudinal Waves, Refraction, Phased Array, and Doppler Shift.

Electromagnetic Induction Gizmo Electromagnetic induction is the fundamental principle behind all generation of electricity and was one of the most important discoveries of 19th century physics. Students can explore this vitally important phenomenon with the Electromagnetic Induction Gizmo. The Gizmo allows students to move a magnet or a coil of wire to induce an electric current in the wire and light a light bulb. This Gizmo provides the perfect followup to our related Magnetic Induction Gizmo. 

We hope you enjoy the new Gizmos!

 

Posted by krosenkrantz at 10:25 AM in Site Announcements | Permalink

February 17, 2011

New Lesson Materials - more fraction fun

Three more fraction-related math Gizmos would be proud to show off their new Lesson Materials to you:

Multiplying Fractions

Multiplying Mixed Numbers

Dividing Mixed Numbers

As always, the modern version of Lesson Materials contains 4 documents per Gizmo (Student Exploration sheet, Student Exploration sheet Answer Key, Teacher Guide, and Vocab sheet). Each of these is available to you as either a Word doc (to allow you to edit it if you like), or as a pdf (for smaller filesize).

We hope the lessons in these documents will enhance the Gizmo-based learning experience for you and your students.

Posted by Dan at 01:51 PM in Site Announcements, Using Gizmos | Permalink

January 24, 2011

New lesson materials - 3 fractions Gizmos

We've added new Lesson Materials -- Student Exploration sheet, Answer Key, Teacher Guide, and Vocab sheet -- for 3 more math Gizmos!

Part-to-part and Part-to-whole Ratios

Improper Fractions and Mixed Numbers

Fractions with Unlike Denominators

As usual, these Lesson Material documents are available as both Word docs and pdf's.  (Word doc form allows you to edit the documents yourself.  The pdf gives you the same document in a smaller filesize, but it is not editable.)

Hope these new materials enhance your use of Gizmos! More to come.

Posted by Dan at 11:15 AM in Help (User Support), Site Announcements, Using Gizmos | Permalink

December 22, 2010

ExploreLearning Scheduled Maintenance

Technical upgrades to explorelearning.com are scheduled for Sunday December 26, between 9:00 A.M. and 1:00 P.M. EDT.  The website will be unavailable during this time. 

Posted by ExploreLearning at 10:29 AM in Site Announcements | Permalink

December 02, 2010

More new math lesson materials

Three more math Gizmos have a brand new set of Lesson Materials!  (As a reminder, "Lesson Materials" include a Student Exploration sheet, an Answer Key, a Teacher Guide, and a Vocab sheet.  You'll need to be logged in to see all of those documents, and students will not see the Answer Key or Teacher Guide, for obvious reasons.)

The 3 Gizmos with the new Lesson Materials in this batch are:

Sums and Differences with Decimals

Percents, Fractions, and Decimals

Ordering Percents, Fractions, and Decimals Greater than 1

Hope you and your students enjoy!  And of course, stay tuned for more to come.

Posted by Dan at 05:47 PM in Site Announcements, Using Gizmos | Permalink

November 29, 2010

Join us on Facebook!

Our social media presence keeps expanding! First we set up our Twitter feed, where you can access an ongoing stream of useful information about math and science. Then we turned on our YouTube channel, where you can find videos of teachers and students using Gizmos. Now we've launched a Facebook page that's just about Gizmos.

We are just getting started with Facebook-- this is a great opportunity for you to write on our wall, comment on other posts, and tell your colleagues to visit as well. We want to hear your stories about Gizmos: how you use them, what your students get out of them…whatever you want to share. Visit the ExploreLearning Gizmos page and click on the "Like" button at the top of the page so you can be a part of our growing community.

Posted by Ed Pastore at 03:12 PM in Site Announcements, Web/Tech | Permalink

November 23, 2010

New math curriculum materials published!

Good news, math Gizmo fans - we're updating the curriculum materials for all the secondary math Gizmos now also!  Gradually, over the coming months, you'll see the venerable old Exploration Guides replaced with our updated 4-document set of curriculum (Student Exploration sheet, Student Exploration Answer Key, Teacher Guide, and Vocabulary sheet).

The first 3 sets are now live!  You can find them by clicking on the "Lesson Materials" link above these Gizmos:

Comparing and Ordering Decimals

Linear Functions

Points, Lines, and Equations

(Note: That last one is a title change.  This Gizmo was formerly called "Using Tables, Rules, and Graphs.")

We hope you enjoy the new, enhanced materials!  Much more to come...

Posted by Dan at 10:45 AM in Site Announcements, Using Gizmos | Permalink

November 16, 2010

Gizmos Correlated to the Common Core State Standards

ExploreLearning Gizmos are now correlated to the new Common Core Standards for mathematics. The Common Core State Standards Initiative aims to provide a clear and consistent understanding of the knowledge and skills needed for student success in the 21st century. So far 38 states have adopted these  standards for both math and language arts.

Of course, Gizmos are already correlated to all state standards and to over 200 leading textbooks. You can easily browse for Gizmos using any of these correlations, or just by entering a key word or phrase in the Search window found on every website page.

Happy browsing!

Posted by ExploreLearning at 12:43 PM in Site Announcements | Permalink

October 22, 2010

Next batch of new curriculum is up

We have just published the latest round of enhanced curriculum for our science Gizmos. This batch focuses on optics:

Refraction

Ray Tracing (Lenses)

Ray Tracing (Mirrors)

Laser Reflection

Basic Prism

Each new set of curriculum materials includes a Student Exploration sheet, Answer Key, Teacher Guide, and Vocabulary sheet. Each is available as a pdf or Word document that you are free to customize for your own use. Enjoy! 

 

 

Posted by krosenkrantz at 04:01 PM in Site Announcements | Permalink