The Gizmo Gazette
News from ExploreLearning.com
This newsletter is full of great information on Gizmos and the latest goings on at ExploreLearning:
More Awards for ExploreLearning Gizmos
ExploreLearning has won a
2009 CODiE Award for Best K-12 Instruction Solution! This award honors the best overall education technology solution for curriculum and content for students in K-12 learning environments.
This is ExploreLearning's 3rd CODiE Award win in 4 years. The CODiEs recognize leaders and innovators across the software, digital content and education technology industries. We are honored to be included among these leaders.
We are also very pleased to announce that we have been nominated as a finalist in three categories for the 2009 Association of Educational Publishers Awards, including the Golden Lamp, AEP's highest award. Winners will be announced on June 12 at the AEP Summit in Washington, D.C.
Expert's Corner: Carnival Probability
featuring Lisa Bickel
Lisa Bickel is the National Training Consultant (Mathematics) for ExploreLearning with a background in educational publishing. Lisa holds a B.S. degree in Applied Mathematics from Pennsylvania State University, and has led the development of math textbooks and software for middle school and high school students.
When I lead
Gizmo training workshops, I like to suggest ways for teachers to bring in current events and make learning with Gizmos even more fun. What better way to celebrate spring than to have a Gizmo Spring Carnival! You can challenge your students to use different Gizmos and award tickets, or prizes, for wins.
Spring carnivals are popular at many schools. Games and prizes - a great way to celebrate the end of the school year - and the end of state testing! School carnivals also offer an opportunity to talk about games from a mathematical perspective.
What makes a game fair? In a fair game, a player is equally likely to win or lose. Consider the game shown:
Double your fun!
Only 1 ticket to play!
Spin the spinner twice and multiply the numbers.
Win 2 tickets if the product is odd.
It sounds fair, doesn't it? It's actually not. Because the player wins when the product is odd, the player has a huge disadvantage. Of the 36 possible products, only 9 are odd, so the probability of winning 2 tickets is one-fourth, or 0.25.
To make this game fair, the expected value must be zero. In this case, 3 tickets should be paid for winning. You can see this by finding the expected value of this game. Multiply the probability of winning and the number of tickets won. Multiply the probability of losing and the number of tickets lost. Then add.
Expected value = (P(winning) × tickets won) + (P(losing) × tickets lost)
= (0.25 × 3) + (0.75 × −1)
What better way to celebrate spring (and the end of state testing) than to have a Gizmos Spring Carnival! You can challenge your students to use different Gizmos and award prizes. Here are a few Gizmos that will work. Have fun!
Try these Gizmos, and others, at a spring carnival in your classroom:
Spin the Big Wheel (Probability) - Have students create a fair game and run the game with 1000 spins. Award prizes for the game with the closest experimental and theoretical probabilities.
Target Sum Card Game (Multi-digit Addition) - Have students play several times and award prizes for landing closest to the target.
Cannonball Clowns (Number Line Estimation) - Have students estimate a distance (such as from New York City to Paris). Award prizes for the closest clown launch to that distance.
New Demonstration Movies
All of our Elementary Science Gizmos now have demonstration movies! These two-minute movies are great for both teachers and students and provide an excellent overview of the major features and functions of the Gizmo. To see one of these demo movies, click on the "demo" icon at the bottom left corner of any Elementary Science Gizmo, in the purple bar.
Coming soon...Elementary Math Gizmo demo movies. We hope to have all 40 of these movies completed by the end of 2009.
Gizmo Clothing and Gadgets
You can buy awesome ExploreLearning Gizmos merchandise to sport to class or around town. Everything from t-shirts to tote bags is available. We even have baby bibs for toddlers!
ExploreLearning Pro Shop
As always, if you have questions or comments about anything in this newsletter, please let us know. Drop us a line at
New to ExploreLearning?
NEW Introduction to ExploreLearning!
educators are saying about us
Teaching with Gizmos – demo movies
the research says about Gizmos
Try Gizmos for Free!
Interested in bringing Gizmos to your school or
Getting the Most from Gizmos
Read our Teaching With Gizmos series of helpful
Gizmos are great for Math:
"An excellent resource for Math. The students are very keen to use Gizmos..."
Simcoe Muskoka Catholic DSB, ON
Gizmos are great for Science:
"I found the Element Builder and
Electron Configuration to be great additions to my lesson plans and the students enjoyed doing them - they were very engaged in their learning...Gizmos are great for illustrating complex concepts."
Monongalia County, WV
Winner: Best K-12 Instructional Solution
2009 SIIA CODiE Awards
Winner: Distinguished Achievement Award
2008, 2007, 2005 AEP
Winner: Awards of Excellence
2008 Tech and Learning Magazine
Winner: Best Science Instruction Solution
2007, 2006 SIIA CODiE Awards
Finalist: Golden Lamp Award
2009, 2008, 2006 AEP
Finalist: Best Instructional Solution, Math
2009, 2008, 2006 SIIA CODiE Awards
Finalist: Best Instructional Solution, Science
2009, 2008 SIIA CODiE Awards
Finalist: Best Instructional Solution, Online
2006 SIIA CODiE Awards
Diamond Award in Mathematics
District Administration Magazine
E-Learning Innovation Award
Best Education Website
Three time Digital Dozen Honoree
Eisenhower National Clearinghouse