Parents, Can’t Get Into Your Gmail Account?

We are doing more and more with Google Apps in the Computer Lab these days. In addition, in Middle School, students are also completing English assignments in Google Apps and may also be using Google Apps to complete their Science Lab reports. This means that your child may be logged into their Google Apps account at home to complete work.

If your child is logged into their Google Apps account and you go to Gmail to try to access your email, you will see this message:

gmail-domainaccess

You get this message because St. Martin’s students have Google accounts but they do not have Gmail accounts. Your child needs to sign out from their Google Apps account from:

Once they have signed out (from one of the above – signing out from one of the above signs them out from all Google Apps), you will be able to access Gmail without seeing the error message above.

Welcome to the 2015-16 School Year

Yes, we’re back for another year! All classes have been into the Computer Lab at least once and most have been in at least twice. We start off the year with some procedures and guidelines and then jump into some beginning of the year items. Here’s what we’ve done so far this year:

Kindergarten:

International Dot Day – Kindergarten has heard the story The Dot and are working on their very own dot pictures which we are going to bring to life using the Quiver app.

1st Grade:

1st grade just finished their self-portraits for this year and will be sharing them in a collaborative Google Slides presentation soon.

2nd Grade:

2nd grade has finished their self-portraits for the year and will be sharing them along with some writing soon.

3rd Grade:

Our 3rd graders will be working on self-portraits next week since they have only been to the lab once so far due to the Labor Day holiday and the Fall Fundraiser kickoff this week.

4th Grade:

4th grade completed the Technology Survey for the year and is working on a spreadsheet that they will use for the year to track their keyboarding speed. This is a big task because they need to work with multiple tabs on the browser along with an Excel spreadsheet.

5th Grade:

5th grade also completed our beginning of the year technology survey and is working on their beginning of the year keyboarding speed tests.

6th Grade:

6th grade has also completed the beginning of the year technology survey and is working on their beginning of the year keyboarding speed tests. They have also been introduced to Google Classroom which will be used for turning in work in both the Computer Lab and their Language Arts class this year.

7th Grade:

7th grade has also completed the beginning of the year technology survey and their beginning of the year keyboarding speed tests. They have also been introduced to Google Classroom which will be used for turning in work in both the Computer Lab and their Language Arts class this year.

8th Grade:

8th grade has also completed the beginning of the year technology survey and their beginning of the year keyboarding speed tests. They have also been introduced to Google Classroom which will be used for turning in work in both the Computer Lab and their Language Arts class this year.

Speaking of the Technology Survey, did you know:

  • 71% of St. Martin’s 4th-8th grade students own a cell phone
  • Only 5% of St. Martin’s 4th-8th graders don’t have access to / or don’t use some kind of gaming system
  • The most popular use of the Internet outside of school is for playing games followed closely by watching videos

Don’t forget that you can check the Computer Lab Wiki for more details on what’s happening in St. Martin’s Computer Lab.

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.

The Hour of Code is Here – Day 2

Day 2 saw 1st Grade, 2nd Grade, 7th Grade, and 8th Grade start their Hour of Code activities. 1st and 2nd Grade used apps on iPads and Android tablets.

HOC 2014 - Day 2

1st Grade:

After trying to program Mrs. Sedgwick to walk to the door, 1st Grade used the app, The Foos, to program each Foo to solve problems, gain abilities, collect coins and stars, and to explore Fooville. As students complete levels, the programming that each Foo requires gets more complex. Today, the 1st Grade students got through the first 8 levels with the Police Foo and are currently working on the next 8 levels with the Builder Foo. It was great to see the students working together to solve the levels as they got tougher. I’m excited to see how far they can get in their second class this week.

1st Grade - Tuesday

The Foos, and other coding game apps like this, help students to analyse and solve problems and teach basic programming concepts such as writing algorithms and using loops. The Foos runs on Android tablets, iPads, and on computers in a web browser. Students won’t have time to solve all of the levels of The Foos in the lab this week, so you can have your child do this at home.

2nd Grade:

2nd Grade also started off the day trying to program Mrs. Sedgwick to walk to the door. They learned that computers (and humans pretending to be robots) need very specific instructions in order to be able to do anything. After this, students were shown a little about the iPad app, ScratchJr. The exciting thing about this app is that it’s not a leveled game that teaches coding concepts, but it’s a coding environment that lets students create animations and tell stories with code.

hoc2014-2nd01

The 2nd Grade students are creating a two scene animation that will move a character across the screen and other things of their choosing. The picture above is the start of one pair of students animation. I’m excited to see how these turn out at the end of the week!

If you have access to an iPad, ScratchJr is a free app that lets students learn about events, sequencing, loops, and more.

Middle School – 7th & 8th Grades:

Just like 6th Grade yesterday, 7th & 8th Grade students watched the Top 10 Reasons to Code video, learned about the people on the posters in the Computer Lab, and then worked on researching Grace Hopper. I’m looking forward to the debugging activities that they will be doing later in the week in Scratch.

7th and 8th - Tuesday

Day 2 was a busy day and there’s a lot more coming this week. Stay tuned and be watching for completed coding projects from 2nd – 8th Grades.

The Hour of Code is Here – Day 1

HOC is here

In celebration of Computer Science Education Week, all K-8 students are taking part in the Hour of Code. This week is a teaser of what’s to come during the 2nd semester when all classes will focus on Computer Science in more depth but it’s exciting to participate in a worldwide event like this! Here’s what happened today.

3rd Grade:

After learning more about Computer Programming from Tim & Moby at BrainPop, 3rd Grade got busy starting to animate their names in Scratch. I’m excited to see the finished animations on Friday.  My favorite moment with 3rd grade was at this point in the video …

BrainPOP PB Sandwich

… one of the students said “Well, he DID open the jar.” Yes, he did. You have to be very specific when programming a computer.

5th Grade:

5th Grade started off their first Hour of Code day watching a video about the Top 10 Reasons to Code and discussing who were in the posters we have displayed in the Computer Lab:

HOC Posters

The girls (5th Grade is one of our two all girls classes) knew who two out of the five (we don’t have the Ashton Kutcher poster up in the lab) were. They didn’t know Mark Zuckerberg though when I mentioned Facebook, they knew who he was. I loved the reaction when I talked about who the women in the posters were (especially Susan Wojcicki – what 5th grader doesn’t love YouTube) and about Grace Hopper and why she is honored during Computer Science Education Week.

Ready to code, 5th Grade also started working on animating their names  in Scratch. I am looking forward to their finished animations and maybe some coded Christmas cards next week, too!

6th Grade:

6th Grade (our other all girls class) also started with a discussion about the posters though this time they knew all of the men but neither of the women. Makes you wonder why they don’t know about the women? 6th Grade also watched the Top 10 Reasons to Code video:

After this introduction, 6th Grade researched Grace Hopper to try to answer these two questions:

  • Who is Grace Hopper?
  • What does Grace Hopper have to do with Computer Science Education Week?

6th Grade Research

The best part of this research was hearing the girls exclaim “She was amazing!” and ask “Why don’t we know about her?” Well, now they do!


Did you know that the President also tried his hand at coding today at the White House? He was using Code with Anna and Elsa from Code.org. Some of our students have tried this and others will at some point.

If your child is interested in coding, you can set up an account for them on the Scratch Website or install the Offline Editor for them to use on a home computer. At school, students use either the Offline Editor or the Online Editor without saving and their completed projects are uploaded to a single account for the Computer Lab.

The Hour of Code Is Coming!

hoc2014-banner

Next week, December 8th – 12th, is Computer Science Education Week and St. Martin’s students are once again taking part in what may be the biggest educational event ever. During their computer class time, students will be learning some basic coding skills and concepts with a variety of Computer Science activities. Last year over 15 million people took part and this year the goal is to reach 100 million people who have completed an Hour of Code!

For most classes, the week will be a teaser of what’s to come next semester. Here’s some of what St. Martin’s students may be doing:

  • Helping the fuzzFamily explore Smeeborg with the Kodable app and learning about programming logic, sequences, loops and more along the way.
  • Learning about algorithms, sequencing, and debugging with Code.org’s Computer Science course.
  • Creating an All About Me project or interactive greeting card with the Scratch, Jr. app.
  • Programming an interactive greeting card using Scratch, a visual programming environment from MIT.
  • Learning about Grace Hopper, the woman who is honored during CS Education Week, and debugging Scratch code.
  • Programming Sphero robots.

This blog will be updated with what each class will be doing as the week progresses. Some of the completed coding efforts will also be shared on the blog after the week is over. If you are interested in what you child is doing each week in the Computer Lab, head over to the Computer Lab Wiki.

If you want to know more about The Hour of Code, you can visit the official website at hourofcode.com.