USN Lower School Technology!

Friday, September 11, 2009

September 11 Computer Lab Update!

Hey, all,

I've been working on putting up pictures at all the computer lab pages on this week. To see them, login using your myUSN username and password. I'll put a couple in this post, but there will usually be weekly pics at in slideshow format for your viewing and download, if you see any you wish to keep.

The work this week:
3rd graders are entering Type to Learn 3 this week, and we'll be working in that arena for several weeks, just to give them some fun introductory exercise in using "home row key position."

4th graders embark on Keyboarding for Kids, the online platform we have purchased whichwill gift them daily typing practice for homework, beginning in early October. I have found that working weekly in the lab until we're satisfied everyone is completly comfortable is the way to go, so expect to see them home with explicit instructions and their textbooks by then.

Kindergarteners and 1st graders have been keeping track of their own progress on the Interwrite smartboard on a graph, marking a red X in a spreadsheet by their name to indicate which of the 25 "MyFirstClicks" lessons they have completed.

2nd graders have mostly completed the Learning Center in Type to Learn, Jr., a very fun little keyboarding/typing game that helps introduce the locations of the letters on a computer keyboard, as well as some very basic concepts like the shift key and some punctuation. They all printed their completion certificates and then went on to play each of the three extension games on each of the three levels each is offered.

With several grade levels, I have begun allowing some "Free Choice" time at the end of the period (at the beginning for 3rd graders) and this requires explaining and enforcing clear expectations of the options. In general, all students may use the Webliographer "Free Choice Options" as a jumping off place, and those options are broad. To visit any of them, see that topic on the Webliographer, and here's a list of the sites currently included there:

20 Questions: Play 20 Questions
BBC: BBC - CBBC - Games
Between the Lions: Between the Lions | PBS Kids
Enchanted Learning: Enchanted Learning
Fact Monster Arcade: Fact Monster Arcade
Fact Monster Online: Fact Monster--Online Reference and Games!
FreeRice: FreeRice Game--Feed the Hungry and Build Your Vocabulary!
Great Sites: 700+ Great Sites for Kids and Adults Who Care About Them
Interactive Games!: Oswego County Schools Interactive Learning Games
Invention Playhouse: Lemelson Center Invention at Play--Invention Playhouse Official Web Site of LEGO
Linerider: Linerider
Linesanta:LineArena - Snowline Line Riding Game
Puzzles.COM: Puzzles for Everyone
SanDiegoZoo: Animals Animals Everywhere!
The Color Test: The Color Test

Students may also utilize any program installed on their computer specifically as a Free Choice Option. These include:

My Lemonade Stand
and Drawing for Children

and will soon also include a new program I recently discovered called SebranABC, a simple and rich group of beginning literacy and numeracy practice games. See the CNet review for more information about Sebran.

Next week, we'll continue on the path of learning in the Computer Lab, and I hope everyone stays well and will be here to join us! Get those flu shots!!!

Have a great weekend!

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