Archive for Lessons

Second Grade KidPix Ocean Reefs

The second graders recently completed ocean reef pictures during technology class. We first viewed a video about coral reefs before starting our pictures.

In this assignment students learned/reviewed how to:

  • save and open files
  • use paint/fill and drawing tools
  • use, resize, and edit stamps
  • make and type in a text box
  • use the caps lock and delete keys

Here’s a music video showing their lovely ocean pictures. Enjoy!

Fourth and Fifth Grade PhotoBooth Fun

PhotoBooth Fun

Fourth and Fifth grade classes have been using webcams and PhotoBooth software to take some fun and wacky pictures of themselves that can be used in a Comic Life project. Here are a few photos of the students taking their photos:

After the students took their photos, we opened Comic Life. Students learned how to drag and drop the photos between two windows. We also reviewed how to save files, use the undo command, and we are now exploring ways to add effects and text into their comics.


Kindergarten Click and Drag Practice

Many kindergarten students have a lot of experience with using touch skills on tablets, but limited experience using a computer mouse. Recently, we have been working on developing clicking and dragging skills using some online games. Students are also learning to navigate back and forth through our links on Learning Links and also learning to scroll up and down. Here is what we did during our lesson on Friday.


Color Game

Students sortted objects by dragging them into the box with the correct color. When they sort all the objects of one color, the objects animate and spin!


Make a Face

Students drag and drop elements to decorate a face. They had to scroll down to get the game into the center of their screen.


Castle Constructor

This game is a kid favorite where kids decorate their own castle!




We used an easy and then a more challenging puzzle game where students needed to be precise with their drag and drop.

Although the students think they are simply having fun playing games, they actually are improving their mouse skills while learning to navigate the internet!

“Growth Mindset” Games for Early Elementary


This past week the first graders were introduced to some online games that I call “Don’t Give Up Games.” Each of these games has features that require them to work with perseverance to complete tasks or levels that get progressively harder. Students also continued to refine their mouse skills and their ability to navigate websites during this lesson.


Mouse Control is a game with levels that progressively get harder as students use the mouse to roll over, click, and drag. Students enjoy the funny mouse voice that gives directions for each level.


Pack a Picnic is a Berenstain Bears game from PBS. Students have to search for objects by clicking on doors, drawers, and containers. Sometimes the objects are hard to find. One student could not find where the cookies were hidden. She returned to the game later in the class, and proudly let me know when she found them hidden in a cookie jar!


Ballistic Biscuit has been a favorite game with my students throughout the years. Students need to control their mouse to keep their tube from hitting objects in the water. Students never tire of trying over and over to reach the higher levels and get points.


The Maze game presents the students with harder and harder mazes which they work through by clicking the rocket forward. They have to be very observant and focused to find the correct paths.

This series of online activities is a great way to talk with students about how their skills will grow as they keep practicing and trying. We will be starting to do some keyboarding games next week, and we will draw parallels between these “fun” games and the challenges that beginning keyboarding sometimes presents to early learners.

I keep all of these games and more in this online collection of Learning Links for Early Learners.


Keyboarding Kids!

Second, third, and fourth grades have been spending time during technology class to work on improving their keyboarding skills.

Second graders recently started going through the online lessons from Dance Mat Typing. They are starting to learn to use two hands and all their fingers to type. The lessons include crazy characters and silly songs.

The third graders completed several months of working through lessons using the Type to Learn 4 keyboarding program. TTL4 runs on our network, tracks student progress, lets students work at their own pace, and customizes the lessons to meet their needs. The program helps the students learn to use the home row as they type.

type1 type3 type2

The fourth graders have continued to work in Type to Learn this winter. We have seen good progress with their skills. Several students tested out the “Bandana Challenge” by trying to type with a bandana covering their hands.

Parents, if your children are typing, please try to encourage them to use both hands and all their fingers!

Fifth Grade President Search Links 2017

What are interesting quick facts to research about a president?

Hockenbrocht Answer Garden Link

Voytal Answer Garden Link


Use this link to view the PBS 60 Seconds Presidents Videos

Link to 2015 President wiki:

Link to 2016 President Wiki:

World Book Encyclopedia Loginsee your teacher for the login and password if needed, then click STUDENT


Use these links as part of our assignment:

The White House

George W. Bush wiki page

Wikipedia George W. Bush

Fourth Grade Word Processing Unit

wordprocessing examples

Over the past five weeks, our fourth graders have been doing a unit covering word processing skills. We have practiced many skills in Microsoft Word including opening/saving files, inserting text, spelling check, formatting text, adding clipart, text wrap, and copy/paste. To conclude the unit, students used these skills to type a personal narrative about a trip.

Comic Life Goals – Fifth Grade


Our fifth graders always enjoy using the webcam to take photos! They dropped the pictures into Comic Life and added cool filters to their faces. Finally, they added speech bubbles sharing some of their goals and hopes for the new school year. Skills covered in this lesson included opening and saving files, using the undo command, working between two windows/applications, adding and editing text, and creative use of filters. Here are a few examples of their work!


FullSizeRender 2


Kahoot Tech Review for Second and Third Grade

Students, use this link and follow teacher directions to login to the Kahoot game:


Back to School Tech Review with Quizizz and Recap

Welcome back to tech class! This week we used 2 new fun activities with 4th and 5th grade to review our technology policy with students.


We began class with an exciting review game using Quizizz. Quizizz is similar to Kahoot. You can build multiple choice review games for student use. Students enjoyed the self paced game and the funny animal memes in between questions that told them if they were right or wrong.


Quizizz is a free platform for educational use. It can be used on a computer or any mobile device – you do not need to download an app, just connect to the Quizizz login webpage and type in a game code supplied by the teacher. I liked that the answer choices to each question are written on the choice buttons (different than Kahoot) and the ability to set up memes in between questions. Scores for the games are recorded for the teacher. Since the game was self paced, we were not able to discuss each question individually, but at the end of the game we looked at the questions where there were a number of errors and discussed the answers. There may be a way to run the game one question at a time (similar to Kahoot), but I did not find that option.


Screen Shot 2016-08-27 at 10.43.31 AM 8-27-16When we finished our Quizizz game, we tried out another new app called Recap to use for setting a technology goal for the school year. Recap is a free app on the iPad. Teachers can set up a free account and use their computer to record a text/video prompt for students’ responses. Students use the app (or online login) by adding a pin code, tapping on their name, listening to the prompt, and then recording a short video response. Students also can use a thumbs up system at the end of the video as an exit ticket for the teacher to show if they “get it!”


I was very impressed with how easy this app was to set up and use.  I did have to enter each student name for each class into my account, but I was able to do that quickly. I found that the Chrome browser worked best on the Mac for recording the teacher video, but that may just be due to some settings on my laptop. It only took about 10 minutes to get the entire class logged into Recap on their iPads and record the videos. I am able to view their videos on my laptop in my account. I can see this app being very effective for reflection questions, prediction, retelling, and exit tickets.

Thanks fourth and fifth graders for a great start to Tech Class!