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By Karla Pomeroy
Editor 

Combining technology and hands-on experience

Kindergarten teacher brings the world of Osmo to the classroom

 

June 23, 2018

Karla Pomeroy

David Mecham works on stopping the ball from dropping by using a pencil in the Newton game during the Osmo iPad class at East Side Elementary Friday, while his brother Ben plays across the table.

By KARLA POMEROY

Editor

WORLAND - Worland kindergarten teacher Carla Bryant hosted a three-day fun Osmo iPad class for elementary students this week.

Bryant said the kindergarten and first-grade teachers have been using the Osmo iPad system in class lessons for a few years now and she thought it would be fun to host some classes during the summer for students.

WHAT IS OSMO?

According to the website playosmo.com, "Osmo is an award-winning game system that will change the way your child interacts with the iPad and iPhone by opening them up to hands-on play."

The website boasts that more than 30,000 schools use Osmo to "change the way kids collaborate, create, think critically and communicate."

Osmo, according to the company's website, enables the iPad and iPhone to merge the power of physical play with the digital advantages of real-time feedback. Playing beyond the screen invites students to collaborate on tables or floors while manipulating tangible game pieces such as number tiles, letter tiles, and coding blocks.

TEACHING TOOL

Bryant said she just wanted to "introduce the students to all of the fun things we can do with Osmo."

Wednesday was open for kindergarten and first-grade students, Thursday for second- and third-grade students and Friday was fourth- and fifth-grade students.

Bryant saw Osmo on another teacher's Facebook post so she asked about it, got some more information and then purchased two on her own to try it. She eventually went to the district to discuss purchasing the program and iPads for the students to use.

She primarily uses Osmo in the classroom for math and language arts. There are a variety of games that students can play that fit along with the lesson plans for the day.

"It's interactive but the students still have to solve the problems," Bryant said of using the program that uses technology and hands-on work together to teach students.

She said the games help with math, geometry, eye-hand coordination, spelling, art and more.

Games used in Worland include Tangram, Numbers, Newton (eye-hand coordination), Words, Coding, Pizza Company, Masterpiece.

Tangram is where students are given different shaped blocks and on the iPad a picture is shown and the students have to make the picture using the different shapes.

With Words, students are given on-screen clues to mystery words and they use letter tiles to spell their answers. The iPad has a camera that watches the students make the shapes or spell the words or solve the math problems and lets the student know when they have the problem solved.

They can also earn "hints" to help solve tougher problems.

There are three levels of difficulty for each game.

Bryant said the district has been using the Osmo iPad program for kindergarten in the classes, first grade uses Osmo as a special like music and physical education, RTI (response to intervention) groups and special education.

She said it is appropriate for grade levels second through fifth but they have not used them in classes yet.

The program can be customized to fit a teacher's lesson plans, Bryant said, including specific spelling words, or on specific subjects the teacher wants to focus on.

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Online: playosmo.com

 
 

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