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Monthly Archives: July 2011

Weekend Websites #58: 12 Music Websites for the Non-Geeks in Your Class

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.

[caption id="attachment_5632" align="aligncenter" width="611" caption="Click image; click a square to create music--lovely!"][/caption]


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Categories: Music, Websites | Tags: | 2 Comments

Weekend Websites #57: 28 Websites to Teach Tech to Kindergarten-First Grade

The moment students start using the computer, they need to create good habits. That includes not only posture and hand position, but internet use, In my class, that starts in kindergarten. Students need to understand the pros and cons of computer basics, the dangers and benefits of websites, and the right way to use both (they’re not just for games).

Here’s a list of websites I use with my kindergarten and first graders to both introduce them to the computer (and all of its parts) and start them on the right way to surf the internet. I start with internet basics and mouse skills at the beginning of the year and spend the remaining months working through the rest. By second grade, they’re ready for more advanced skills: (more…)

Categories: 1st, Computer skills, Kindergarten, Mouse skills, Websites | Tags: | 3 Comments

Are you as Tech-Smart as a Fifth Grader?

I’ve been teaching technology to kindergarten through eighth graders for almost fifteen years. Parents and colleagues are constantly amazed that I can get the

[caption id="attachment_5684" align="alignright" width="289" caption="Are you puzzling how to teach problem solving to students? Read on"]puzzling[/caption]

littlest learners to pay attention, remember, and have fun with the skills that are required to grow into competent, enthusiastic examples of the Web 2.0 generation.

I have a confession to make: It’s not as hard as it looks. Sure, those first few kindergarten months, when they don’t know what the words enter and backspace mean, nor the difference between the keyboard and headphones, and don’t understand why they can’t grab their neighbor’s headphones or bang on their keyboard, I do rethink my chosen field. But that passes. By January, every parent tour that passes through my classroom thinks I’m a magician.

What’s my secret? I teach every child to be a problem solver. If their computer doesn’t work, I have them fix it (what’s wrong with it? What did you do last time? Have you tried…?) If they can’t remember how to do something, I prod them (Think back to the instructions. What did you do last week? See that tool—does that look like it would help?) I insist they learn those geek words that are tech terminology (There’s no such thing as earphones. Do you mean headphones? I don’t understand when you point. Do you mean the cursor?) No matter how many hands are waving in my face, I do not take a student’s mouse in my hand and do for them, nor will I allow parent helpers to do this (that is a bigger challenge than the students. Parents are used to doing-for. They think I’m mean when I won’t—until they’ve spent a class period walking my floorboards.). I guide students to an answer. I am patient even when I don’t feel it inside. My goal is process, not product. (more…)

Categories: 5th Grade, Humor, Teacher resources, Tech tips | Leave a comment

Don’t Miss This Westward Expansion Website

Animated Atlas–what a great site! A video of America’s westward expansion, summarized into ten minutes. Covers all of the high points with graphics, sound and animation. Sure to grab third and fourth graders studying US history.

[caption id="attachment_1737" align="aligncenter" width="450"]Westward Expansion AnimatedAtlas.com[/caption]
  • Timeline at the bottom progresses with the map
  • Major events are noted at the top
  • States are interactive throughout the video

(more…)

Categories: 3rd Grade, 4th Grade, History, Lesson plans, Websites | Leave a comment

Book Review: Fifth GradeTechnology

Fifth Grade Technology: 32 Lessons Every Fifth Grader Can Accomplish on a ComputerFifth Grade Technology: 32 Lessons Every Fifth Grader Can Accomplish on a Computer

by Structured Learning Technology Team

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is the Fourth Edition, updated to MS Office 2007/10. It includes many more samples, reproducibles, Web 2.0 connections and how-to’s that are age-appropriate for a second grader. At 133 pages, it’s much more like a tech lab-in-a-binder than a mere 32 projects. The Amazon blurb says it all:

The six-volume Structured Learning Technology Curriculum (Fourth Edition, 2011) is the all-in-one solution to running an effective, efficient, and fun technology program whether you’re the lab specialist, IT coordinator, classroom teacher, or homeschooler, and is the current choice of hundreds of school districts across the country. Newly updated and expanded, each volume now includes step-by-step directions for a year’s worth of projects, samples, grading rubrics, reproducibles, wall posters, teaching ideas and hundreds of online connections to access enrichment material and updates from a working technology lab. Aligned with ISTE national technology standards, the curriculum follows a tested timeline of which skill to introduce when, starting with mouse skills, keyboarding, computer basics, and internet/Web 2.0 tools in Kindergarten/First; MS Word, Publisher, Excel, PowerPoint, Google Earth, internet research, email and Photoshop in Second-Fifth. Each activity is integrated with classroom units in history, science, math, literature, reading, writing, critical thinking and more. Whether you’re an experienced tech teacher or brand new to the job, you’ll appreciate the hundreds of embedded links that enable you to stay on top of current technology thinking and get help from active technology teachers using the program. Additional items included in each volume are wall posters to explain basic concepts, suggestions for keyboarding standards, discussion of how to integrate Web 2.0 tools into the classroom curriculum and the dozens of online websites to support classroom subjects. (more…)

Categories: 5th Grade, Classroom management, Lesson plans | Tags: , | Leave a comment

#40: Wonders of Google Earth

Students create their own tour on Google Earth using locations selected by the classroom teacher. They add the locations to Google Earth, add a fact about it and turn it into a tour.

[gallery columns="2" ids="44486,44485,44487,44484"]

 

 

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Categories: 4th Grade, 5th Grade, Geography, Google, History, Lesson plans, Teacher resources | Tags: | Leave a comment

Weekend Websites #56: 23 Websites to Support Math Automaticity in K-5

This is the time of year when teachers worry about math facts and the automaticity of math skills. The following websites focus solely on that facet of math. I’ve broken them down by grade level, but you can decide if your second graders are precocious enough to try the websites for grades 3-5:

K

1st

2nd

Categories: 1st, 2nd, 3rd Grade, 4th Grade, 5th Grade, Kindergarten, Math, Reviews | Tags: | 2 Comments

Weekend Website #55: Science for Fifth Graders

This list covers all sorts of science from nature to geology. Like with the math websites, for my students, occasionally I put a list on the internet start page and let students go there during sponge time (click the link and see what’s up this month, so close to the end of the school year):

  1. Breathing earth–the environment
  2. Dynamic Earth–interactive
  3. Earth Science Digital Library
  4. Electric Circuits Game
  5. Forest Life
  6. Forests
  7. Geologic history
  8. Geologic movies–great and fun
  9. Human Body Games
  10. Moon around
  11. Moon—We Choose the Moon (more…)
Categories: 5th Grade, Reviews, Science, Web Tools, Websites | Tags: | Leave a comment

About Me

welcomeclipart9Hi all!Thanks for dropping by my blog. I am the technology teacher among our group of WordDream bloggers at a Southern California elementary school. We start with KidPix and keyboarding in kindergarten and finish off with Photoshop and wikis by the end of fifth Grade. Over the years, I’ve taught thousands of students and loved every minute of it. There’s nothing more exhilarating than to be let loose on the savannas of the internet with a toolkit chock full of technology skills. Feel free to visit my teacher blog, my classroom wiki (remember: wikis are created and maintained by the students) and my tech start page. (more…)

Categories: Teacher resources | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Book Review: Third Grade Technology–32 Lessons

Third Grade Technology: 32 Lessons Every Third Grader Can Accomplish on a ComputerThird Grade Technology: 32 Lessons Every Third Grader Can Accomplish on a Computer

by Structured Learning

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is the Fourth Edition, updated to MS Office 2007/10. It includes many more samples, reproducibles, Web 2.0 connections and how-to’s that are age-appropriate for a second grader. At 126 pages, it’s much more like a tech lab-in-a-binder than a mere 32 projects. The Amazon blurb says it all:

The six-volume Structured Learning Technology Curriculum (Fourth Edition, 2011) is the all-in-one solution to running an effective, efficient, and fun technology program whether you’re the lab specialist, IT coordinator, classroom teacher, or homeschooler, and is the current choice of hundreds of school districts across the country. Newly updated and expanded, each volume now includes step-by-step directions for a year’s worth of projects, samples, grading rubrics, reproducibles, wall posters, teaching ideas and hundreds of online connections to access enrichment material and updates from a working technology lab. Aligned with ISTE national technology standards, the curriculum follows a tested timeline of which skill to introduce when, starting with mouse skills, keyboarding, computer basics, and internet/Web 2.0 tools in Kindergarten/First; MS Word, Publisher, Excel, PowerPoint, Google Earth, internet research, email and Photoshop in Second-Fifth. Each activity is integrated with classroom units in history, science, math, literature, reading, writing, critical thinking and more. Whether you’re an experienced tech teacher or brand new to the job, you’ll appreciate the hundreds of embedded links that enable you to stay on top of current technology thinking and get help from active technology teachers using the program. Additional items included in each volume are wall posters to explain basic concepts, suggestions for keyboarding standards, discussion of how to integrate Web 2.0 tools into the classroom curriculum and the dozens of online websites to support classroom subjects.

For a limited time, if you send a proof of purchase for the print textbook to the publisher at sales@structuredlearning.net, you can buy a discounted pdf of the book. (more…)

Categories: 3rd Grade, Teacher resources | Tags: , | Leave a comment