Third graders have joined the blogosphere! Today they published their first blog post as a follow up to our discussion of The Dot last week. The story taught a lesson of courage and creativity. Our third grade students will definitely leave their marks on the world!
Parents are welcomed and encouraged (please!) to visit the student blog page. Click on the individual student tile or just come to our third grade blog. They will be thrilled to know that the world is reading their first post. Write a comment in the space below, but remember to observe our privacy rules and omit any last names. A comment from "Mom" or "Uncle Joe" is just fine. All comments are sent to the teacher for approval as a safety measure and then they will be published. Comments are exciting and we will be learning in a few weeks about what makes a quality comment and how to write one.
This week we celebrated International Dot Day by watching and then discussing the video of The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds. In this story a girl who believes she is not good at art develops self confidence and begins to enjoy being creative. She then encourages someone else who lacks confidence to just go ahead and try. In the afternoon we viewed the Discovery Education Livestream in which the author was interviewed and told how he was inspired to write the story. (Unfortunately someone did not determine his microphone was not working properly until halfway through the broadcast!)
Third graders created their digital dots using the ABCYA paint program and saved the images. Next week we will create our first blog post and incorporate the dot image.
Note: Any parents who have not returned the Internet permission forms need to do so as soon as possible. If you have misplaced the form please print a copy from our website.
Acceptable Use Parent -Student consent form
Student Agreement Form K-3
Welcome to another school year! The goal for third grade technology class is to learn to use a variety of technology tools and strategies to support classroom learning, and to share what we learn with others. We will have many fun activities on our way to becoming good digital citizens!
Today third graders came to the lab for the first time and logged into their desktop computers. They have also received a "password helper" taped inside the HW assignment book. They were reminded that passwords are like toothbrushes (not to be shared). The only exception to that would be with a parent or guardian. I have tried to keep a consistent pattern for usernames and passwords to make life simpler for all of us. Eventually they will not have to look at the password helper anymore. They should now have access to online resources for reading, math, and science.
We also practiced logging into the Chromebooks that students will be using at times in the classroom. Our homepage will be the cougartech webmix, which I use as a jumping off point for our activities. You may want to bookmark that site or create a desktop shortcut for quicker access to online resources from home.
This year parents will have access to the PowerSchool web portal. You will hear more about that at the back to school meeting on September 7. Parents will also receive their access code information from Mrs. Lessig. There will also be the internet permission form to be signed and returned the next day.
Please feel free to email me at any time with questions regarding Powerschool or technology class.
End of Year Wrap Up
It has been my pleasure to work with the enthusiastic third graders this year. They have been eager to learn and have grown in their digital literacy skills.
The Type to Learn program could be downloaded and used at home free of charge and some students showed evidence of definite progress in keyboarding skills as a result of home use. I would encourage you to download that program if you have not yet done so (free, PC or MAC version) using the information here. At this time our plan is to renew the program so the students will continue to have access over the summer. There is also the possibility of moving to a completely web based version, which would be preferable but also carries a much larger price tag for the school.
Students are welcomed and encouraged to write posts for their blogs over the summer. Read a good book? Have a fun experience? Travel somewhere exciting? Tell us about it! Please help them to proof read before hitting the SUBMIT button. I will check periodically for any submitted posts but I will not approve posts or comments that have not been carefully written.
Have a wonderful summer! It has been my pleasure to learn along with your wonderful children this year!
This week we wrapped up our discussion of Internet safety and cyberbullying using Intel's Think Before You Link program. This is a series of 3 video lessons on Cyber Safety, Cyber Security, and Cyber Ethics. We did the lessons together as a class and discussed the topics as we moved through the lesson. I also reminded them of age limits for social media sites and how important it is to read and comply with the terms of service for a website. Some of our students are obtaining social media accounts before the age of 13 and that is against the terms of service of any social media site. Some sites the age limits are even higher.
Three Reasons Why Social Media Age Restrictions Matter
On Friday we watched a short video about Earth Day and then visited the Virtual Rainforest for a partner scavenger hunt. We still haven't calculated the minibeast competition scores (3a vs 3b) but we will get to that soon. Next week we will compare our scavenger hunt results. Student posts on the Super Bugs they created are now available on the class blog. Please leave a comment or two. The boys and girls are excited to know when others have read what they post.
Third graders have been using the MiniBeasts website to review what they have learned in their science discussion of invertebrates and also practice copy and paste skills. They have saved their Super Bugs and used the calculator tool to tally their scores. It is 3A vs 3B. Which team has created the best equipped SuperBugs? We will find out next week. They will then share their bug creations on their blogs.
Blog posts on Jack and the Beanstalk are now live. Most of the posts will look the same in content because of the skills we were practicing in this activity. We have been working on the "magic keys" or keyboard shortcuts, and students practiced those by first cutting and pasting the story events into the correct sequence, and then copying and pasting the sentences into their blog posts. Once in the post we used select all or selecting a passage of text to do some formatting such as italics, font color, bold text, etc.
Microsoft drawing tools were used to create the "magic beans" and the beans were duplicated (Ctrl+d) and formatted. Students then snipped the beans and saved the image as a PNG file.This image was then inserted into the post.
About now is when students begin to discover commenting on posts and once they began submitting silly comments I know that it is time to learn about what makes a good comment. They discovered 5 important tips in commenting by watching a video created by some third graders in 2010 in California.
Then they drew classmates names randomly to practice using these 5 tips for good comments after I modeled what it would be like to comment on a post from one of our other classes. If they would like to do commenting from home they are welcome to do so, but please encourage them to make quality comments based on the tips learned in class. (All comments will come to me for approval before going live.) Parents can also model quality commenting by leaving comments for third graders as well. Thank you in advance for encouraging this digital communication.
We have been reviewing the keyboard shortcuts using the Ctrl key and now have added Ctrl+c (copy) to our list. Third graders went to the list of story events they had re-ordered for Jack and the Beanstalk by using Ctrl + x and Ctrl + v (cut and paste) and now copied each sentence into a blog post. We will next be adding the magic beans to our post and publishing. Stay tuned for another opportunity to leave comments on the blog.
During the month of December third graders spent their time at Code Studio, working their way through the various levels of coding puzzles as part of the third annual Hour of Code. It was a great opportunity to develop problem solving and computational thinking skills while having fun. They are welcome to continue their progress at any time on that site.
We have now gone back to our word processing work and learning keyboard shortcuts. They used cut and paste (ctrl +x, ctrl + v) to rearrange the events of Jack and the Beanstalk. Now we are using the Microsoft drawing tools to create "magic beans". They will be taking a snip/screenshot of their beans and using them in a blog post to share the story, this time using copy and paste. Stay tuned for another opportunity to comment on their writing!