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New Reflex Game: Wind Rider
We recently launched a new Reflex game called Wind Rider. Students use math facts to puff up their hot air balloon and float through the big, blue sky. There are glowing balls and small balloons for power-ups. Students race to get a high score before the sun goes down, while avoiding obstacles such as thunderstorms, windmills, airplanes and even some bad ol' crows.
The addition of Wind Rider means Reflex now offers seven diverse games. This variety helps keep students engaged and entertained. And that helps them progress toward mastering their math facts with Reflex.
Tell Your Reflex Story, Win a Flip Camera
Do you have a Reflex moment? Maybe it's a struggling student who tells you they are starting to like math? It might be your classroom reaching a new fluency milestone. Or, it could be watching your own child giggle while working on a home assignment.
Tell us your Reflex story and win a Flip camera. It’s easy to enter the Reflex “Tell Us” contest. Just go to our Reflex Facebook page and tell us your experience with Reflex and how it has positively impacted your students, or your own kids. During December, original entries on our Facebook wall will be entered to win a top-of-the-line Flip minoHD 8GB camera with a unique Reflex cover design! Each Facebook post counts as an entry, so tell us in words, snap a photo of Reflex in action, and record a short video for yet another entry. One unique entry per day. Enter as many days as you’d like.
If you have not tried Reflex yet…what are you waiting for? You can try it free for 14 days. That's two full weeks to begin your story.
On January 2, 2012, we’ll draw from all December entries for one grand-prize winner of the Flip camera. We’ll also choose three grab bag winners of assorted ExploreLearning Reflex merchandise. We’ll notify the winners via Facebook messaging and get shipping details.
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!"
Holiday Fun with Gizmos
When we think about using Gizmos for holiday-themed lessons and activities, our thoughts naturally turn to the classic Holiday Snowflake Designer. There are plenty of other Gizmos that can fit into fun holiday activities as well. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Use Surface and Lateral Area of Prisms and Cylinders to determine how much wrapping paper is needed for a gift…
- Use Percent of Change to discuss holiday discounts…
- Use Chocomatic to make and wrap candy bar gifts…
- Use Cannonball Clowns to estimate the distance to Grandma's house…
You can make fun competitions out of these activities and reward the most creative designers by posting their results on the Gizmos Facebook page. And, get in the spirit of giving by posting your own Gizmos-based holiday activities on the Facebook page, so other educators can benefit as well.
ExploreLearning's Fall Conference Tour
Pshwew! We've had an amazing fall conference season. Our Sales and Professional Development teams traveled to about 50 conferences in over 20 U.S. states, three Canadian provinces, and two other countries. We even attended (and sponsored) an "unconference" in Toronto.
Educators packed into our booth to learn about using Gizmos for inquiry-based learning and Reflex for building math fact mastery. Though sometimes they stopped by just to have a blast playing Reflex games and competing to win top-of-the-line Flip video cameras.
Current subscribers frequently stopped by too. Ontario Project Manager Stephen Lippa notes that, "often teachers attending a conference will seek out the ExploreLearning booth simply to say 'thank you' for making Gizmos so great!" We're always ready to "talk shop" with subscribers to help you get the most out of Gizmos and Reflex.
This week, we'll be wrapping up the season with NSTA Seattle. Then after a short break we'll be heading back out for a packed spring schedule starting with BETT in London. We can't make it to every single conference, but we're going for another record in 2012. So whichever education conferences you attend, look for us there!
Stay in Touch
And as always, if you have a question or comment about Gizmos or Reflex, don't hesitate to contact our Customer Support team using the support form for either Gizmos or Reflex. We would love to hear from you.