11-12 Computer Lab News: Week Ending 09/16

Thanks to the parents who stopped by the Computer Lab during Back to School Night. It was nice to chat with you. Here’s what we’ve been up to this week in the lab:

8th Grade: The 8th graders are continuing to work collaboratively on presentations about the Computer Lab Rules. They are working together in Google Documents writing scripts, raps and assigning tasks for their presentations. They will be actually giving their presentations next week.

7th Grade: To introduce MLA Formatting and review how to format a document in Microsoft Word, 7th Grade is working on a writing assignment that has them using correct formatting and their imaginations. They are describing what a day would be like if they woke up to no electronic technology – no TV, no car, no iPod, no Internet, etc. Can you imagine that? Can you imagine that if you were 12 or 13?

6th Grade: 6th Grade is also learning about MLA Formatting and setting up proper formatting in Microsoft Word. They are picking a theme song and writing a paragraph or two to explain why that song is their theme song for this school year.

5th Grade: 5th Grade was read The Important Book and talked about the format of the information in the book. They are currently creating self-portraits in Paint and will then write their own important information about themselves in Microsoft Word. 5th Grade will also learn about MLA formatting and will use this formatting for their document.

4th Grade: 4th Grade is in the middle of an All About Me project where they are creating a self-portait using Paint and then researching information about their names and they day they were born. They will be putting their portrait and the research information together into a Microsoft Word document using an MLA format.

3rd Grade: 3rd Grade finished up their self-portraits in KidPix and then spent some time exploring Jumpstart 3rd Grade. Jumpstart 3rd Grade is educational software that students will use throughout the year when they finish assignments early.

2nd Grade: 2nd Grade finished their self-portraits in KidPix and spent some time in Jumpstart 2nd Grade which is an educational software program that they will use throughout the year. They have started creating a Microsoft Word document that includes their self-portrait and an acrostic poem they are writing about themselves. They are learning how to change fonts and font sizes and how to add pictures to a Word document.

1st Grade: 1st Graders worked on their self-portraits in KidPix. When they were done with that, they used Jumpstart 1st Grade which is an educational software program they will be using throughout the year.

Kindergarten: Did you know that September 15th is International Dot Day? Over 13,000 students world-wide participated in this event and our Kindergarten class was part of it too. They listened to Peter Reynold’s Book, The Dot, and then learned how to draw dots in KidPix. Students then created their very own dot pictures in KidPix and signed them which is tough to do with a mouse! If you came into the Computer Lab during Back To School Night, you saw these on display but if you missed them, here are Kindergartens’ dots!

Welcome to the 2010-2011 School Year

Wow, September is almost over and this is the first chance that I have had to update this blog. We’re already busy in the computer lab and all grades have completed their first project of the year in honor of International Dot Day!

Dot Day 2010

After enjoying the book, The Dot, all students created their own dot (or dots). Dot Galleries for Kindergarten through 4th Grade are now available on the Computer Lab Wiki – you can view them individually by going to the Techno Star Scrapbook page and selecting each grade. The galleries for 5th-8th grades will be added soon!

In addition to celebrating International Dot Day, students have also been learning and doing other things in the lab:

  • Kindergarten & 1st Grade have done some mouse exercises to learn or practice mouse skills
  • Kindergarten through 5th Grade have drawn (or are drawing) self-portraits using KidPix or Paint.
  • Middle School is busy reviewing how to format Book Reports and Science Labs and how to create Crossword Puzzles in Excel.

Starting in October, 4th through 8th Grades will be getting their very own class blogs where they will be updating what is happening in the lab themselves!

Computer Lab News 0910 – 8th Grade

Wow, what a year it’s been! 8th Grade has been really busy in the Computer Lab this year. Here’s a recap of what they’ve done:

September: 8th Grade started the year listening to President Obama’s Back to School speech and setting goals for the new school year and contributing to a VoiceThread about those goals.  They then created self-portraits and a resume, reviewed how to format papers for English and Science Labs and did a short Keyboarding assessment to gauge where they were in their keyboarding skills to start the year.

October: October kicked off with a review of basic Internet Safety and the month ended with creation of Leaf people in KidPix and writing of Bio Poems for their Leaf people.

November: During November, 8th grade created their very own Home Pages on the Computer Lab wiki and set some safety rules for themselves on those pages. As November came to an end, 8th Grade created turkeys in KidPix to celebrate Thanksgiving.

December: Since December means Christmas, one project completed during December was a rewrite of the Twelve Days of Christmas with a partner using Scribblar to collaborate on the project. This project kicked off with a really fun rendition of the Twelve Days of Christmas used as inspiration:

January: 2010 started out with a few catch up days for those students who hadn’t completed their Wiki Home Pages or other projects. 8th Grade then began creating short videos to educate younger students about Internet Safety. They used PowerPoint to put together slides which they exported as images and then created the video using Animoto.

February – April: There was more work on the Animoto videos and then alternate versions were created using Flixtime and PowerPoint uploaded to the web at authorSTREAM and finally Windows MovieMaker uploaded to SchoolTube. At the end of the project, all completed versions were posted to the wiki and the students compared the tools that they had used. More than 50% of the class said they could see themselves using both Animoto and Flixtime for their own projects at home. Here’s what they had to say about the different tools they used:

Easiest To UseFastest To Use0910AFP-FlexibleBest Music ChoicesEnjoyed The Most

Also during this time, 8th Grade participated in World Math Day, helped 7th Grade out with a survey project they were doing and voted for their favorites of the videos they had created.

May: May was Keyboarding time. 8th grade spent five classes working on their keyboarding skills. As 8th grade moves on to high school and then college, they’ll be called on to do more and more typing so we like to spend some time on refreshing keyboarding skills.

Now, it’s nearly the end of the year and 8th grade is working on their final project which will be previewed at the Graduation Breakfast!

If you would like to see some of 8th Grade’s completed work, you can find it in our Safari Scrapbook on the Computer Lab Wiki.

Computer Lab News Kindergarten: Weeks 30 – End of Year

Let’s start out by sharing some projects that were previously completed. Our first share is the Dinosaur Math & Art project:

Kindergarten & 1st Grade’s pictures from Easter have been put in to a slideshow for your enjoyment:

For Earth Day, Kindergarten was read the Dr. Seuss book, The Lorax and then they drew pictures in KidPix showing what they think the Lorax’s world looked like after the boy was given the seed. You can see the pictures on our Earth Day page on the wiki along with the projects completed by other grades for Earth Day.

Kindergarten was also busy at the end of the year finishing up their Adventures In Keyboarding project which were printed as mini-books. I hope that you had an opportunity to see them and that you realize that your student typed all of the words themselves! They all did a great job.

Kindergarten’s final project for the year were Ladybug Math Books. This project started out with the reading of the Eric Carle book, The Grouchy Ladybug and watching some ladybug videos. Each Kindergartener then drew a picture of a Ladybug and then completed the Ladybug Math Book in PowerPoint which covered the following math concepts:

  • Counting (entry of number into a text box)
  • Pattern Recognition & Completion (dragging graphic which completes pattern into a box)
  • Matching of Number Words to a Number (drawing a line with the drawing tool)
  • Matching of Time to the Hour to a Clock, this includes references to The Grouchy Ladybug (drawing a line with the drawing tool)

Kindergarten was very busy at the end of the year but they still had time to play some educational games including trying out JumpStart 1st Grade!

Computer Lab News 1st Grade: Weeks 30 – End of Year

First, Kindergarten & 1st Grade’s Easter pictures have been put in to a slideshow for your enjoyment:

1st Grade was busy at the end of the year finishing up their Adventures In Keyboarding project. These were printed as mini-books and I hope that you had an opportunity to see them. All of the students did a great job using the keyboard to type in all of the words themselves.

For Earth Day, 1st Grade discussed things that we can do to help the earth and then drew a picture in KidPix to show why they love the earth:

1st Grade also were measured again for the How Tall is a 1st Grader project, drew a picture to illustrate comparative heights and played some measurement related online games. Check out our How Tall page to see how much our 1st Graders grew and to watch a slideshow of pictures drawn by the 1st Grade to show comparative heights.

Did you receive your Mother’s Day card? 1st Grade created these using Kerpoof Studio which can be used at home too.

The computer lab partnered up with the 1st Grade art program to help colorize pictures that each 1st grade student had taken. Using a program called, PhotoFiltre, each student colored their close up image 4 times. These were then printed by the mom doing the art program and put on to canvas. I was lucky enough to get one as a gift from the 1st grade. I hope you loved yours as much as I love mine!

1st Grade 2009 Photography Art Project

As if that’s not enough, 1st Grade also spent time on various web sites playing educational games and even had a chance to try out Jumpstart 2nd Grade!

Computer Lab News 2nd Grade: Weeks 30 – End of Year

For Earth Day, 2nd Grade discussed why they love the earth and things that we can do to help the earth. Each student then created original artwork using KidPix and these were added to the PlanetFesto ribbon along with their ideas of what they could do to help the earth. After this was completed, 2nd Grade used the PBS site, Eeko World which is designed to help children between the ages of 6 and 9 learn about the important role they can play in taking care of the earth.

The students continued to work on their typing skills using the Dance Mat Typing site. They will continue to use this site in 3rd Grade. 2nd Grade also practiced their Money Skills on various web sites, created a Mother’s Day Wordle which I hope made it home, practiced writing paragraphs in Word and played a variety of educational games to end the year including trying out Jumpstart 3rd Grade!

Next year, these students will participate in the Monster Project as well as continuing to learn about Internet Safety, Microsoft Office Products and Keyboarding.

Computer Lab News: Weeks 21-29 – 1st Grade

1st Grade began their work in the lab in February by finishing their Penguin Math Books. These and the completed Penguin Glyphs will be shared on their page on the Winter Wonderland Wiki very soon. For Valentine’s Day, 2nd Grade did some graphing of Valentine’s hearts in Excel. We visited the Necco web site to learn how Conversation Hearts are made. Each student then got a box of Conversation Hearts which they grouped by color and counted. Then each student entered their numbers in the Excel spreadsheet found on the Activities page to create their graph. All of the results were combined on to a single spreadsheet and you can see the results on the 1st Grade Winter Wonderland Wiki page.

Much of the rest of February and March concentrated on keyboarding with the continued Adventures in Keyboarding focusing on letters “H” through “P”. In addition to this, 1st Grade also played the following keyboarding games which they can play online at home too:

March also brought World Math Day which is an International event with students from around the world competing against one another in mental math games to try to set a world record for the most correct math answers in a 2 day period – 2 days because the event ran during the time that it was March 4, 2009 anywhere in the world. 1st Grade participated in this event on March 5th and helped add 953 correct math answers to the world record. Here are just a few statistics from World Math Day:

  • 204 Countries represented
  • 12,647 Cities/Towns participating
  • 38,058 Schools participating
  • 1,952,879 Students participating
  • 452,682,682 Questions correctly answered

In celebration of St. Patrick’s Day, 1st Grade did a project about rainbows. They first watched an online book about how rainbows are formed and then each 1st Grader created Rainbow Alphabets in Microsoft Excel. This helped them to learn about rows, columns and cells and a little bit about formatting in Excel. The Rainbow Alphabets have been printed and sent home.

To celebrate Easter, 1st Grade first brainstormed ideas about Easter and we used an online tool called Wordle to create a picture of their ideas:

Wordle: 1st Grade Easter

After creating the Wordle, each 1st grader then drew an Easter picture in KidPix. These will be shared online soon.

In addition to everything else, 1st Grade also worked in Jumpstart 1st Grade this month.

Computer Lab News: Weeks 21-29 – Kindergarten

Kindergarten has had a busy February and March in the Computer Lab. They continued with their Adventures in Keyboarding focusing on words starting with the letters “H” through “O”.

We have been trying to work on things in the lab that correlate with the Kindergarten curriculum. February started off with lessons about the ocean and all of the Kindergarten students drawing pictures of the ocean in KidPix. These were on display in the lab at Open House and have been sent home with your students. They all did a terrific job drawing their ocean floor and the ocean and adding habitat animals. After our ocean adventures, we moved on to learning more about dinosaurs by putting dinosaurs in order by size and then drawing our very own dinosaur picture using Drawing For Children. This is a free drawing program for children that you could download and use at home if you have a PC at home. After drawing their dinosaur pictures, each student completed a Dinosaur Book in Powerpoint that worked on some math concepts as well as starting to teach them how to add clipart and images to Powerpoint presentations. The finished Dinosaur Books will be printed and sent home after Easter break and will also be shared online.

The dinosaur activities took us in to March where we talked about the life cycle of butterflies and created our own butterfly life cycle picture on a website called Kerpoof. We have special student logins for this at school but your student can play on this at home too. You can join for a fee or just use the tools without joining for free! The butterfly life cycle pictures have been sent home. I hope that you had a chance to look at them.

In the last class before Easter break, each Kindergarten student drew an Easter picture in KidPix. These will be shared online.

In addition to all the rest, Kindergarten also used the educational software program Sammy’s Science House and worked on their literacy skills at Starfall and played and learned about the life in the Great North and the Inuit people at Wumpa’s World.

Computer Lab News: Weeks 17-20

Wow, it’s February already and here’s what we did in the lab during January!

KINDERGARTEN: Kindergarten worked on learning more letters on the keyboard focusing on the letters “E” through “G” this month. Kindergarten once again concentrated on all things winter and the Winter Wonderland Project. The students watched some of the videos created by other schools involved with this project and they had fun seeing the pictures and singing along to the songs. For their contributions to the project this month, each Kindergarten student created a Penguin Glyph and completed a Penguin Math Book. You can see the finished projects on Kindergarten’s Winter Wonderland page. The book My Brother Loved Snowflakes was read to Kindergarten and they are currently creating their own snowflakes using KidPix in tribute to Wilson Bentley.

1ST GRADE: 1st Grade also spent most of their time this month working on winter things for the Winter Wonderland Project. The students watched some of the videos created by other schools involved with this project and dictated comments to be left for the other schools which were posted on the project wiki. For their contributions to the project this month, each 1st Grade student created a Penguin Glyph and completed a Penguin Math Book. These will be added to 1st Grade’s Winter Wonderland page very soon. 1st Grade also enjoyed the book My Brother Loved Snowflakes and drew their very own snowflakes in KidPix. In addition to the winter projects, 1st Grade also continued to work on their Adventures in Keyboaring completing letters “E” throught “G” this month.

2ND GRADE: The Winter Wonderland Project was also the focus for 2nd Grade this month. They started off the month by reading the Lookybook Penguins Everywhere. Then, they too completed Penguin Glyphs. In addition to just creating the glyph according to the directions, 2nd Grade learned how to rotate items in PowerPoint and to add clipart to their completed glyph. Each 2nd grader was assigned a type of penguin and had to find out how tall the penguin is, how much they weigh and what they eat and add this information to their glyph. You can see the completed glyphs and penguin information on 2nd Grade’s Winter Wonderland page. 2nd Grade is finishing up the Penguin Math Books this coming week and those will be shared once they are complete.

3RD GRADE: 3rd Grade also watched and commented on videos done by other schools in the Winter Wonderland Project and completed Penguin Glyphs. 3rd Grade also reviewed how to rotate items in PowerPoint and how to add clipart to their completed glyph. Each 3rd grader also included information about their assigned type of penguin on their glyph. This will be shared on 3rd Grade’s Winter Wonderland page very soon. 3rd Grade has also joined another collaborative project, The Monster Project. As an introduction to this project, 3rd Grade watched a video about adjectives and listened to the book, Many Luscious Lollipops. After reviewing what an adjective is, 3rd grade then created an Adjective Web about their favorite food.

4TH GRADE: 4th Grade began the new year by checking out who had taken their Christmas Tongue Twister challenges and then they listened to and commented on the December Voices of the World projects from the other schools. St. Martin’s was in charge of the January Voices of the World project and we had fun making our video of the song Make New Friends. You can check it out on our Voices of the World page. We can’t wait to see what the other schools do with this. Since January was a short month due to the winter break some of the schools are still working on this. 4th Grade isn’t involved with the Winter Wonderland Project since this is a K-3 project but they did spend some time working on projects inspired by this project. Wilson Bentley was introduced to 4th Grade through the book Snowflake Bentley. After this was read, 4th Grade used a template in PowerPoint to create a timeline of Bentley’s life and decorated it with appropriate clip art. 4th Grade then used PhotoFiltre to digitally alter Wilson Bentley’s snowflake images in the style of Rick Doble. The cinquain style of poetry was then reviewed and 4th grade created a slide in PowerPoint which contained their snowflake image(s) and a cinquain poem that they wrote about snow or winter or Wilson Bentley. They learned how to record in PowerPoint and they recorded themselves reciting their poem. A show of all of their snowflakes and poems will be coming soon.

5TH GRADE: Ask your 5th Grader about GMT or UTC and they should know what those are and be able to tell you the difference between California time and GMT. This month in computers was all about time for 5th Grade as they began working on the Time Zone Experiences project. 5th Grade started out the month with an introduction to the project and to Greenwich Mean Time. They were also introduced to how to edit a wiki and what a “wiki war” is. After taking a short quiz about time and a survey about when they go to bed and wake up, each 5th Grade student was assigned a Greenwich Mean Time. They have been working on editing our  wiki to add information about what time that is in California time and what St. Martin’s 5th Graders would normally be doing at that time of day. They are also using KidPix to draw a picture about what would normally be happening at that time and are adding that to their page on the wiki too. You can watch our progress on our Time Zone Experiences page. Once they have finished their pages on our wiki, they will be updating the Time Zone Experiences project with their information too.

6TH GRADE: Just before the Christmas break, 6th Grade began working on a research project about Christmas Around The World. Each student was assigned a country and had to make an outline in Microsoft Word about what Christmas is like in that country. They then created a PowerPoint presentation from their outline and used that information to create visual slides about Christmas in their country. Once their slides were complete, they narrated each slide. After their presentation was complete, they uploaded it to St. Martin’s account at Slideboom and then added their Slideboom presentation to our Christmas Around The World page. This project meant learning a lot of new skills and reviewing some previously learned: Outlining in Word, Creating a PowerPoint presentation from a Word outline, Recording narration on a slide, Making a sound play automatically on a slide, Transitioning slides, Uploading to Slideboom, Editing a Wiki. There a still a few students that haven’t quite finished but most of the completed presentations are available on our Christmas Around The World page. In addition to this project, 6th Grade also worked on their January Reflections for the A Room With a View project and reviewed some of the other school’s pictures and comments in this project.

7TH GRADE: 7th Grade spent the first week of the month completing their Human Genetics Final Reports an Cyber Bullying Glogs if those were not done. On Inauguration Day, 7th Grade watched a Dateline NBC video called Hope, Change & Symbolism and discussed how far the country has come. They also discussed what they thought the themes of President Obama’s Inauguration Speech was. The format of a formal letter was reviewed and then each student wrote a letter to the President. These have been mailed for any student that wanted their letter sent to the President. 7th Grade ended the month working on a project inspired by the Winter Wonderland Project. The book Snowflake Bentley was read to introduce 7th Grade to Wilson Bentley and then 7th Grade used Excel to create an illustrated timeline of Wilson Bentley’s life. After the timeline was complete, they then used PhotoFiltre to digitally alter Wilson Bentley’s snowflake images in the style of Rick Doble. Two styles of poetry were reviewed, cinquain and haiku, after which 7th Grade created a slide in PowerPoint which contained their snowflake image(s) and a poem that they wrote about snow or winter or Wilson Bentley. They learned how to record in PowerPoint and they recorded themselves reciting their poem. A show of all of their snowflakes and poems will be coming soon.

8TH GRADE: On Inauguration Day, 8th Grade also watched the Dateline NBC video called Hope, Change & Symbolism and discussed how far the country has come and what they thought the themes of President Obama’s Inauguration Speech was. The format of a formal letter was reviewed and then each student wrote a letter to the President. These have been mailed for any student that wanted their letter sent to the President. The rest of the month has been spent writing scripts for the first Social Studies podcast. The segments of this are currently being recorded and will be shared very soon.