Students in grades 3-5 have been participating in National Computer Science Week. Memorial students have been learning about programming this week. To find out more about some of our actiivities please visit some of our sites we have used this week. I have added a few extras for those of you that would like to continue throughout the year with some fun coding activities.
Two of our Memorial School Student Tech Team members had their first assignment for the year. They were asked to reload apps on the new I-Pad Air cart that was delivered to Mrs. Cyr's classroom yesterday. Neil and Barrack reloaded the apps for the third grade students in Room 208 so they could use their new I-Pads. Great job!
You may ask what do these things all have in common? If you ask a Memorial third grader they will tell you that they are taking a virtual field trip to Plimoth Plantation and doing a research project on the Wampanoags and English Colonist using Explain Everything on their I-Pads.
Our project has gone 100% digital this year. Teachers shared the project through Google Drive to their students. Students then imported the project into Explain Everything and have been learning all the ins and outs of the app as we work on our research projects.
Accessing the "You are a Historian" site, students are taking the tour of the Wampanoag Village to kick off the project. Once we are done studying the Wampanoags we will continue our adventure studying the English Colonist.
Students are preparing for a real life experience to Plimoth. When they return from their trip they will produce a project using either Book Creator or Explain Everything highlighting what they learned. They will be taking original photographs while they are at Plimoth Plantation to add to their projects.
One of the biggest concerns for parents and educators these days is safety on the web for our children and students. Educating our students on the do's and don'ts of being safe on the web is an important role for both parents and teachers. With so many different social media sites, it is important to carefully evaluate the settings of the sites for your children and what is being shared about them and you. Privacy is a big issue these days, but if we as users keep an eye on what we are sharing, then that is one of the first steps you can take for keeping your child safe on the web as well as yourself.
Having conversations with your child or students is also important. They need to know what is acceptable to share and what is not. Children don't always know when they are giving too much information about themselves whether they post a photo of themselves wearing their team gear or talking about the birthday party they are going to on Saturday to someone on-line.
This link will give you some ideas of some of the most important conversations you can have with your children/students about staying safe on-line. National Children's Advocacy Center
You will also find some great resource links for learning more about Internet Safety.
As we transition to our Chromebooks as our primary device I am finding that many teachers are looking to use keyboard shortcuts with their Chromebooks. I have gathered some of these for you to help make this transitioin easier. Keyboard Shortcuts for Chromebooks
Another new school year brings us to a question that I am asked each year by teachers. How can I get my students to type their projects faster? Using our keypads on our mobile devices and phones are great, but when it comes to writing a paper in doc's the teachers find that the student's typing skills need a refresher course after the summer break. Here are a few typing sites that may help your students improve their speed and accuracy when typing. There are many programs that can be purchased for home use as well, but these are a few free sites that offer some activities that your students may enjoy.
I also suggest that teachers check out the Chromebooks for the students on occassion so that they are using a standard keyboard to type their projects with. Typing is a great practice skill to add to your students homework list!
Please join us for an informational meeting on PARCC.
When: Wednesday, March 18, 2015
Time: 6 P.M.-8 P.M.
Where: Marshall Simonds Middle School
Library Learning Commons
The BPS EdTech Team will be hosting a Parent Tech Night on Wednesday, March 18 from 6-8PM at Marshall Simonds Middle School. Join us to learn about the 2015 Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) assessments for grades 3-8 in Burlington schools. Participants will be able to explore practice tests and experience features of the PARCC TestNav application being used by students during the assessments.
Burlington students in grades 3-8 will be completing the PARCC assessments for English Language Arts and Math during the week of March 23-27. Students will be using their 1:1 iPads for the tests. The BPS EdTech and IT Teams have been preparing student devices and helping to support teachers and students for the upcoming assessments.
Looking for a new app for creating video from some of your favorite photos? Take a look at "Nutshell". You can add captions to your photos and create quick movies that can be shared through your mail, Twitter, and Instagram acounts. Here is the link for this free app: Nutshell
Maybe one of our students will be the next developer of the ideas that you will read about in this article. Interesting to look to the future and imagine what classrooms will look like. Will there be traditional classrooms? It is not too far away to what this 14 year old CEO speaks about. Hope you take a few minutes to read what could be in our near future!