December in the Lab

The main focus during December in the Computer Lab was the Hour of Code though for most classes this was more than an hour. What did each grade do? Here’s a little peek into the action.

Kindergarten

Kindergarten students spent some time on the Planet Smeeborg helping the fuzzFamily solve mazes using the Kodable app on iPads and Android tablets.

1st  Grade

1st Grade also used iPads and Android tablets to solve levels in The Foos app. They loved building with the Builder and growing and shrinking as the Ninja.

Kindergarten and 1st Grade also did some activities about Christmas. Kindergarten heard Jan Brett’s story, The Gingerbread Baby, and then they decorated their own Gingerbread person with a few guidelines: the eyes on their Gingerbread person were to have eyes the same color as their eyes, the number of buttons were to represent their age and were triangles if the student was a boy and hearts if the student was a girl. 1st Grade heard the story of the Nativity and then drew their own Nativity scenes.

2nd Grade

2nd Grade also used tablets and did some block-based coding in the ScratchJr. app. They first learned how to make characters move using a guided activity to drive a car (or other vehicle) across the screen. Then they learned how to make characters talk, both with speech bubbles and using their own voices. Finally, they created ScratchJr. Christmas cards and here are some examples:

If you’re interested in what their “code” looked like, check it out:

 3rd & 4th Grades

Both 3rd & 4th Graders solved levels and then created their own Minecraft level (if they got that far) in the Code.org Minecraft Tutorial. Keep an eye on their portfolios once school starts back up in January because they will be updating their experience and sharing their created Minecraft adventures.

5th Grade

5th Grade also used a Code.org tutorial but they did the Star Wars JavaScript tutorial including creating their own Star Wars game at the end. Check out Quarter 2 on the 5th Grade’s Google Sites after we’re back in school in January for reflections on the Hour of Code and links to their Star Wars games.

6th Grade

6th Grade started off the month doing some research on Computing Pioneers and Innovators. They will be finishing up some trading cards for these in January which will be shared on this blog and on the students’ Google Sites. 6th Grade then spent their Hour of Code time debugging problem programs in Scratch and documenting what they did using Google Slides. They will be sharing the process on their Google Sites in January.

In addition to debugging and documenting, each time a bug was solved a bug was drawn on the whiteboard.

7th Grade

7th Grade also started out the month doing research on Computing Pioneers and Innovators. They, too, will be creating trading cards and sharing these in January. The Hour of Code this year was all about moving from block-based coding into text-based coding. 7th Grade used a tutorial from Khan Academy and did some drawing with code using JavaScript. They will be documenting this process and sharing their final project in January on their Google Sites.

8th Grade

8th Grade also moved into text-based coding this year during the Hour of Code. They learned some Python using Trinket. They will be finishing up their posts about this in January once we are back in school and will be sharing their Python creations on their Google Sites.

The Hour of Code was just a kick-off to a larger Computer Science unit that classes will be doing during the 2nd semester.

Thanksgiving Thankfulness

Kindergarten through 2nd Grade celebrated “thankfulness” this month, not only during chapel and their character development classes, but also in the Computer Lab. Kindergarten and 1st Grade students drew a turkey in Tux Paint and then had their turkeys tell the world what they were thankful for. 2nd Grade students also used Tux Paint to draw their pictures but they drew and labeled pictures of what they are thankful for.

2nd Grade – Making Their Mark On The World

This year for International Dot Day, St. Martin’s 2nd Graders created a dot to illustrate how they plan to make their mark on the world in the future. They created their dots in Tux Paint using the template from the Quiver 3D Coloring App. When they were done, Mrs. Sedgwick cropped out just their dot and the 2nd graders added these to a Google Slide and then wrote some information about their dot and making their mark on the world.

This post reminds me that we still need to look at our dots in the Quiver app!

Scratch in 1st Grade

Computer Science is the focus in the Computer Lab this quarter for most grades. 1st Grade is now exploring Computer Science with Code.org’s Course 1 but before they started this they worked a bit in Scratch. Scratch has typically been used by 2nd grade (near the end of the year) and up but 1st grade has already done some amazing things.

The first project that they attempted was drawing squares and triangles, if they finished the square. This involves math that is not normally taught in 1st grade. Yes, a 1st grader knows what a square and a triangle look like. But, they don’t often talk about turning at a 90 degree angle or a 120 degree angle yet that’s what the conversations were in order to complete this coding task in Scratch.

Once the first project was done, it was time to try some storytelling in Scratch. The story the 1st graders were tasked to tell was a story about them. Students had to pick a background for their project from the library of backgrounds, draw themselves in the Paint Editor in Scratch, record some facts about themselves, and write the code to have their recording play when the project is started. You need to check these out!

Class of 2022 Scratch Studio

Click the image to see 1st Grade’s Scratch All About Me projects

4th Grade Portfolios

In Computer Class, 5th Grade and up keep portfolios of their work on a Google Site. This year in 4th Grade, the students are keeping portfolios using Google Slides. Check out what they’ve done so far this year:

If you’re interested in all of the portfolios, check the Student e-Portfolio page for links to all of them. The portfolios are always a work in progress so not all posts may be complete.

What’s Best About St. Martin’s!

This week the K-8 collaborative presentation about the best things at St. Martin’s was finished. Each student drew a self-portrait and wrote or dictated, in the case of Kindergarten, what they think makes St. Martin’s the best school.

Check it out and let us know what YOU think. Does your child (or grandchild) attend St. Martin’s? Did you attend St. Martin’s? What do you think is best about St. Martin’s?


You can use the arrow keys to navigate through the slides or click the play button and the slides will automatically advance every 30 seconds.

In addition to finishing up this project, this week also included:

  • Kindergarten: Finishing up dots for Dot Day and starting Adventures in Keyboarding
  • 1st Grade: Finishing up dots for Dot Day and starting Rainbow Alphabets
  • 2nd Grade: Creating dots that show how they will make their mark on the world for Dot Day
  • 3rd Grade: Keyboarding with Keyboard Climber games
  • 4th Grade: Creating a spreadsheet and taking Keyboarding Speed Tests
  • 5th Grade: Creating a spreadsheet and taking Keyboarding Speed Tests
  • 6th Grade: Keyboarding Speed Tests and learning how to format Science Labs in Microsoft Word
  • 7th Grade: Keyboarding Speed Tests and reviewing how to format Science Labs in Microsoft Word
  • 8th Grade: Keyboarding Speed Tests and first posts on their Google Sites