Over the past few months, the third graders have been working on an animal habitat project. They began by using the online World Book Encyclopedia to do some research. We continued our researching using some teacher selected online links as well as the kid-friendly Kiddle Search Engine.
Once our research was finished, students used Word to type a first draft of their report. For many, this was the first time using an adult word processing program and it was a great chance to use their skills from Type to Learn! We focused on writing in sentences with capital letters, periods, and correct spacing. Each student wrote several indented paragraphs for their report. We printed the first draft, then students made corrections based on teacher feedback. (Note: the reports are in their computer lab folder which will be sent home at the end of the year.)
Once the reports were finished, the creative fun began! Students were challenged to use Minecraft to design a habitat for their animal based on the facts that they researched. This was a great opportunity for students to use and transfer their knowledge into a new context. My Minecraft expert students helped their classmates. I was impressed with how the third graders put their designs together and how they applied the facts that they learned!
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 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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
Students, use this link and follow teacher directions to login to the Kahoot game: