Salem Hyde Students Learn Math, Vocabulary with Osmo

     Published on 3/30/16   Tagged under:    District News    Academics    Salem Hyde Elementary School   

“Some of them don’t even realize they’re learning,” Library/Media Specialist Sharon Oliver said of students playing Osmo, an educational game system for iPads. “They think they’re just having fun!”
But through the program’s five fun apps, students hone their fine motor skills, learn math operations, practice spelling and word recall and more. Thanks to a grant that Salem Hyde math coach Laurie Holtsbery received through Donors Choose, as well as an additional Osmo donation by a parent, students can now work together to learn on 11 devices.
Students sit an iPad on an Osmo stand and attach a special Osmo camera reflection device. Then, they select a game and interact with Osmo as they play. One game, for instance, allows students to toss letter tiles in front of the iPad to spell out a word, recognizing the letters through the software’s special sensors.
“I like the ELA game because it creates a competition,” fifth grader Braeden Carney explained. “You play with someone else and you get points for each letter you guess first. I also like the math games because it looks at what level you’re at… it starts with addition and then it gets harder as you get better at it!”
Ms. Oliver said that because the games require students to work together, it has also helped with community building.
“These programs really help the students make connections with each other about their individual strengths and skills,” Ms. Oliver noted. “If there are two students who usually don’t get along, they can sit down with an Osmo together and work together. It’s really built their cooperation!”
Fifth graders use the Osmos the most frequently, sometimes as ‘brain breaks’ after testing, but students in third and fourth grades have used them as well during library time. Due to the platform’s ability to store custom vocabulary lists, first graders have also used the Osmos in their classrooms to help them build vocabulary.
Brianne Metz said the Osmo is a perfect way to wind down when she’s feeling stressed at school. “It’s fun because you can get better at vocabulary, colors and shapes. But I like playing it because it helps calm me down,” she shared.
Thank you to Ms. Holtsbery for her effort in bringing this fun new way for students to learn to Salem Hyde!