I started using Gynzy with my second graders as part of a guided reading station. I teach Guided Reading for 60 minutes a day. During that time, my students rotate to three different stations per day. One of the stations is the Interactive Whiteboard in front of class on which I open Gynzy.
In preparation I search language arts activities and place them in my favorites tab. I select all of the activities that match what I’m currently teaching. Students can then choose an activity in the favorites tab to work on during the guided reading station time.
The students are allowed to choose what activity they would like to do. I notice that the students are more engaged when they have a choice in what they do. I let them work in groups of two- or three students. My students have worked out great ways to take turns selecting activities themselves. They are perfectly able to manage that. I feel like the students take their responsibility seriously when I allow them free use of the SmartBoard. I don’t feel it should be sitting idle while I’m working and reading with small groups of students. I think technology should be being used throughout the day. There are such great activities to use, why let it sit for an hour? They have learned to work quietly and respectfully at the SmartBoard. What I like most is that they have learned how to solve issues that occur with the SmartBoard using problem-solving skills.
The students particularly enjoyed the Language matching games with antonyms and synonyms. They like to compete against one another in finding matches. It’s a fun competition for them, while they are also learning words.
They have also used the “create words” activity a lot. They start with three letter words, and know that they can go to settings and change the number of letters. They start with three letter words but quickly move on to challenge themselves with harder words. I’ve noticed that they often build words that are based on Spelling patterns that we have worked on. There are also a lot of useful vowel activities available, which students can work with themselves.
After using it during guided reading stations, I thought why not pull some Math activities and allow my students to use it during their math work-station time. This has worked out really great as well! The two activities I often noticed them using were “Count Money” and “Money: Learning About Change”. I think they enjoyed these two activities because they could select how much money they wanted to count at a time. My higher level students were always challenging themselves with many different kinds of coins and bills.
There are so many pre-made activities in Gynzy that tie right in with my curriculum. I like that Gynzy is a web-based program, as so much of my planning time occurs while I am home. I’m able to pull activities for them from home which I something can’t normally do with my SmartBoard. Overall, Gynzy is very user-friendly for my students and me.