Friday, September 7, 2012

Gizmos at Fall Mountain

We started our Gizmos with a training that was held at our high school in January. Of course, that was the one sick day that I was out so I missed it. I later did my training in March.

However, we started Gizmos with a small group of core teachers and also the K-8 Library/Media specialist. We focused on using Gizmos for math and science. Kristen Hill, a 3rd and 4th teacher at Sarah Porter School, was our model teacher for using Gizmos. She used them for several subjects, helped teachers to get started and also demonstrated Gizmos at an Alstead area teachers' meeting. Sadly, Kristen has moved to another district so I will be attempting to explain how effective Gizmos are in demonstrating concepts.
Above are a couple preliminary pictures of Gizmos being used with 3rd and 4th graders. 

I was finally able to put this all together and this movie shows our results. The movie speaks for itself. The gizmo that we used was the Growing Plants activity. The goal for the students was to grow a plant by picking a bean and then use virtual water, fertilizer, compost and light to grow the tallest plant. 
What is great about Gizmos is what you don't see: students not participating, staring into space, or being disruptive. Even though the plants are not real, the immediate results encouraged every student to not just participate but to also be excited about their learning.

Selena Garrison
Technology Integration Specialist
Fall Mountain Regional School District