Working on shared documents can be fun and challenging as students learn how to work for a common goal using Google Apps. Recently, students in fourth and fifth grades finished making Infographics about a country they studied in small groups using Google Drawings. Now, fifth graders are working in pairs on If Then Adventure Stories that have different paths and endings in Google Slides. Collaborating on shared documents is very social and successful group work is as much about the process as the product.
Ms. Michelle Bisson
- Computer Teacher
- Welcome! The goal of the 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 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-8 Computer
Lately, the computer lab has been a hub of research as students learn how to investigate people, places and animals online. In the lower grades, students choose an animal to research for a report using the National Geographic Kids and San Diego Zoo Kids websites. In third grade, students choose a person they admire for a biography slideshow and use kid-friendly search engines like Kiddle and Dukster. In the fourth and fifth grades, students complete a research Infographic on a country using the CRS Ricebowl website and Google Explore tool (with safe search). The Explore Tool is in the lower right corner of any Google Doc, Slide, or Sheet and enables students to search online without leaving their document.
One of my favorite times in the lab is Engineering Week (Feb 17-22). This is an opportunity to bring engineering to life for students though hands-on and computer activities. We will use BBC Microbits and Edison robots in the upper grades and Bee-Bot/Blue-Bot robots in the lower grades along with online resources. Below are a few photos so far and some resources we are using for engineering.
One of my favorite activities during the Hour of Code is pair programming because students learn how to take turns coding as the driver (uses the mouse and keyboard) and the navigator (directs the driver). It’s great to see students working together to solve problems!
This week, 3rd grade made Thanksgiving Word Clouds in computer class. Students created a list of words about Thanksgiving in MS Word and practiced using keyboard commands to select all (A), copy (C) and paste (V) to put their list into a word cloud generator. Below is an example of one of their colorful creations.
Students in K-5 Technology have been working on a variety of class projects this month including: slide shows, books, comics and posters.
- Kindergarten made ABC Books in Pixie
- 1st Grade made Name Poems in Pixie
- 2nd Grade completed Halloween Counting Books in Pixie
- 3rd Grade made Internet Safety Comics in Comic Life
- 4th Graders are completing Digital Citizenship Posters in Google Drawings
- 5th Graders are finishing slideshows about how to be Internet Awesome in Google Slides
This year, in addition to the Common Sense Media curriculum we will also be using Google’s new Be Internet Awesome lessons and Interland games to teach students how to be “Smart, Alert, Strong, Kind and Brave” online. Google has partnered with iKeep Safe to create this curriculum and it couldn’t have come at a better time. Common Sense Media’s Digital Passport is still being updated and is not available yet so we look forward to using Interland to kick off our internet safety unit.
After a long summer break is a great time to review computer lab rules and practice our keyboarding. Using a variety of resources for each grade for example ABCya’s Keyboard Zoo for K-1st grades, Dance Mat Typing in 2nd grade and Typing.com in 3rd-5th grades students get reacquainted with the home row keys. Next, we will begin our unit on Internet Safety & Digital Citizenship using Common Sense Media and other resources (more on this to follow).
Google Earth is a powerful tool that gives students the ability to explore their world from different view points. In K-5 Computers we recently used Google Earth in the lower grades to navigate and take screen shots of our country, state, city, and school. In the upper grades, students learned how to enter latitude and longitude coordinates to find state capitals or go on a virtual safari. Exploring far away places using the new voyager tool in Google Earth was also a class favorite.
The K-8 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 beginning in the 4th Grade. 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 eighth grade.
- Touch Typing understand home row and increase typing speed and accuracy with a goal of 35 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.
- Creative Publishing 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-8 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, 6th Grade: 30 WPM, 7th-8th Grades: 35 WPM) . Below are a few suggested websites for typing practice and a link to the Middle School Homework page.
Middle School Homework Page
Dance Mat Typing (K-2nd Grades)
Typing.com (3rd-8th Grades)
Typing Club (3rd -8th Grades)
Below are some of the many resources we use in K-8 Technology Class for you to explore.
Catholic Teacher Network (CTN):
BrainPop (4th-8th Grades)
BrainPop Jr. (K-3rd Grades)
Mathletics (K-8th Grades)
Razkids (K-3rd Grades)
Dance Mat Typing (K-2nd Grade)
Typing.com (3rd-8th Grades)
Common Sense Media Curriculum (K-8th Grades)
Be Internet Awesome (5th-8th Grades)
Digital Passport (3rd-5th Grades)
Google Apps for Education (4th Grade & Up)
Applied Digital Skills (6th-8th Grades)
Introduction to Coding:
CODE.org (K-8th Grades)
MIT Scratch (K-8th Grades)
CS First (6th-8th)