Sunday, September 8, 2013

August Highlights and September Plans in Mrs. Allen's Lab and Beyond!

Where did August go?
It always seems as soon as August 1st rolls around, the world spins faster.  August first marks the school being officially "open".  Through the month of July teachers and staff are encouraged to stay away so they can clean the floors, paint, repair, etc.  It's a good idea but this month I felt rushed.
Our first teachers' meetings began Aug. 14th and students came for the first day on Aug. 19th.  Nonetheless I gots some of the students back online with their accounts (Edmodo, Google Apps for EDU, Kerpoof, iCollaboratory, and Kidlink).  They also got new computer spots and chair spots when I give instruction.

Two days after we started school, my oldest daughter started college for the first time.  My family and I took a few days to get her settled and participate in orientation.  

At school, the students enjoyed educational games and sites they played last year.  They didn't miss a beat!


We are now moving into September and MANY great things are happening in the lab and classrooms with technology.  Soon we will get another CHROMEBOOK cart with 30 Chromebooks so that the Elementary and Junior High teachers will have more options go check out the chromebooks for their students.

Computer Lab Schedule

This is the set schedule for the students to come down to the lab.
Other times I am either in the classroom with the teachers or
fixing/updating computers, websites and the network.

Early Childhood (Ages 3-4)

The students in Early Childhood (4 different sections) started on the laptops this past week and they did great!  They learned how to use the touchpad and how to "click".  Many of them wanted to touch the screen to "click" but soon figured out how to do it.  They played, "Family Food" game with Baby Bear and his parents:

Kindergarten and Grade 1

This month the Kindergarten students are learning to type the correct letters with their left and right hands.  The best site to teach this is Keyboard Climber  They raise the hand they aren't using to practice typing with the correct hand.  Whatever side the letter is on the screen that's the hand they use to find the letter. Great eye/hand coordination!
They are also learning to log the computer on and off using CTRL+DEL.  

Grade 2

The students are preparing for the Edmodo Pen Pal Project.  Permission slips will go out to parents to inform and allow their child to participate.  The students will participate in the lab and in their classroom.
Information about the project

Grade 3

The students will participate in the Global Read Aloud beginning the end of this month.  The book they will read and discuss is:  

Students will use Edmodo and Skype to communicate, collaborate, and connect with other students and discuss the chapters.  The students will do this in the lab as well as their classroom.  The 3rd grade teachers, Mrs. Hinthorn and Ms. Kinsella, are very excited!

Grade 4

Monster Project Time!  This will be our 4th year participating in the Global Monster Project.  Over 50 schools around the world participate by creating a description of a monster body part, submitting it to the group, and creating the entire monster in their classroom/art room/school.  The 4th grade teachers, Mrs. Gambino and Ms. Howe as well as the art teacher, Mrs. Latz, are looking forward to this project!  In the lab the students are creating introductions to share with the schools.  We plan to skype with them as well.

Speaking of Skype, the 4th graders in Mrs. Gambino's room participated in the first Mystery Skype of the school year!  They did a great job and were the first ones to figure out the state where the mystery skypers are from.  It was Illinois!  
Students asking and answering Yes/No questions

Students using Google Earth and Google Maps 

Grade 5

Moon Over Us Project
The students have begun to register for this global science project.  They will take pictures or draw what they see for 5 days in a row of the moon at the same time of day and share them with students around the world.  They will also take part in other moon-related activities throughout the year.  Permission slips will be sent out to parents so they are informed and will help their child with taking photos.

Grade 6

Students are preparing to use Edmodo for assignments with their junior high teachers.  Permission slips are going home this week.  They are also getting ready to participate in Scariest Stories through the iCollaboratory.  

Scariest Stories and Fall Poetry - October 
Whether it be a scary story or a fall poem, we encourage students to share their literary work and discuss it with one another. Students use this project to develop their writing skills by sharing and discussing their narrated and/or illustrated (optional) writing in our online community.
The Scariest Stories project activities are designed to take about one hour a week in a school computer lab or on set of classroom computers. Teachers should plan to spend an hour a week in addition to the computer time for proofreading student work. Students who get involved spend more time writing, sharing and discussing their stories. Students who complete the survey, story or poem, comment on their pages outside the classroom and share a closing reflection about what they have learned will receive an iCollaboratory Web Badge and a certificate.

Grade 7

Digiteen Project - Students are preparing for the digital citizenship project with Mr. Lewickas, the Language Arts teacher.  They are studying resources, websites, and proper online behavior.  Code of conduct slips will be going out this week.

Grade 8

Diocesan Assessments
The students are working on 4 Diocesan Assessments this Fall - Multiple Choice, Word Processing, Spreadsheet, and Presentation.  For the past 3 years, the students have actively been working in Google Docs using the software in the lab and the classrooms.  They should be proficient and pass with good marks!  

Looking forward to a great start to the school year!