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Tagged With: curriculum

Book Review: Fifth Grade Technology Textbook

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

by Structured Learning Tech Team

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I’m often asked what books I recommend for teaching technology in the classroom. Each year about this time, I do a series of reviews on my favorite tech ed books. If you want to fix some of last year’s problems, I suggest you consider the nine-volume K-8 technology curriculum series that’s used in hundreds of school districts across the country (and a few internationally). It’s skills-based, project-based, aligned with Common Core and NETS national standards and fully integratable into state core classroom standards.

The sixth in the series, the 202-page Fifth Grade Technology: 32 Lessons Any Fifth Grader Can Do (Structured Learning 2013), is available in print or digital, and perfect for Smartscreens, iPads, laptops, digital readers. It includes many age-appropriate samples, reproducibles, Web 2.0 connections, thematic websites, and how-to’s. Because I edited this book, I made sure it includes pieces that I as a teacher knew to be critical to the classroom:

(more…)

Categories: 5th Grade, Classroom management, Reviews, Teacher resources | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Book Review: Third Grade Technology Textbook

3rd grade technologyThird Grade Technology: 32 Lessons Every Third Grader Can Accomplish on a Computer

by Structured Learning IT Teaching Team

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I’m often asked what books I’d recommend for teaching technology in the classroom. Each year about this time, I do a series of reviews on my favorite tech ed books. If you want to fix some of last year’s problems, I suggest you consider the nine-volume K-8 technology curriculum series that’s used in hundreds of school districts across the country (and internationally). It’s skills-based, project-based, aligned with Common Core and NETS national standards and fully integratable into state core classroom standards.

The fourth in the series, the 187-page Third Grade Technology: 32 Lessons Any Third Grader Can Do, (Structured Learning 2013), available in print or digital, and perfect for Smartscreens, iPads, laptops. It includes many age-appropriate samples, reproducibles, Web 2.0 connections, thematic websites, pedagogic articles, and how-to’s. Because I edited this book, I made sure it includes pieces that I as a teacher knew to be critical to the classroom:

  • K-6 vertically-integrated Scope and Sequence
  • Certificate of Completion for students when they finish the year
  • a summary of steps for a 45-minute class period–usually 2-3 activities, arranged temporally throughout the year for ease of understanding by students. For example, a lesson is likely to include 2-3 activities from among typing practice, student presentations, project that ties into core class activity, problem-solving that assists with 1:1 initiatives
  • Common Core and ISTE standards supported
  • domain-specific vocabulary

(more…)

Categories: 3rd Grade, Lesson plans, Reviews | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Book Review: Second Grade Technology Textbook

2nd grade techSecond Grade Technology: 32 Lessons Every Second Grader Can Accomplish on a Computer

by Structured Learning IT Teaching Team

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I’m often asked what books I’d recommend for teaching technology in the classroom. Each year about this time, I do a series of reviews on my favorite tech ed books. If you’re already looking ahead to next year’s technology curriculum and want to fix some of this year’s problems, I suggest you consider the seven-volume K-8 technology curriculum series that’s used in hundreds of school districts across the country (and internationally). It’s skills-based, project-based, aligned with Common Core and NETS national standards and fully integratable into state core classroom standards.

The third in the series, the 156-page Second Grade Technology: 32 Lessons Any Second Grader Can Do, (Structured Learning 2013), available in print or digital, and perfect for Smartscreens, iPads, laptops. It includes many age-appropriate samples, reproducibles, Web 2.0 connections, thematic websites, pedagogic articles, and how-to’s. Because I edited this book, I made sure it includes pieces that I as a teacher knew to be critical to the classroom:

  • K-6 vertically-integrated Scope and Sequence
  • Certificate of Completion for students when they finish the year
  • a summary of steps for a 45-minute class period–usually 2-3 activities, arranged temporally throughout the year for ease of understanding by students. For example, a lesson is likely to include 2-3 activities from among typing practice, student presentations, project that ties into core class activity, problem-solving that assists with 1:1 initiatives
  • Common Core and ISTE standards supported
  • doman-specific vocabulary
  • Big Idea and Essential Questions for each unit
  • integrations to core classroom units
  • trouble-shooting solutions to the problems most likely to come up in the classroom
  • enrichments for those precocious students who finish the lesson and want more
  • a list of websites (PDF has active links). Both print and PDF can access a webpage on Ask a Tech Teacher that is updated yearly with new websites by grade level and category
  • a help link (to this blog) to a teacher using the curriculum who will help you through the prickly parts of a lesson plan. This is FREE–no charge.
  • Where lessons center around purchased software, the authors made an effort to offer free alternatives. For example, instead of KidPix, teachers can use TuxPaint. Instead of Type to Learn, teachers can use a list of online keyboarding websites like Dance Mat Typing and Typing Web
  • pedagogy articles to help think through critical issues like keyboarding, use of the internet, how to use wikis in classrooms, and more
  • wall posters covering critical technology issues (like mouse skills)
  • monthly homework for grades 3-5
  • FREE membership in a real-time teaching wiki where you can teach along side an experienced teacher using the curriculum every week

(more…)

Categories: 2nd, Lesson plans, Reviews | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Book Review: 1st Grade Technology–32 Lessons

1st gradeThis is another in a series of textbooks designed for K-8. I think you’ll find them useful in your classroom Web 2.0 integration:

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

by Structured Learning

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I’m often asked what books I’d recommend for teaching technology in the classroom. Each year about this time, I do a series of reviews on my favorite tech ed books. If you want to fix some of this year’s tech problems and get students ready for the rigor of Common Core, I suggest you consider the nine-volume K-8 technology curriculum series that’s used in hundreds of school districts across the country (and a few internationally). It’s aligned with both Common Core and NETS national standards and fully integrable into state classroom standards.

It’s 131 pages, about twice as long as the prior edition (thanks to Common Core tie-ins, more rubrics and examples, reproducibles, Web 2.0 connections and how-to’s that are age-appropriate for a 1st grader). It comes with a free membership in a co-teaching wiki so you can teach along with an experienced teacher using the curriculum. It’s much more like a tech lab-in-a-box than a mere 32 projects. The blurb says it all:

(more…)

Categories: 1st, Lesson plans, Reviews | Tags: , | Leave a comment

It’s Here–8th Grade Technology Curriculum!

8th grade tech curriculum coverThe eighth-grade technology curriculum prepares students for their future not by teaching widgets and programs—though that happens—but by showing them how to be life-long learners. How do they decide what program works best for what inquiry? How do they acquire the use of tools they have never before seen? How do they self-assess their knowledge, ensuring they acquired what they need? Don’t expect black-and-white answers. Success is more likely predicated on student transfer of knowledge than their ability to check off boxes on a rubric.

Here’s a quick overview of what you will find in this textbook:

  • Scope and Sequence aligned with ISTE and Common Core
  • Themed units tied into inquiry
  • Experiential learning with real-world applications
  • Opportunities for students to express and grow in their creativity
  • International mindedness
  • Articles on tech pedagogy

Each Unit includes:

  • an emphasis on comprehension, problem-solving, critical thinking, to prepare for career and college
  • Common Core Standards covered
  • ISTE Standards covered
  • essential question
  • big idea
  • materials required
  • time required to complete
  • domain-specific vocabulary
  • problem solving
  • steps to accomplish goals
  • assessment strategies
  • ways to extend learning
  • project examples where appropriate
  • grading rubrics where appropriate

(more…)

Categories: 8th grade, Lesson plans | Tags: | Leave a comment

Book Review: K-8 Keyboard Curriculum

keyboard curriculumK-8 Keyboard Curriculum: The Essential Guide to Teaching Keyboarding in 45 Minutes a Week

You may think it impossible to find an effective keyboarding curriculum for the skimpy forty-five minutes a week you can devote to keyboarding. You teach what you can, but it always seems to be the same lessons—hands on home row, good posture, eyes on the copy. You wonder if it’s making a difference, or if it matters.

Yes, it does and there is a way. It requires a plan, faithfully executed, with your eye relentlessly on the goal, but if you commit, it works. In this book, The Essential Guide to Teaching Keyboarding in 45 Minutes a Week: a K-8 Curriculum, I’ll share a unique keyboarding curriculum for K-8 that I’ve seen work on thousands of students. The book includes:

  • A summary of the literature
  • Answers to the most-asked questions like ‘Can youngers learn to keyboard—and should they?’
  • The importance of the teacher to early keyboarders

The K-8 curriculum includes a lot more variety than keyboard exercises on installed software. Here’s a rundown of the pieces used:

(more…)

Categories: 1st, 2nd, 3rd Grade, 4th Grade, 5th Grade, 6th grade, 7th grade, 8th grade, Keyboarding, Kindergarten, Reviews | Tags: , | Leave a comment

It’s Here–7th Grade Technology Curriculum!

7th grade cover--frontThe National Board of Governors Common Core Standards expect technology to facilitate learning through collaboration, publishing, and transfer of knowledge. Educators want students to use technology to work together, share the products of their effort, and employ the skills learned in other parts of their lives.

Finally, a 7th grade (8th grade I hear is due in August) tech curriculum that addresses those needs. Published by Structured Learning, it includes:

  • 32 units, each aligned with Common Core and ISTE
  • Grades 6-8 Scope and Sequence (aligned with Common Core and ISTE)
  • Step-by-step weekly lesson units
  • Articles that address tech pedagogy
  • Each lesson reflects Common Core emphasis on comprehension, problem-solving, critical thinking, preparing students for career and college
  • Students are expected to understand the process, not replicate a skill
  • Focus is on transfer of knowledge and blended learning
  • Collaboration and sharing is often required
  • Online support is offered FREE through a help blog
Categories: 7th grade, Lesson plans | Tags: | Leave a comment

It’s Here! K-5 Tech Curriculum Aligned with Common Core!

collage of 5th ed K-6  textbooks- with AATT copyThe educational paradigm has changed. New guidelines (most recently, the National Board of Governors Common Core Standards) expect technology to facilitate learning through collaboration, publishing, and transfer of knowledge. Educators want students to use technology to work together, share the products of their effort, and employ the skills learned in other parts of their lives.

If you purchased SL’s Fourth Edition, consider the tech changes in education since its 2011 publication:

  • Windows has updated their platform—twice
  • iPads are the device of choice in the classroom
  • Class Smartboards are more norm than abnorm(al)
  • Technology in the classroom has changed from ‘nice to have’ to ‘must have’
  • 1:1 has become a realistic goal
  • Student research is as often done online as in the library
  • Students spend as much time in a digital neighborhood as their home town
  • Textbooks are considered resources rather than bibles
  • Teachers who don’t use technology are an endangered species
  • Words like ‘blended learning’, ‘authentic’, ‘transfer’, ‘evidence’ are now integral to teaching
  • Common Core Standards have swept like a firestorm through the education community, most timed to take effect after 2011

Here’s what you’ll find in the SL Technology Curriculum–5th Edition (see slideshow below):

(more…)

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

Dear Otto: I need more guidance than the curriculum offers. What do I do?

[caption id="attachment_7341" align="alignright" width="176"]tech questions Do you have a tech question?[/caption]

Dear Otto is an occasional column where I answer questions I get from readers about teaching tech. If you have a question, please complete the form below and I’ll answer it here. For your privacy, I use only first names.

Here’s a great question I got from Dawn

I am a homeschool mother who is not computer literate. I am concerned that my children are going to be behind in technology. I bought 2nd Grade Technology hoping to start my 5th and 8th grader in a computer technology curriculum however, because I need a step by step curriculum, this book does not seem to meet my needs. What can you recommend to get us off to a good start?

I understand. The best approach is to join the teaching wiki for the grade level you are interested in:

(more…)

Categories: Dear Otto, Lesson plans | Tags: | Leave a comment

Book Review: K-8 Keyboard Curriculum

keyboard curriculumK-8 Keyboard Curriculum: The Essential Guide to Teaching Keyboarding in 45 Minutes a Week

You may think it impossible to find an effective keyboarding curriculum for the skimpy forty-five minutes a week you can devote to keyboarding. You teach what you can, but it always seems to be the same lessons—hands on home row, good posture, eyes on the copy. You wonder if it’s making a difference, or if it matters.

Yes, it does and there is a way. It requires a plan, faithfully executed, with your eye relentlessly on the goal, but if you commit, it works. In this book, The Essential Guide to Teaching Keyboarding in 45 Minutes a Week: a K-8 Curriculum, I’ll share a unique keyboarding curriculum for K-8 that I’ve seen work on thousands of students. The book includes:

  • A summary of the literature
  • Answers to the most-asked questions like ‘Can youngers learn to keyboard—and should they?’
  • The importance of the teacher to early keyboarders

The K-8 curriculum includes a lot more variety than keyboard exercises on installed software. Here’s a rundown of the pieces used:

(more…)

Categories: Keyboarding, Reviews | Tags: , | Leave a comment