USN Lower School Technology!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Goodbye, November!

Thanksgiving break was a nice respite for the Merricks and I hope it was for you and yours as well. 4th graders are back and working on Keyboarding for Kids as often as they can, developing ever more fluent keyboarding skills with every effort. In computer class, both 3rd and 4th grades are starting to work in Powerpoint, each student creating a slide presentation named "All About Me," or some variant of that, and using it as a discovery learning foundation, around which they will explore as much of what the program can do as time and guidance will allow. I tell them, and it's true, that every time I sit down with the program with discovery in mind I learn something more about it, and as I watch these initial explorations I am encouraged by the discussion and interaction I see going on as they share their discoveries with fellow classmates. Watch for examples of their work here by the start of the new year.

K, 1, and 2 are in Boowa and Kwala this week. I rarely take the 2nd graders there but having introduced the Premium@School lesson 31 to K and lessons 31 and 32 to 1, I wanted to see how facile the 2nd graders would be in locating the solutions to the "Spot the Differences" puzzles presented in the pages lesson 32 presents. They're HARD! But fun, and this sort of activity allows children to exercise discriminatory skills while also helping one another. The lab is abuzz with chat while they find up to 20 differences in very detailed drawings. The younger kids have every bit as much fun with the less detailed, but animated, sets in lesson 31. As a reminder, these Premium@School lessons are only available to students from school machines, not from home, since it's a password protected service offered by the fine folks at It is quite possible to purchase a premium account for your child but I encourage children to enjoy the free version of the website at home and save the premium fun for our "@School" work.

Have a wonderful start to your December and we'll look for you here next week! I may need to get a picture or two today or tomorrow to put up here for you. The collaboration in the lab is at a peak this week!

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