Last month CA BOCES staff specialists associated with the Statewide Social Studies Group for Social Studies Curriculum and Professional Development had the opportunity to hear a presentation from author Mathew Kay, a teacher from Philadelphia Pennsylvania. Mathew was a guest presenter to the Statewide group and shared thoughts and ideas surrounding his book Not Light, But Fire. Participants left the presentation with numerous strategies and ideas of how to lead meaningful and insightful conversation in classrooms surrounding the topic of race.
Many people operate under the assumption that the school environment in which they teach allows all those present to share their ideas and thoughts safely. Mathew challenged this thinning with a segment from his book regarding Creating Safe Spaces. His focus was on helping people to understand what goes into creating a safe space by challenging their thinking with ‘6 Safe Space Myths”.
I’d used Osmos before going to Ellicottville Elementary. When I returned to work at Instructional Support Services, I went to learning resources, worked with Clay Nolan and figured out some of the learning games available through learning resources. One that I really liked was the Osmo.
Osmo is an educational technology platform designed for elementary classrooms. It combines hands-on manipulatives with digital gameplay to create an interactive learning experience.
The Osmo system typically includes a base that holds an iPad or a compatible tablet and a variety of physical objects or manipulatives that interact with the tablet's camera. These manipulatives include tangible shapes, letter tiles, number tiles, and drawing boards.
Using Osmo, students can engage in various educational activities across subjects like math, spelling, coding, and creativity. The physical manipulatives are placed in front of the tablet's camera, and the Osmo software recognizes and interacts with them in real-time. The tablet's screen then displays the corresponding digital activities or challenges.
For example, in a math activity, students might use number tiles to solve equations or arrange shapes to learn geometry concepts. In a spelling activity, they can use letter tiles to form words and receive immediate feedback on their spelling accuracy.
Osmo is designed to make learning more engaging and interactive for young learners, combining physical manipulation with digital elements. It promotes hands-on exploration, problem-solving, and critical thinking skills in a fun and educational way.
Students in Mrs. Norton’s 2nd grade class loved using Osmo. It’s easy to reserve the Osmos. Just go to the Ensignia Page on the Learning Resources website to reserve them. Don’t forget to make sure to reserve the bases with the Osmos.
By: Rick Weinberg, CA BOCES Model Schools
Follow us on