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Yearly Archives: 2011

Weekend Website #76: 46 Math Websites for Tech Integrated Classrooms

Here’s a long list of math websites geared to fourth and fifth grade. I put them on my class internet start page and let kids pick during sponge time–those five-ten minutes between ending a project and starting a new one.

  1. A Plus Math
  2. Adding Decimals
  3. Alien Addition
  4. Angles
  5. Arithmattack
  6. Build a bug math game
  7. Count us in—variety of math practice
  8. Estimating
  9. Flashcards only (more…)
Categories: 3rd Grade, 4th Grade, 5th Grade, Math, Websites | Tags: | Leave a comment

Tech Tip #64: Reset Default Font

tech tipsIn my fifteen years of teaching and tutoring tech, I’ve seen everything–and come up with solutions for most of it. I’ll share those with you. My goal: That students (of all ages) feel empowered not frightened by technology, that it is fun not frustrating. These tips will get you there with you and your kids.

Q: If you’re like me, you don’t like MS Office 2007 or 2010’s default font of Calibri, size 11 with a double space between paragraphs. Here’s how you fix that: (more…)

Categories: 8th grade, Tech tips, Word processing | Leave a comment

Monday Freebies #25: Intro to PowerPoint–with KidPix Pictures

Drawings are done in KidPix. Assign topics (me, my family, etc) for grades K-1 to reinforce the concept of following directions. With 2nd grade, use one picture for each of the parts of a story—characters, plot, setting, climax/resolution.  Mix pictures and text. Students can show these to parents at Open House or a parent night using Windows slideshow function (something they can do without assistance after a bit of practice)

(more…)

Categories: 1st, 2nd, Kindergarten, Lesson plans, Slideshows | Tags: | Leave a comment

Weekend Website #80: Sponges for Classroom–by topic

Every Friday, I’ll send you a wonderful website (or more) that my classes and my parents love. I think you’ll find they’ll be a favorite of your students as they are of mine.

Age:

K-5

Topic:

Websites to fill in that 5-10 minutes between topic, before lunch or whenever you need filler that’s educational, but brief.

Review:

Here’s a list of websites that can insure you waste no time in your classroom. I have 51 websites that are general, and 22 that are divided into Vocabulary, Geography, History and Art. This is an update of the old-style puzzles or paper sponges to educational fillers that will truly engage students and have them thirsting for more, even when the sponge time ends.

(more…)

Categories: 1st, 2nd, 3rd Grade, 4th Grade, 5th Grade, Classroom management, Kindergarten, Websites | Tags: , | Leave a comment

What Should You Include on a Younger Child’s Computer

Are you planning to get  your child(ren) a computer for Christmas or Hanukkah? Here are some suggestions from one who’s worked with thousands of younger children. In a nutshell: Keep it simple.

[caption id="attachment_2255" align="alignright" width="322"]young child computer What should you include on a young child’s computer?[/caption]

What Should You Include on a Younger Child’s Computer

This is a question I get from parents all the time, with the addendum: At what age does a child need a computer at home, and what should be included? Most parents want to get what their child needs as affordably as possible, but they don’t want to save a few bucks at the expense of their child. If that sounds like you, here are my suggestions:

  1. Start by talking to the classroom teacher. What are their expectations of the child? If they’re like the ones in my school, they will want him/her to have access to basic software and the internet for research, maybe email. That’s it.
  2. You’re wondering whether a desktop is good for your child, or do they need a laptop? There are lots of reasons why a laptop might be a good decision for your particular family dynamics, but in general terms, a desktop is fine for a younger child (K-5). They don’t need to take it to friend’s house for group projects much until they reach middle school, and I would not suggest gearing a more-expensive laptop decision around an occasional project. I guarantee, the teacher won’t.
  3. There are other reasons why a desktop is a good decision. It is more durable (it isn’t carried around, so can’t be dropped). If the monitor breaks, you don’t have to replace the entire computer–just the monitor. Because it’s cheaper, it can be replaced if your child somehow destroys it or part of it (this should be expected of new users). And, a desktop has a larger hard drive, more memory and more drives/ports for input devices. That makes it more adaptable to unexpected needs.
  4. Now you need to select which level of desktop your child requires. Does s/he need the basic $350 on sale version or the everything-in-it upgrade? My suggestion is to start simple. Basic. See what the child uses, what else he needs before making an expensive decision. Most kids are fine with the lower end of productivity. Some, though, want the works. You’ll know by the time you’re ready for an upgrade.

Once you’ve selected laptop vs. desktop computer, here’s what you’ll want to be sure that piece of hardware includes:

(more…)

Categories: 1st, 2nd, 3rd Grade, Parents | Leave a comment

Tech Tip #63: Don’t Like Double Space Between Paragraphs?

tech tipsIn my fifteen years of teaching and tutoring tech, I’ve seen everything–and come up with solutions for all of it. I’ll share those with you. My goal: That students (of all ages) feel empowered not frightened by technology, that it is fun not frustrating. These tips will get you there with you and your kids.

Q: My Word 2010 came with a double space between paragraphs as the default, but I don’t like that. I’ve tried to reset it to single space, but it doesn’t fix it. What do I do?

A: I don’t either. What was Bill Gates thinking? Don’t as many people start a paragraph with a tab indent as a double space between paragraphs?

Now I have to fix that every time I open a Word doc. Here’s how to do it (in Word 2010):

  • Go to Page Layout
  • Go to Paragraph, Spacing
  • Make sure ‘after’ is set to 0–not 10.

To make this the default:

(more…)

Categories: Tech tips, Word processing, Writing | Leave a comment

Monday Freebies #21: Another Holiday Card

This year more than any before, classroom budgets have been cut making it more difficult than ever to equip the education of our children with quality teaching materials. I understand that. I teach K-8. Because of that, I’ve decided to give the lesson plans my publisher sells in the Technology Toolkit (110 Lesson Plans that I use in my classroom to integrate technology into core units of inquiry while insuring a fun, age-appropriate, developmentally-appropriate experience for students) for FREE. To be sure you don’t miss any of these:

…and start each week off with a fully-adaptable K-8 lesson that includes step-by-step directions as well as relevant ISTE national standards, tie-ins, extensions, troubleshooting and more. Eventually, you’ll get the entire Technology Toolkit book. If you can’t wait, you can purchase the curriculum here.

I love giving my material away for free. If everyone did, we would reach true equity in international education.

A Holiday Card

Create a holiday card using Publisher’s templates. Make it simple (don’t edit text, add only one picture) for youngers. Let olders change as much as they wish. Use this lesson to teach youngers about templates and olders about design, and menus. This project is very easy so shows students how fun and simple computers are.

(more…)

Categories: 3rd Grade, 4th Grade, 5th Grade, Freebies/Discounts, Holidays | Tags: | Leave a comment

Weekend Websites #79: 57 Kindergarten Websites That Tie into Classroom Lessons

Every Friday I’ll send you a wonderful website that my classes and my parents love. I think you’ll find they’ll be a favorite of your students as they are of mine.

[caption id="attachment_5559" align="aligncenter" width="614"]kindergarten websites Here’s my internet start page for kindergarten–you’ll see the websites we focused on at the end of this school year[/caption]

(more…)

Categories: Kindergarten, Lesson plans, Websites | Tags: , | Leave a comment

6th Grade Tech Textbook Almost Ready

I received numerous requests for this logical addition to the K-5 series. We’ve collected lots of ideas from 6th grade teachers, checked the details and are now organizing the lessons so they work in your classroom. Once that’s done, we’ll put them into a year-long format that provides sixth graders a student-centered curriculum to move them into the skills they’ll need for middle school education.

If you’d like to be notified when this book is ready, please click the form below and sign up. The publication date looks to be after the new year.

[caption id="attachment_6843" align="aligncenter" width="599"]6th grade technology textbook Coming after the new year[/caption]

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Jacqui Murray is the editor of a technology curriculum for K-fifth grade and creator of two technology training books for middle school. She is the author of Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy midshipman. She is webmaster for five blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, a columnist for Examiner.com, an Editorial Review Board member for Journal for Computing Teachers, an IMS tech expert, and a weekly contributor to Write Anything. Currently, she’s seeking representation for a techno-thriller she just finished. Any ideas? Contact Jacqui at her writing office or her tech lab.

Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Edublogs Nomination: Best EdTech/Resource Sharing Blog

Woah! The list of Edublog 2011 nominees is out. I am surprised and thrilled that our sister blog, Ask a Tech Teacher, has been nominated. I’d love for anyone so inclined to click this link and vote for her. The voting is in the website’s left sidebar. Select:

Best edtech/resource sharing blog 2011

Then select

Ask a Tech Teacher.

Now back to my school report cards…

Follow me


Jacqui Murray is the editor of a technology curriculum for K-fifth grade and creator of two technology training books for middle school. She is the author of Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy midshipman. She is webmaster for five blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, a columnist for Examiner.coman Editorial Review Board member for Journal for Computing Teachers, an IMS tech expert, and a weekly contributor to Write Anything. Currently, she’s seeking representation for a techno-thriller she just finished. Any ideas? Contact Jacqui at her writing office or her tech lab.

Categories: Awards, News, Teacher resources | Leave a comment