USN Lower School Technology!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Carrying on Through September

This week we are establishing routines, recording progress, and beginning to branch out to internet work.

The short story:
3--Type to Learn 3 continues
4--Keyboarding for Kids, establishing login and practice skills "My First Clicks" linear progress "My First Clicks" non-linear progress
2--Ancient Civilization related websites on Webliographer

The long story:

3rd graders are working further into Type to Learn 3, the Sunburst software program designed to instill awareness of home-row key position touch typing, and they're doing pretty doggone well. One of my very main goals in Tech Instruction is to help them develop a sense of self-motivation and perseverance, and forging on through the 25 lessons of TTL3 is one way to do it. Like many of the things we do in the lab, we won't get to the end of it. That's the We'll work one or two more weeks in TTL3 then move on into other things.

4th graders are continuing to master the process of connecting to Keyboarding for Kids, our online touch-typing platform that allows them the opportunity to practice their skills daily, as homework, on their home computers. I'll be sending a long note home to accompany the textbooks, which will be coming home the week of Oct. 5, that will explain expectations, serve as a reminder of the procedures for login, and share some important thoughts about parents' role in the process (VERY minimal!).

Kinder and 1st graders are progressing through the MyFirstClicks sets of activities at I changed the K-1GoHere! Center Number 2 link so that it now leads to the free (ad-supported) iteration of that wonderful website. This gives us the opportunity to practice working without clicking on ads and shows them what the site will look like if they visit it from home (the Premium@Schools ad-free site is only available in-school). Both grades are notating their own progress at the Interwrite interactive board on a Google spreadsheet as they go. I like this process and will likely extend it to some other activities in other grade levels. For one, it gets the kids out of their seats, and B) it puts more of the responsibility for their own learning in their hands.

2nd graders this week visited sites in the Ancient Civ (shortened because of Webliographer titling length limitations) topic on our Webliographer. Each class is studying a different culture from history--Rome, Persia, Greece, and Egypt. Two teachers this week sent me new links to add to the Webliographer, a wonderful development, and I spent an hour or so adding links to some Persia resources since this is the first year for 2nd graders to explore that culture. Ask your child what we looked at!

That's it for this week. Know that I'm knee-deep in getting 4th graders set up for our Quest Atlantis work this year. After K4K textbooks go home we'll be beginning those adventures!

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