This quarter the theme of Coding Club is, “Code. Make. Create”. We are having fun coding a lot of different things including: MakeyMakey, Edison Robots, Scratch games and more. I’ve added a few images from the club here to share what we’ve been up to.
Ms. Michelle Bisson
- K-5 Computer Teacher
- Welcome! The goal of the K-5 technology program at NDV is to equip students with skills that support lifelong learning and digital literacy. Starting with a foundation in essentials like keyboarding and online safety the K-5 technology program also uses tools that promote creativity and collaboration. Students are encouraged to think critically and work together to solve problems. Coding is introduced during Computer Science Education Week and our Coding Club provides students with additional opportunities to learn to code after school. Please feel free to email me with any questions.
- Email email@example.com
What's Happening in K-5 Computer
During the first quarter we spend time reviewing Digital Citizenship rules and guidelines in class with Common Sense Media. Students learn about Internet Safety, Privacy, Communication, Cyberbulling, and Digital Reputation while playing Digital Passport educational games. Students earn badges as they complete activities and share what they learned at the end of the unit in a poster activity. Students in 4th and 5th grades collaborate on shared documents in Google Classroom and complete comic posters about Internet Safety and publish them in the lab in time for Digital Citizenship Week (Oct. 16-20).
Welcome back! Over the summer updates were made to many of the websites we use in class. Code.org came out with a new Computer Science Fundamentals course and Brainpop added new creative coding projects. Our favorite little robot Meet Edison came out with a new block-based language EdBlocks to use in class or for coding clubs. Common Sense Media added more videos for parents, teachers and students that we can watch for online safety tips. Finally, from the makers of TypingTest.com is new typing program that is ad free for 2017 called TypeTastic.com that we will try out this year for typing practice. Looking forward to a great year!
In K-5 Computer class at the end of the year we studied 3D design. In the lower grades students learned about 3D shapes using KidPix 3D and in the upper grades students made 3D houses using the program Lego Digital Designer. Designing in 3D with Digital Designer is challenging and at first students almost gave up but once they learned how to use the tools it was hard to get them out of the lab! Some students were so into building in 3D that they worked on it at home too (see example below). Students had to measure and use their creativity and problem solving skills in this activity. I look forward to doing more 3D projects in class next year. Have a great summer!
Fourth and fifth grades recently finished making infographics in Technology Class. An infographic is an image that includes charts, diagrams and symbols to represent information. Students first learned about what to include and how to search for symbols, maps, charts, etc. Next, they researched one of the five countries (or Hawaii) that CRS Rice Bowl is helping this year and created an infographic in teams using Google Drawing. Teams also included one fact about how CRS is helping their country from reading and watching videos on the CRS website. Their projects are now posted on the wall in the computer lab if you would like to check them out.
This week, Feb. 19th-25th is National Engineers Week. Like Computer Science Education Week the goal is to raise student’s awareness and interest in STEM careers but this time the focus is on engineering.
Here are a few resources for the week:
Once a year, the K-8 Technology Teachers in the SF Archdiocese get together for a day of Professional Development. This year, it was at St. Gabriel School and I was asked to present on Educational Robots. Over the years at NDV teachers have used a variety of robots including BeeBots in Kindergarten, Sphero in First Grade, Dot and Dash in Second Grade and Lego EV3 Robots in Middle School. This year, we added 10 Edison Robots for grades 3rd-and up. I did a presentation on Edison and brought some robots and Lego’s for the teachers to try out. I also attended sessions including one on Maker Spaces and I got to play with breadboards and Arduino robots too.
NDV students are working and playing hard preparing for Computer Science Education Week December 5th -11th. Once again, our school will host an Hour of Code. An Hour of Code is an international celebration of Computer Science sponsored by Code.org a non-profit dedicated to expanding student participation in computer science. This event may only last an hour but we dedicate a month of study to coding starting today.
Below are some of the resources we use for coding.
It’s not the most popular activity but keyboarding is still one of the most important skills students learn in K-5 computer class. What many people don’t know is that keyboarding is also in the Common Core Standards for English Language Arts. I found this blog post by an English teacher, Keyboarding Skills and the Common Core helpful in understanding more about how keyboarding is embedded in the standards and thought I would share it.
Here are a few student creations from Coding with Robots last week. These robots have arms that can swing and hit a ball they can also move forward and backward. Students worked in pairs and made their robots by stacking two Edison robots together. They used Legos to attach them and to make their own designs. Students also learned how to control their robots by programming remote controls and learned how infrared remotes work.
The K-5 Technology Curriculum is based on the ISTE Technology Standards as well as NDV Schoolwide Learning Expectations. Classes meet weekly in the NDV Computer Lab. At the beginning of the year, students review device basics, practice keyboarding and deepen their understanding of Internet safety guidelines. As the year progresses students work on projects coordinated with their core subjects using a variety of tools including the MS Office Suite. In the forth grade students have a school email account available to them and Google Apps are taught in the forth and fifth grades. Additional online resources are available to students through the Catholic Teachers Resource Network including: Mathletics, BrainPop & BrainPop Jr., RazKids, Learn360 and Into Science.
Below is an overview of skills that students will learn and examples of what they should be able to do by the end of fifth grade.
- Touch Typing understand home row and increase typing speed and accuracy with a goal of 25 wpm by the fifth grade.
- Digital Citizenship learn how to be safe and responsible online using the Common Sense Media Digital Citizenship Curriculum.
- Device Basics know the parts of a computer, how to login to a computer, create a document, save a document, and use standard keyboard commands.
- Internet Research effectively use key words, evaluate resources, and begin to cite sources in research projects.
- Multimedia Presentations use a variety of tools to communicate effectively for example create a presentation about a historical figure using images, text, sound and animations.
- Google Apps for Education become familiar with Google Doc’s, Slides, Sheets, and Drawings and learn to work collaboratively on shared documents.
- Introduction to Coding students learn visual block programming languages with resources from Code.org and MIT Scratch.
Assignments are typically completed in class in K-5 Technology but I encourage students to practice their keyboarding skills at home so they can reach their grade-level goals (3rd Grade: 15 WPM , 4th Grade: 20 WPM, and 5th Grade: 25 WPM). Below are a few suggested websites for typing practice.
Dance Mat Typing (K-2nd Grades)
Typing.com (3rd-5th Grades)
Typing Club (3rd -5th Grades)
Below are some of the many resources we use in K-5 Technology Class for you to explore.
Catholic Teacher Network (CTN):
BrainPop (4th-5th Grades)
BrainPop Jr. (K-3rd Grades)
Mathletics (K-5th Grades)
Razkids (K-3rd Grades)
Dance Mat Typing (K-2nd Grade)
Typing.com (3rd-5th Grades)
Typing Club (3rd Grade & Up)
Common Sense Media Curriculum (K-5th Grades)
Digital Passport (3rd-5th Grades)
Google Apps for Education (4th Grade & Up)
Introduction to Coding:
CODE (K-5th Grades)
MIT Scratch (K-5th Grades)
Tynker (K-2nd Grades)