ROXBURY, NJ (December 5, 2019) – Roxbury Elementary School parents joined their children for an evening of exploration and innovation with Osmo on November 14th. Families from Franklin, Jefferson, Kennedy, and Nixon School were treated to a free dinner before being set free to play hands-on learning games in which players use objects in the real world to interact with the digital world shown on their screens and tablets.
Osmo is a unique combination of computer vision and manipulatives that change the way students interact with technology in the classroom and at home. It’s a cross-curricular learning tool that allows for the integration of educational technology into any classroom and subject material.
Families rotated through the different games for close to two hours and left with a free 30-day Osmo sampler kit for iPad which included five hands-on learning games. Parents were also informed that Osmo kits and sets could be purchased online for iPads and Kindle devices ranging in grade levels and subject areas.
Franklin Elementary School is one of only four schools (or districts) in the country piloting a program as models for what Osmo implementation should look like in classrooms school-wide. For the 2019/2020 school year, Franklin staff will be participating in Osmo and how it should be used in the classroom.
Roxbury Schools became a candidate for the Osmo Model Schools program first and foremost because it’s a district that has the ability to use Osmo properly based on the number of Osmo units it has throughout.
Kira Westbroek, the Osmo Community & Education Market Ambassador shared, “After speaking with the Assistant Superintendent, Dr. Charles Seipp, we decided to select Franklin Elementary for a few reasons, but primarily because of second-grade teacher Lynn Manney. Mrs. Manney was already exhibiting the Osmo Model School characteristics (enthusiasm about what Osmo offers to students and teachers alike, expert knowledge of the product, a desire to help other educators implement it with their students), so it seemed like a natural fit. When we brought the idea to Principal Lisa Ferrare, she readily agreed.”
Manney heard about Osmo from a fellow peer while taking classes at Centenary University for her Master’s degree in Special Education. “I was amazed by the program and after discussing it further with my classmate and doing some research on the company, I decided to reach out to the district administration to see if I could pilot the program in my classroom.”
“I loved how engaging all of the activities were. You get to see the game on a device and to move through the game you have to use the game pieces to move through each level. I was amazed by how much fun each game was and I knew that my students would love it as well. Another benefit that each game has a different learning target and it can track student progress in order to differentiate skill practice.”
Manney has now been using Osmo in her classroom since last year and it has brought engagement and excitement unlike any other center activity has before. “I started using Osmo in my classroom and saw so much excitement and motivation towards learning. My students use Osmo to practice math, writing, reading, vocabulary, coding, and problem-solving skills.”
After using Osmo in her classroom, Manney shared the program with her grade-level team to try out with their students. Manney also worked with the support teachers so they too could give it a try as they warmed up in their small group lessons to differentiate work for their students.
“After sharing the materials with my colleagues, our school has purchased a few sets for each grade level, and the love for Osmo in our district has grown!”
That was evident at the Franklin School Osmo Assembly earlier that day on November 14th. Westbroek was there and asked the students how many knew what Osmo was and a room full of hands went in the air.
Other district administrators and principals came to see the program in action and decided to order additional Osmo kits for each of their K-4 elementary schools as well.
Westbroek explained some of the benefits of working with Osmo. “I believe Osmo is a benefit for the staff and any elementary school for that matter because it creates a safe and fun place for practicing core concepts like phonics and vocabulary, difficult concepts like double-digit multiplication and counting back change, and most importantly social-emotional learning all with the irresistible draw of technology. It’s common knowledge that practice leads to improvement. Therefore, the longer a student engages in meaningful and fun practice of a skill or concept, the more likely they are to improve upon that skill or concept. Osmo organically makes students want to keep engaging. In fact, I heard students at Franklin say over and over, “I want to keep playing!” even though what they were doing was multiplication facts and practicing vocabulary and learning how to code. It’s a beautifully effective thing when learning is play and play is learning. Almost magical, even. And Osmo does just that.”
Implementing Osmo in the classroom directly coincides with one of the district’s goals this year of increasing student achievement through active, inclusive, and multifaceted leaning experiences and the district is excited about this opportunity.
“Being a model school is a great accomplishment for the Roxbury School District. To me, being one of four model schools means that Roxbury educators are continuing to find creative and innovative ways to engage students in their learning. I have enjoyed working with the Osmo employees to give them feedback from my students in order for the company to create new ways for students to practice specific standards and curriculum objectives,” said Manney.
PHOTO ATTACHED (courtesy of Roxbury Schools)
- · Mrs Gallagher’s 4th Grade at Osmo Assembly
- · Ms Dranoff’s 4th Grade at Osmo Assembly
- · Mr Drury’s 4th Grade at Osmo Assembly
- · Mrs Schultz 3rd grade at Osmo Assembly
- · Mrs Mason’s 3rd Grade at Osmo Assembly
- · Mrs Manney’s 2nd Grade at Osmo Assembly
- · Mrs Freund’s 2nd grade at Osmo Assembly
- · Mrs Hellyer’s Kindergarten at Osmo Assembly
- · Franklin Osmo Assembly
- · Franklin Osmo (L to R): Front Row – Janxel Perez (Gr 4), Sebastian Sanabria (Gr 3), Isabella DeMarco (Gr 1), Sofia Funez (Gr K), Carmella Brown (Gr 2); Back Row – Principal Lisa Ferrare, Kira Westbroek from Osmo, 2nd Grade Teacher Lynn Manney
- · JEF Principal Melissa Cosgrove and son Christian Sokolowski (Gr 8)
- · Mariano Family w Mrs Manney at Osmo Night
- · Kesheva Narayan (Gr 4) with dad at Osmo Night
- · Holden Riesebeck (Gr 4) with mom at Osmo Night
- · Castellano Family at Osmo Night
- · Emma Seipp (Gr 2) w Lynn Manney
- · Montalbano Family at Osmo Night
- · Families at Osmo Night
- · Mera Boehm (Gr 2) and dad at Osmo Night
- · Luca (Gr 5) and Addilyn Argenziano (Gr2) at Osmo Night
- · Roxbury Staff with Kira at Osmo Night
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