A Fun Thanksgiving Activity

There was quite a bit of buzz this year on social media about doing activities around the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade. At St. Martin’s Kindergarten, 3rd Grade, and 5th Grade joined this bandwagon. All three grade levels, learned a little about the history of the parade by listening to the book Balloons Over Broadway by Melissa Sweet.

Students then created their own version of a parade balloon using Tux Paint (in Kindergarten and 3rd Grade) or Pinta (in 5th Grade). When they were done, Mrs. Sedgwick removed the background from the Tux Paint images and then created a showcase of the balloons in Google Slides.

Next year, we’re thinking about doing a Thanksgiving robot parade with real balloons!

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!

Good Things Come to Those Who Wait

It’s typical that things always take longer than expected in the Computer Lab. Take absent students, students learning to log-in to Google Apps, students learning to use the mouse, and more and you have delays in getting things done. The What’s Best About St. Martin’s presentation is no exception. It’s been a lot of fun watching students work on their slide. Their reactions when they realize that they can see where their classmates are working have been priceless.

Here’s a sneak peek at a few of the slides. Fingers crossed that this will be finished this coming week!

Sneak Peek!

2014-15 Beginning of the Year Projects

Each year, one of the very first projects that all K-8 students complete is drawing a self-portrait. It is really fun to track their progress and see what amazing artists they become as the years go by. Kindergarten hasn’t started this yet because they’re still practicing mouse skills and are learning to use the Tux Paint tools with an International Dot Day picture. Kindergarten through 3rd grade use Tux Paint to draw their portraits while 4th through 8th grades use a more sophisticated graphics program, Paint.NET, that allows for layers and other more advanced graphics editing.

Here are a few samples from 1st grade, 2nd grade, 3rd grade, 7th grade and 8th grade. Other students are still working on their portraits and we’ll be sharing all of them in a fun slideshow once they’re completed!

2014 Self Portrait Samples

Here’s what Kindergarten has started for International Dot Day. Using the mouse is still very new to most of them and they just used Tux Paint for the very first time today! Once their Dot Day pictures are created, they’ll start on their self-portraits!

Dot Day 2014 - Just 2!

This Week in the Computer Lab – Week Ending: 9/13/2013

Here’s a quick recap of what happened in the lab this week:

  • Mousing Around (Kindergarten)
  • Drew self-portraits using Tux Paint (3rd grade and under) and Paint.NET (4th grade and up)
    These will be showing up on Class Blogs and student Google Sites in a few weeks!
  • Celebrated International Dot Day (Kindergarten, 2nd & 3rd – more Dot Day fun to come next week!)
    Dots will be shared once they’re all done!
  • Keyboarding Speed Tests (4th grade and up when finished with self-portraits)

The results of this year’s Technology Survey of St. Martin’s 4th-8th grade students are in! All but one of our 4th-8th graders has a computer they can use to complete homework but five students don’t have printers if they need to print their work. Even the one student that doesn’t have access to a computer for homework does have access to other electronic devices with Internet access. Here’s a recap of the results!

What Electronic Devices do you OWN?

  • 52% own an iPad or other Tablet Device
  • 45% own a Laptop or Netbook
  • 45% own an iPod Touch
  • 34% own a Smart Phone
  • 24% own a Desktop Computer

What Electronic Devices do other members of your family own that you can use?

  • Laptop or Netbook – 66%
  • Desktop Computer – 59%
  • iPad or other Tablet Device – 59%
  • Smart Phone – 52%
  • iPod Touch – 38%

What Gaming Systems do you or other members of your family own that you use?

  • Wii – 59%
  • Nintendo DS – 45%
  • Xbox – 41%
  • Playstation – 41%
  • Other handheld gaming systems – 4%

Cell Phones – 59% of our 4th-8th Graders own a cell phone; 28% of them have data plans and another 31% use their phones to access the Internet via WiFi. How much do they text using phones & other devices that allow texting like the iPod Touch?

  • No texting – 24%
  • Less than 25 text sent per week – 28%
  • 26-100 texts per week – 14%
  • 100-400 texts per week – 17%
  • Over 500 texts sent per week – 17%

Internet Access – 100% of our students have some kind of Internet Access at home. 69% of our students can access the Internet anytime they want even without asking permission first and that same percentage use the Internet in their room. 90% can use the Internet without adult supervision. Here’s what our students use the Internet for:


Other is mainly watching but not posting videos.

Time Spent on the Internet or Gaming at home each week:

  • An hour or less – 24%
  • 1-2 hours – 14%
  • 2-4 hours – 14%
  • 4-6 hours – 21%
  • 6-8 hours – 14%
  • Over 8 hours – 14%

What do you think of these results? Did any of them surprise you? We’re planning a parent night to discuss responsible Internet use later this year. Let me know if you would like to attend.