Natick Wins Science Simulation Grant Award

Due to the leadership of NHS Science Department Head, Linda Weber, and Director of Online Learning, Grace Magley, the Natick Schools will now enjoy the following technology tool and sereies of professional development experiences designed to support teachers’ effective use of the science simulation tool in their classrooms.

Experience Science with ExploreLearning Gizmos

Learn more at http://www.explorelearning.com

2013,2010,2007,2006 CODiE Award Winner for Best Science Instruction Solution

2012,2011,2008,2007,2005 AEP Distinguished Achievement Award Winner

2009 CODiE Award Winner for Best K-12 Instructional Solution

NEXT GENERATION SCIENCE STANDARD ALIGNED

COMMON CORE STANDARDS OF MATHEMATICS ALIGNED

Here is the award description:

The grant awards a select group of schools and science teachers in your district with a full-year subscription to ExploreLearning Gizmos through July, 31, 2016. As the world’s largest library of online simulations for science and math in grades 3-12, Gizmos are focused on helping students develop a deep understanding of challenging concepts through active inquiry and exploration, and are correlated to NGSS, state curriculum standards, and over 300 textbooks.

Additionally, the grant program provides these teachers with professional development that includes onsite workshops and consultation with our curriculum team. This equips grantees with a deep understanding of how to integrate Gizmos into the STEM curriculum and promote students’ deep conceptual understanding. Twenty middle and high school teachers from NHS, KMS and WMS ar participating

Details of the Grant

The grant opportunity is for the 2015-2016 school year for 20 science teachers. We will receive 20 free licenses for ExploreLearning Gizmos.   We are looking for 20 teachers, 10 teachers from the High School and 10 teachers from the two middle schools (combined), who would represent students in grades 5-12 and who would be willing to use the Gizmo simulations for their course with students this school year. The expectation is that the Gizmo tools would be used in at least 4 lessons per month during the school year.  This pilot program will be overseen by the Innovation Team (Natick’s district wide teacher/leader team for vetting new technology to be used in Natick’s instructional model)  At the end of the year, participating teachers will present their recommendations based on the pilot teams established criteria for evaluating this system and it’s tools.  Gizmos works on Macbooks, Chromebooks and iPads.

Mandatory PD:

It is mandatory that participants attend 12 hours of Professional Development that has been scheduled to be held in Natick on the following dates and times:

  1. Initial Training: Introduction to Gizmos

Wednesday, September 30th 2015, Natick Town Hall Training Room

7:30 AM – 10:30 AM Middle School Teachers

11:30 AM – 2:30 PM High School Teachers

This workshop was delivered by an experienced ExploreLearning trainer. The session began with learning the major features and functions of the ExploreLearning website with a focus on the Teacher Home Page. The instructor modeled best practices for inquiry-based teaching with Gizmos and provides teachers with time for hands-on exploration. The session concluded with a discussion on how Natick will evaluate (what criteria we will use) to determine if Gizmos is a system that we want to subscribe to in order to support our science curriculum in grades 5-12 in the future.

  1. Extending the Gizmos Experience – Deep Dive Session during NILS 2015

Monday, November 30th, Natick High School

This workshop is designed to model best practices for using Gizmos in a whole class setting as well as a small group setting. Teachers will become more skillful in teaching with these methods of instruction as they learn to incorporate Gizmos into collaborative classroom discussions, cooperative learning, and situations where students are constructing arguments supported by evidence. Participants will have time to work individually or in small groups to integrate best teaching practices with Gizmos into their curriculum. They will also develop customized Gizmo lesson plan by modifying our standard Lesson Materials.

  1. Teaching Scientific Inquiry with Gizmos

Wednesday, January 27th, Natick Town Hall Training Room

7:30 AM – 10:30 AM Middle School Teachers

11:30 AM – 2:30 PM High School Teachers

The instructor will model best practices for teaching with Gizmos in science, demonstrating a progression of inquiry that will develop students’ scientific inquiry skills. Teachers will become more skillful in using inquiry methods of instruction, which encourage students to ask questions, make observations, and construct reasonable explanations. Review of the major features and functions of the ExploreLearning website, focusing on any questions or difficulties participants may have, will be included.

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