Computer Lab 2011-2012
As a result of the generous support from MEF and the LP PTA, first through fifth grade students have an opportunity to develop the 21st century computer skills necessary to participate in a technology-oriented society as they progress through their academic careers. Students attend weekly computer classes in order to refine keyboarding and mouse skills for more efficient and effective use of computers, learn word processing and presentational software programs, develop the skills necessary to navigate through the Internet responsibly and safely, and reinforce math and language arts through educational game play.
This year we acquired a new typing program, Type to Learn 4. This program has much improved features including better graphics, more challenging lessons and activities, coverage of additional keys and keyboard shortcuts, more real-world typing connections and better assessment tools. Third through fifth graders love the updated themes and activities, and spend the first third of each class using the software. Computer lab projects introduce third graders to the Microsoft Office programs, and in subsequent grades, the lessons reinforce previously learned skills and increase in complexity as new aspects of the software programs are introduced. The computer lab curriculum also addresses technology in the classroom and at home, and how to use it in a safe and responsible manner. Educational videos, activities and discussionsare used to explore issues such as Internet safety, cyber citizenship, cyber bullying, searches with web browsers, and the creation of safe usernames and passwords.
First and second graders learn computer basics during weekly computer classes. Students start with Type to Learn Jr. to learn basic keyboarding skills. They continue to develop mouse and keyboarding skills using Kid Pix Deluxe 4 and to create artwork and illustrate simple concepts in math and language arts. Students also use a variety of programs including Chuck Wagon Bill, Spelling Blaster, Letters Home from Camp Tadpole, Wild West Math, and Math Blaster to reinforce reading and math concepts, and they learn to identify and count currency with Coin Critters. Another popular program is Smart Games Challenge #1, which is a collection of classic and brainteaser puzzles which teaches and reinforces logic, develops reasoning ability, and strengthens word and math skills. Spring projects will include publishing a story with Easy Book Deluxe and using Kid Pix Deluxe 4 to make a classroom slideshow about the students’ favorite memories of the year. These slideshows will be on display in the first and second grade classrooms during Open House.
Projects by Grade
Student Nametag -Students create nametags with text and clipart in Microsoft Word.
Name Acrostic– Students use Microsoft Word to create an acrostic with their name and descriptive words about themselves. They learn to format Word Art, text and text boxes.
Color Poem – Students use Microsoft Word to write poems describing a color with their five senses; they learn additional text formatting skills and how to insert clipart.
Planet slide show– Students conduct Internetresearch on a planet of their choice and create a slide show in Microsoft PowerPoint. They learn to format slide backgrounds, format WordArt and text, copy and paste photos from the Internet, insert a video, and add transitions.
Programming – Students learn simple programming to create complex geometric designs and pictures with Microworlds EX.
Programming – Students continue to learn simple programming to create complex geometric designs and pictures with Microworlds EX.
“Spanish California” slide show– Students conduct Internet research to obtain information about the European exploration of California and create a slide show in Microsoft PowerPoint. They learn how to format WordArt and text, copy pictures from the Internet, insert a video, add transitions, use custom animations, and embed links into the slide show.
“All About Me Wanted Poster”– Students use Kidspiration 2 for brainstorming facts about themselves, Microsoft Paint to create pop art images from their photographs, and Microsoft Word to create wanted posters combining the images and facts.
Favorite Book Series– Students collect data from their classmates about their favorite book series and graph the results in Microsoft Excel.
Scavenger Hunt– Students conduct Internet research and use Microsoft Word to create a title page and a simple report.
Chemical Elements Brochure– This is a collaborative, graded project integrating 5th grade science curriculum with the computer lab. Students use the Internet to obtain information and pictures about their chemical element, use Excel to compile and graph data about element classification in the periodic table, and produce a three panel, two-sided brochure in Publisher presenting the information.
Scientist Report – This is a collaborative, graded project integrating 5th grade science curriculum with the computer lab. Students research a scientist or inventor on the Internet and produce a PowerPoint slide show with facts, pictures, and video to present in their 5th grade classroom. They will also learn more advanced PowerPoint techniques.
Technology Survey – Students take a brief survey of technology related questions, and graph the class results with Excel. This ties into a discussion about Internet Safety, cyber bullying, social networking, as well texting and other technology topics