USN Lower School Technology!

Friday, January 15, 2010

January 11 Week, What Goes On?

The Short Story:
3rd Grade--Google Image Search for art class image and Keyboarding for Kids
4th Grade--Keyboarding for Kids and Scratch "ABC's" -- finishing final letter
1st "Learning to Read" -- finishing final units beginning with vowel blends
2nd Grade--"Winter in Six Words" for the Winter Wonderland Wiki --Drawing
for Children digit
al drawing

The Long Story:
3rd Grade--Google Image Search for art class image and Keyboarding for Kids. Our Keyboarding for Kids work took a back seat this week in computer lab as students searched for and printed full page versions of one representative piece of art from the artist they've chosen for their Master Artist Unit research topic. These will be laminated by the teacher and taken by the student to Mr. Douglas's art class, where he will proceed with his annual art reproduction project, teaching the kids to transfer/copy images to their own paper via the age-old method of gridding it out and copying grid by grid. We used the doubly safe-search Google search embedded in the Webliographer, illustrating the difference in search results that can be obtained by placing two words, such as an artist's name, in quotation marks as opposed to simply typing them. The quotation marked terms usually return significantly fewer, better targeted results, since you are asking Google to look for
those two words, together, in that particular order. We also navigated the school network 'way down into the folder structure, starting at My Computer and burrowing down to S:\LS\Classes\3 Third Grade\3rdART until we found alphabetized artists' images collected by 3rd graders over the years in this activity. It looks like most of the students were able to do all of this in a rather hectic 30 minute
session, and we'll get the few remaining students up to date by finding images in books, scanning, enlarging, and printing them.

4th Grade--Keyboarding for Kids continues, and we looked together at the Scratch Wiki,, a repository for a growing collection of student work, with its Projects and Galleries, including our own USNTigers Student Stuff one. Students are cautioned to create their own accounts only with their parents' permission and to follow the policy of the website publishers by reporting any content they see might be inappropriate. This is a common means of policing sites that might have tens of thousands of visitors and users per month, and with community compliance, it is quite effective. Still, visiting the site gives us a chance to discuss the concept of "appropriateness," and I encourage students to share work only to the "most appropriate common denominator," which is to say that what may be appropriate in some households may not be in others, and if they even think what they are posting may be offensive in any way, not to do it!

Give this project a look-see!

Scratch Project "ABC's" -- finishing final letter: The K kids proceeded last week through Starfall ABC's to varying degrees of accomplishment. I remind them that the site is available anytime, anywhere, from any computer with internet access, and this week we all complete the final 10 letters of the alphabet, from Q to Z, to show those who didn't get as far along the variety and the fun of the activities for each letter at

"Learning to Read" -- finishing final units beginning with vowel blends: We took a similar approach here to last week's 1st grade beginnings in the more advanced section at We all completed the final 5 unites, from blended vowels, "Vowel Teams," through "Y as Long E." The room got very quiet as kids worked through these, a sure indication of engagement.

2nd Grade--"Winter in Six Words" for the Winter Wonderland Wiki --Drawing for Children digital drawing: With the exception of Ms. Pitt's class, who were charged with beginning to type storyboarded stories in MS Word and began those quite successfully, 2nd graders finished their "Winter in Six Words" for the Winter Wonderland Wiki. Next week and the following one, I'll be doing voice recordings of their narration on a Voicethread to share with the world! Then we'll post that on the WWWiki.

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