Common Sense Review
Updated May 2014

ExploreLearning Gizmos: Science Grades 3-5

Mostly age-appropriate manipulatives offer inquiry without the mess
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This module is part of the Website ExploreLearning Gizmos.
Common Sense Rating 4
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  • The Gizmos here are organized by grade level and topic.
  • Each gizmo comes with a set of assessment questions that provide immediate feedback.
  • Students get an individualized report with their results.
  • The teacher guides lay out learning objectives, lesson sequences, and scientific background information.
Emily Pohlonski
Common Sense Reviewer
Classroom teacher
Common Sense Rating 4
How Can Teachers Use It?

ExploreLearning's interactive math and science gizmos for grades 3-5 span the Earth, physical, and life sciences. Many of these gizmos capitalize on the ways that math and science are intertwined through measurement. While some of the content here won't be a great fit for every third- to fifth-grader, overall these gizmos put kids in the driver's seat as they run these fun investigations. Be sure to check out the individual gizmos first before turning your students loose.

The online teacher community is a great place to find lesson plans and get advice on the best ways to use the gizmos. Many of the lessons here are as good as –- if not better than -– the site's sample guides. That said, it can be time-consuming to enroll all of your students' passwords. Try letting your students enroll themselves by entering the enrollment key. This lets kids pick a username and password -- just make sure they have a way to remember these. As the class enrollment keys are long, be sure to provide them for students on a slip of paper. Once in, kids will jump right into the assessment. Encourage them to take their time, play with the gizmos, and figure things out. As your classes work, the site's system test page is a great way to help troubleshoot any technical issues.

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