20 thoughts on “My Classroom

  1. I am a new media specialist and I am going to be teaching tech courses to students in grades 5-8 this coming fall. My district has changed the format so that 5-8 grade students will only get a technology class once a week. I know this is not ideal and I wish that it was different but it was not my call. What I am wondering about or looking for is a once week format or schedule for teaching keyboarding. Is there a program out there?

    1. Hi Tricia–most teachers do teach keyboarding once a week, with 15-30 minutes of weekly homework to augment the lesson. You can get a once-a-week program here. Check the free download and let me know if you have any questions.

      Have a fun new year!

  2. Hello! I am a new computer teacher at a K-8 school. I taught middle school social studies for 10 years and have lots of enthusiasm for all things EdTech. I’m in need of K-8 lesson plans as I start the new school year. Any help you can provide is greatly appreciated! Thank you!

    1. Hi Robert

      Try this link. It is a complete K-8 curriculum with 32 lesson plans each year. There are downloadable previews as well as online images of the lessons. Alternatively, this link will take you to lesson plans–110 of them. They’re organized by topic and grade, but not meant to be a comprehensive curriculum.

      Or, two topics I teach throughout the year are keyboarding and digital citizenship. Click the links and there are a lot of lesson plans on those. And finally–here are lesson plans on Common Core, organized by grade.

      Did I miss anything?

  3. Hello!
    I am a first time teacher and will be teaching computers to K-8. I can use all the support I can get.
    Thanks in advance!

    1. Please, feel free to browse my blog. I have lots of resources for new teachers you might like.

      If you want more, I teach K-5 classes online (k-3, 4th grade, 5th grade)–with you–through Wikispaces. These are free if you have the K-5 curriculum. This could be perfect for a new teacher because I do all the work, you can ask questions of me before you present to your class.

      If you want more than that, my publisher (who publishes only tech ed books) offers a New Teacher Survival Kit you might like. And, I teach an online tech teacher class over at CSG that might be helpful.

      Any specific questions I can help with?

  4. Hello. I volunteered to teach first and second grade at my son’s school. I have no background on education. Please help. I bought the book 2nd grade technology but only has lessons in it. Is there another place or site that I can visit that will explain the seasons in details?

    1. Hi Lynne

      I sent you an invite to my tech teaching wiki. Every week, I teach the next tech lesson in the book. You can simply follow along, ask questions if you get stuck. I hope you join! (it’s free if you own the book)

  5. Hi, my name is Matt, I am a first year teacher, teaching Tech to K-8 students. I bought all of your books from Kindergarten through 8th grade. The books have been a great help. I would love to become more connected and informed. Right now I am trying to implement a class wiki page for my 8th graders, but I am worried about copyright laws and other things, I thought the wiki spaces was a great way to keep the class connected and to post activities and assignments that students could take part in and comment on. Any advice on implementing the wiki pages? I would really appreciate it. Thanks again.

    1. Hi Matt. I hope you’ve joined the wikis. There’s a code for free membership in the front page–take advantage. I teach the lessons every week online.

      I love the wikis. Visit my Photoshop wiki (http://8thgradephotoshop.wikispaces.com/). It is my only wiki that has student participation that is somewhat available for public viewing (you’ll have to do a bit of searching, but you’ll see lots of student input–anonymously).

      You’re likely fine on copyright issues because students will be posting their own work on their wiki pages–via artwork, Wordles, other online tools. But it’s a great opportunity to discuss those issues with them–how would they feel if someone stole their work online? I usually have each student set up their own wikipage and do as much or as little as they want. I share sites like GettingTrickyWithWikis.wikispaces.com so they can see what can be done. I might have a round of presentations (tied into Speaking and Listening skills) where they teach each other how to use select online tools. You can also make the pages collaborative–2-3 students owning a page and working together.

      Any specific questions I can help with?

  6. Thank you so much for the quick reply, I truly appreciate it.
    Before I ask my question, I would like to inform you as to what I was thinking about doing the next few weeks. I plan to use the Wiki Spaces to teach about digital tools. The first topic I would like to create a lesson about using the wiki, is backchannel communication with padlet.
    Eventually I would like students to collaborate on projects on their wikis, and also create a group weebly website and incorporate subject matter from their other classes.
    My questions are:
    1) If I allow a student to personalize their wiki profile page with pictures and or videos would they need to cite it? Probably an obvious answer, but I am very new at this, and I was hired right before the school year.
    2) I really want to utilize these websites so students can share their work and knowledge with others, where would be a good place to start in terms of projects? I really want to create meaningful learning experiences for everyone. I have been planning from your books and other resources, but any advice on these topics would be very helpful.
    3) Where can I find that code and I would love to join the wikis.
    Thank you again for your time and your help.

  7. I just started a job at a school with a large immigrant population and no tech skills curriculum although we do have lots of technology available; 2 computer labs as well as iPads, classroom computers and soon to receive chromebooks. I would like to give the teachers a tool to evaluate what they need to cover in terms of tech. Do you have any sort of tech evaluation created to be able to see where their students are in tech skills?

  8. Yes–the Scope and Sequence. It’s a detailed list of skills required at each grade level. Teachers can evaluate their student population to determine where they are. For example, do they have 2nd grade skills or 5th grade? This is included free of charge in the K-8 tech curriculum (http://www.structuredlearning.net/book/k-8-tech-curriculum-set/) or here as a stand-alone item (http://www.structuredlearning.net/book/tech-curriculum-scope-and-sequence/).

    Let me know if that’s what you’re looking for.

    1. I was actually hoping that you might have a set of assignments that the kids can attempt in order to evaluate their skills in each area. I just didn’t want to reinvent the wheel when you already do things so beautifully 🙂

      1. Ah, I see what you mean. I do have those sorts of assessments, but they’re scattered throughout the K-8 curriculum. I’ve never collected them as a group. Sorry, Sheri!

  9. If you were to recommend one keyboarding program to use with K5-6th grades, what would your suggestion be? I’d like something that can give me detailed reports on each student’s progress. I have been looking at EduTyping, and really like it…but would prefer not to purchase until I’m sure that’s the one I really want. I like that EduTyping gives me reports I can print and send home to parents to show the progress their child is making.

    Thanks so much!

    1. I’m a fan of Type to Learn–though it’s fee-based and software. It tracks progress, lets you set goals, and syncs home and school.

      The free option I’d suggest is Typing.com. It does most of what’s above, just not as robustly.

      Good luck–keyboarding is so important.

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