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Bloom into EdTech: The Blog: November 2011

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

How to implement Study Island when you are just the Computer Teacher

Being a computer teacher has its rewards- one of which is working collaboratively with your coworkers. Study Island can provide just that.



Pre-planning to use Study Island (well, the pre-planning on behalf of the classroom teachers that is) in the computer lab can make implementation run more smoothly and build a stronger connection between the classroom lesson and the computer lab. Have the classroom teacher create a test based on what they have been learning about and post it to their class page. The teacher log-in also provides resources for teachers, such as; lesson plans, printables and videos! All of this is available under My Assignments. Please note: that Study Island Provides State Standards for the core within the program. Goal: Develop a strong classroom teacher- computer teacher relationship to make Study Island in the computer lab a success!


How and when to implement Study Island in the computer lab?
  • First and foremost,  spend a computer lab class or two introducing Study Island to your students. Are they new to Study Island? Have them take the pre-test for each core subject for your state.
  • Use Study Island as bell work before your daily lesson begins in the computer lab. This can also help you prepare for the class period- especially if you have one class after another with no break in-between.
  • Need a filler for in-between lessons? Assign a test that you want your class to accomplish as they wait for others to catch up.
  • Talk to the classroom teacher, and don't hesitate to utilize full lab time near state testing!
Quick tip: Study Island provides teachers with many resources on how to make students engaged under their help section. But what can you do to tie it into a computer class? Why not have them make a Microsoft Excel Spreadsheet as to how many Blue Ribbons they achieved and make a corresponding graph.

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Sunday, November 27, 2011

Quick Tip: The Preschool Computer Lab

Are you a daycare center, private in-home child care or preschool and are considering setting up a computer lab for children ages 3-4? You may be asking yourself- where do I start? What type of equipment will I need? My students look so little- what is the best computer hardware for their little hands? How long should a preschool computer class be?

Well, I am here to answer a few questions for you! First we will start with some suggested technology hardware for the preschool-aged child:

Suggested Keyboard to use- color coded. Try to find one that has vowels and constants in separate colors (helps with many lessons- of which you will find here) and that all the numbers are another color.





Suggested Mouse: Small and multi-color is key. I personally found it easier to tell the 3-4 year old child to press on the blue-left side of the mouse than to say "left click".

Suggested office furniture: Small- age appropriate desks like the one you see below that is best suited for ages 2-6. This ensures proper posture at the computer.





Some Suggested Educational Software include (but not limited to):


Suggested Classroom Management Tips:
  1. A preschool computer lab time should be kept short and the class size small. From my personal experience a 20-minute session is a suitable amount of time for 4-8 children.
  2. I would suggest sitting two children to one computer. Why? This situation encourages sharing and turn-taking; and allows your students to help one another at the computer. It is from my experience that when a younger child shares a computer with a peer- they are actually more focused in the task at hand. I found that for some who may lack an interest in the computer a 20-minute session may seem like eternity. Setting a timer so that they can "Switch Seats" every two-three minutes keeps the activity fresh and the 3-4 year old child engaged (and moving!). 
  3. Not every lab session has to in front of the computer the entire time. Incorporate games and worksheets to keep the little ones moving.

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Monday, November 14, 2011

Third Grade Typing Unit using PowerTyping.com

Unit Name: Intro to Typing
Grade:  3
Major Topic: Typing- Memorizing the Keyboard
Week/Weeks: 7-9 classes


6. Technology Operations and Concepts   Students demonstrate a sound understanding of technology concepts, systems, and operations. Students:  
a.
understand and use technology systems.

Materials:

Motivation:
    • Show Typing PowerPoint and discuss the basics of typing.

Activity:
  1. Week 1- The main goal of this typing year is to have the students memorize the keyboard! After the introduction of the Typing PowerPoint, have them fill in the left hand home row keys: ASDF onto their blank keyboard.  Have them then open up any Word Processor and practice the following:
    • AAA (space) AAA (space) AAA (space) AAA (space) AAA (space) AAA (space) AAA (space) AAA (space)
    • SSS(space) SSS(space) SSS(space) SSS(space) SSS(space) SSS(space) SSS(space) SSS(space) SSS(space)
    • DDD (space) DDD (space) DDD (space) DDD (space) DDD (space) DDD (space) DDD (space) DDD (space)
    • FFF (space) FFF (space) FFF (space) FFF (space) FFF (space) FFF (space) FFF (space) FFF (space)
  1. Go to Website:  http://www.powertyping.com/qwerty/lessonsq.html and practice lesson 1 taking down WPM and Grade for each student. Make sure they call you over when a lesson is complete to take down their WPM and grade. If the finish early- have them repeat the lesson: Practice makes perfect!

3.     Week 2: Review the left hand home row keys and introduce the right hand: JKL;. Fill in the appropriate keys into the Blank Keyboard sheet. .  Have them then open up any Word Processor and practice the following:
  • JJJ (space) JJJ (space) JJJ (space) JJJ (space) JJJ (space) JJJ (space) JJJ (space) JJJ (space)
  • KKK(space) KKK(space) KKK(space) KKK(space) KKK(space) KKK(space) KKK(space) KKK(space)
  • LLL (space) LLL (space) LLL (space) LLL (space) LLL (space) LLL (space) LLL (space) LLL (space)
  • ;;; (space) ;;; (space) ;;; (space) ;;; (space) ;;; (space) ;;; (space) ;;; (space) ;;; (space)
  1. Go to Website:  http://www.powertyping.com/qwerty/lessonsq.html and practice lesson 1 taking down WPM and Grade for each student. Make sure they call you over when a lesson is complete to take down their WPM and grade. If the finish early- have them repeat the lesson: Practice makes perfect!

  1. Week 3: Review all the letters of the home row keys- asdfjkl;. Introduce RTYU and EIGH using the correct fingers. Have them write the corresponding letters onto the blank keyboard. Refer to  http://www.customtyping.com/tutorials/kb/Correct_fingering.htm for correct finger placements.
  2. Go to Website:  http://www.powertyping.com/qwerty/lessonsq.html and practice lesson 2 and 3  taking down WPM and Grade for each student. Make sure they call you over when a lesson is complete to take down their WPM and grade. If the finish early- have them repeat the lesson: Practice makes perfect!

  1. Week 4: Have the students review their keyboard worksheet and begin to memorize the keys on it.  Introduce CVB and MN,: using the correct fingers. Refer to  http://www.customtyping.com/tutorials/kb/Correct_fingering.htm for correct finger placements. Have them write the corresponding letters onto the blank keyboard.
  2. Go to Website:  http://www.powertyping.com/qwerty/lessonsq.html and practice lesson 4 and 5 taking down WPM and Grade for each student. Make sure they call you over when a lesson is complete to take down their WPM and grade. If the finish early- have them repeat the lesson: Practice makes perfect!

  1. Week 5: Have the students review their keyboard worksheet and begin to memorize the keys on it.  Introduce WXO. and QZP’” using the correct fingers. Refer to  http://www.customtyping.com/tutorials/kb/Correct_fingering.htm for correct finger placements. Have them write the corresponding letters onto the blank keyboard.
  2. Go to Website:  http://www.powertyping.com/qwerty/lessonsq.html and practice lesson 6 and 7 taking down WPM and Grade for each student. Make sure they call you over when a lesson is complete to take down their WPM and grade. If the finish early- have them repeat the lesson: Practice makes perfect!

  1. Week 6: Now the keyboard is complete, have them take it home to study. Give them time in class. Next week’s class there will be a test to see what they have memorized on the keyboard using a blank keyboard just like the one that they filled in. For this class you will use PowerTyping Words game: http://www.powertyping.com/trees.shtml

  1. Week 7 (last Full Typing Class):  Print out and distribute Blank Computer Test Printable .  Cover all keyboards and typing resources with paper. Have students fill in and submit for a grade. Once done they may take an Orange Keyboard Skin
    and go to
    PowerTyping Words game: http://www.powertyping.com/trees.shtml.

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Sunday, November 13, 2011

First Grade- Practice Typing Sight Words

Grade: 1
Major Topic: Fine motor skills, typing
Week/Weeks: 1 Class

  1. Basic operations and concepts
    • Students demonstrate a sound understanding of the nature and operation of technology systems.
Materials:

Motivation:

Activity:
  • After you have introduced the keyboard to your first graders, now is the time to practice typing!
  • Demonstrate to the class how to open the word processor of your choice. Teach them how to use the SPACEBAR and the ENTER key to make spaces and line breaks.
  • Have your students type their first names and hit the enter key twice to start on a new line.
  • The First Grade Typing Sight Words PDF has a list of 10 words. Show each one on the electronic whiteboard until every student typed it on to their computer. If they finish quickly, have them hit the space bar and type it again.
  • Press enter between different words.
Example: Your students work may look like this:


Joe

after after aft
where
may may may m
open op
every
just jus
going
from f
thank
round roun
 
 














  • Have your students print or save them to their folder on the server.

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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Fun Thanksgiving Web sites for Children

If you would like to take a break from the norm, holidays are the perfect opportunity to kick back, relax and enjoy some holiday-themed games. Some are more educational than others- but sometimes it's okay to just play!







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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

7th Grade- Creating a Shopping Budget List in Microsoft Excel

 Major Topic: Microsoft Excel
Class/Classes: 1-2 class periods

3.  Research and Information Fluency
  • Students apply digital tools to gather, evaluate, and use information. \

4. Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making
  •  Students use critical thinking skills to plan and conduct research, manage projects, solve problems, and make informed decisions using appropriate digital tools and resources
Materials:

Motivation:
  • Have Microsoft Excel Open as well as the Microsoft Excel Notes (PowerPoint)-Student and Teacher Versions. Go over the notes PowerPoint while students fill in the blanks.


Activity:




  • Tips: Before they start this tutorial show your students the various components of Microsoft Excel. Demonstrate: rows, columns, cell reference, formulas, text formatting, etc. to make them more comfortable using this program. This tutorial is just a basic intro as to what Microsoft Excel can do.
Tutorial:


Shopping Budget- Microsoft Excel
7th grade

Directions: Follow the below steps to create a Shopping Budget Worksheet in Microsoft Excel.


Open Microsoft Excel from your desktop and save this new workbook as "MyBudget" in your student folder.

1. In Cell A1 type: Shopping Budget.

2. Merge and Center by selecting cells A1- F1 and select the Merge and Center Button located on the Home Tab (Microsoft 2007 & 2010).
Merge and center by selecting cells
3. Use the fill bucket and select a fill color to change the heading color (The cells you just merged in step 2). Change the color and style of the font (Size of font no smaller than 18 and no larger than 40).
Change font style, size and color under Home Tab

4. In cell
A3 type My Budget:
A4 type Total Cost:
A5 type Difference Total:

5. In cells
A7 type PERSON TO SHOP FOR
B7 type BUDGETED AMOUNT
C7 type AMOUNT SPENT
D7 type DIFFERENCE


Bold the text and make all uppercase. Now is a good time to save!


6. Starting in cell A9 (staying in column A) list 5-10 people you would like to shop for (this could be a list for birthdays, Christmas, etc.) and how much you wan to spend on each person. You do not need to add dollar signs! Please wait until step 8 for directions!
Example:
Example of family and friends you can list. Please feel free to add "real" names

7.  Now, fictitiously make up amounts that you actually spent (you can spend more or less on each person)
Example:
!!! DO NOT ADD ANY NUMBERS IN THE DIFFERENCE COLUMN!!!

8. To convert numbers into dollar amounts, highlight all the cells that contain a number and click on the $ button on the Home Tab under Number Formatting:
Don't manually type in dollar signs- quickly add them in with the $ button on the home tab

9. Now is time to add calculations! In cell D (under the "DIFFERENCE" column), use the following equation, making sure that you start with the = sign first! =B9-C9
Copy and paste the equation to the remainder of the cells. Copy (or ctrl C) highlight the cells you need a formula in under the Difference Column. Paste (Ctrl V) the formula into the selected cells.


10. Now it's time to tally up the totals! Select cell B3 and click the "Insert Function" (looks like fx) button to begin the formula:


A dialog box then opens. Select the SUM function. Now is a good time to save!
The Sum function is usually under the "most recently used" category
Notice how the formula bar automatically adds "=sum"? 

11. A new dialog box "Function Arguments" opens up. This is where you will select your cells that you want to add together. 


12. Click the box to the right of the "Number 1" input box:
The box then collapses and you are free to select the cells that you want to add to this formula.

13. Highlight all the cells that have a currency amount under Budgeted Amount.
For example, the sum of cells B9-B14 would be the Budget amount I was looking for:

14. Open the "Function Arguments" dialog box up by pressing the same "Range of Cells Button" to expand the dialog box and click OK. The number in cell B3 should be the sum of all the cells that you have budgeted money for.

Now is a good time to save!

Put your practice to work!

15. Repeat steps 10-14 to find out the totals for Total Cost (cell B4) and Difference Total (cell B5)!
***Note: Make sure you find the SUM of the corresponding cells to Total Cost and Difference Total****

Add dollar signs to all that is needed!

16. Insert a clip art image to represent what your shopping budget is for. (Insert Tab --> Clip Art) Do not place your image over text, and keep the clip art relative!

17. Add a border around your table by selecting all the cells in your Budget Spreadsheet and click on the Borders Button on the Home Tab (Look for Thick Box Borders):

18. Change some other features such as text and cell fill (make at least 2 changes on your own.) 

19. Change the orientation of the page. Go to Page Layout --> Orientation --> Landscape:
20. Print Preview. If needed make appropriate adjustments to make the Shopping Budget print on one page. See image below:
Select Page Setup and then Fit to 1 page if needed.

21. Print once you have permission.


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Friday, November 4, 2011

4th Grade Online Beginning Typing Lesson

Typing is a very important topic to cover in computer class if a "Keyboarding class" is not provided as a separate unit. It is never to early to introduce the correct finger position. Fourth graders are more than ready to learn how to type without looking at the keyboard. In the past I used a blank sheet of scrap paper and simply taped the top so the students typed under it. What a pain! I would suggest purchasing a Learn to Type Keyboard skin like the one you see here:



I have taught computers to students in schools where typing software was not an affordable option. The following lesson provides you an option if typing software is not available, or you would like to try a different approach.

Major Topic: Typing- Memorizing the Keyboard
Week/Weeks: 6-8 classes


NETS for Students:
6. Technology Operations and Concepts   Students demonstrate a sound understanding of technology concepts, systems, and operations. Students:  
a.
Understand and use technology systems.

Materials:

Motivation:

Activity:
Week 1-
  • Discuss home row keys. Have the forth graders demonstrate their understanding by placing their hands on the correct keys and showing you.

  • Go to Website:  http://www.typeonline.co.uk/lesson1.html and practice lesson 1 taking down WPM and Grade for each student. Make sure they call you over when a lesson is complete to take down their WPM and grade. If the finish early- have them repeat the lesson: Practice makes perfect!

  • After they complete Lesson 1 and all 10 exercises, have them type from the Typing Worksheet for additional practice and save their work to their folder on the server. ***Tip*** I know that typing games are "fun" and "exciting", however, in "real life" when they go to type a term paper it won't be doing flips or cartwheels! Practice typing by looking at a piece of paper is a very important task to learn! Want motivation advice? Set your computer lab up as an office and assign each student a "job."!

Week 2-
  • Introduce the third row of the keyboard - The QWERTY row.
  • Go to Website:  http://www.typeonline.co.uk/lesson1.html and practice lesson 2 taking down WPM and Grade for each student. Make sure they call you over when a lesson is complete to take down their WPM and grade.

Week 3-
  • Introduce the first row of the keyboard, the Z-X-C-V-B.

  • Go to Website:  http://www.typeonline.co.uk/lesson1.html and practice lesson 3 taking down WPM and Grade for each student. Make sure they call you over when a lesson is complete to take down their WPM and grade.

Week 4-
·         Introduce the number row.
·         Go to Website:  http://www.typeonline.co.uk/lesson1.html and practice lesson 4 taking down WPM and Grade for each student. Make sure they call you over when a lesson is complete to take down their WPM and grade.

Week 5-
  • Introduce the special character keys.

  • Go to Website:  http://www.typeonline.co.uk/lesson1.html and practice lesson 5 taking down WPM and Grade for each student. Make sure they call you over when a lesson is complete to take down their WPM and grade.

Week 6 last week-

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