Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Living Media: ExploreLearning Gizmos

offers a one year $149 subscription, or $97 if you buy through Homeschool Buyers Co-op of over 400 math and science simulations called Gizmos. For the price you get an extensive offering of really great math and science simulations.

Gizmos are grouped by subject (math or science) and grade (3 to 5, 6 to 8, and 9 to 12.) Within each subject and grade are topics, like Life Science, Physical Science, Earth and Space Science, and so on (or Number & Operations, Algebra, Geometry, Measurement, and Data Analysis & Probability for math.) Each topic has subtopics, each of which have half a dozen or so Gizmos. They require either Flash or Shockwave players, both of which are free.

While each Gizmo comes with an Exploration Guide and assessment questions, my kids love to just play with the various simulations, even science ones geared toward high school. When done with the guides and assessments, though, the topics are rigorously covered, especially from 6th grade on, making Gizmos well worth using as a spring board for lesson planning.

Gizmos are colorful but not flashy, make sounds but are not noisy. Many are intuitive to use making them great for both formal lessons or fun exploration. The site offers an anonymous 5 minute free pass or you can register for a free 30 day trial.

By the way, read my Living Media post on Science of Relations, my homeschool blog, if you are curious about the label.

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