Thursday, December 19, 2013

Google+ Hangout with White House Pastry Chef, Florist

Third graders in Ms. Key’s class participated in an online Google+ Hangout with the White House pastry chef, Bill Yosses, and White House florist,  Laura Dowling, on Thursday, December 19. The class was one of only three across the United States chosen for active participation! To prepare, the students researched the White House before the hangout. They also wrote questions to ask the chef and the florist. Their question about "lines of symmetry" generated great responses!

Our students were wonderful representatives of their families, our school, and Round Rock ISD!

Ms. Key's students are ready for the Google+ Hangout to begin!
Emily, Abigail, and Jordan practiced asking their questions before the Hangout.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Giving Technology? Check Out These Tech Contracts

Many children will be receiving cell phones, smart phones, tablets, laptops, and/or gaming systems during the holiday season. These expensive gifts will be favorites long after the kids return to school, but they can also impact family time, family interactions, family budgets, and family safety.

The Family Online Safety Institute has created contracts for a variety of popular devices to help parents set expectations and limits for their use. The contracts help parents think about the ramifications of new devices. By setting expectations for use BEFORE the items are unpacked and activated, parents may prevent conflicts and disagreements. The contracts can be downloaded and customized by parents to suit the needs of the family. Contracts are designed to be signed by both the child receiving the device and the parent.

Holiday Contract Cards for Families

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Creating Graphs in Microsoft Excel

Students in Ms. Hanna's fourth grade TAG math class used Microsoft Excel to create graphs during a lesson on December 10. In math, they were working on graphing a given set of data using appropriate graphical representation.

This lesson also addressed Technology TEKS 4(B): collect, analyze, and represent data to solve problems using tools such as word processing, databases, spreadsheets, graphic organizers, charts, multimedia, simulations, models, and programming languages.

Students found the assignment challenging, but they were able to successfully complete the various graphs.

Jaden (above) begins work on his bar graph, which is pictured below.

Hailey (above) begins work on her circle graph; the finished graph is pictured below.

Publishing Research with Microsoft Word

Learning to locate information and understand informational texts and websites is a critical skill for our students. During their research unit for the second nine weeks, second grade students were guided by their teachers in the use of search strategies to access information, which is Technology TEKS 3(A). They also used research skills to build a knowledge base regarding a class topic, which is Technology TEKS 3(B).

The students then wrote expository pieces to share what they learned about their research topic. They published their pieces using Microsoft Word, so they were also working on the technology skills of creating original products and saving them.

Ms. Street works with Gianna, Ethan, Grace, and Daniel during the publishing process.

Grace displays her completed piece about the Day of the Dead, which was the class research topic.

Publishing Personal Stories in Microsoft Word

During the second nine weeks, first grade students worked on writing personal stories that included a beginning, a middle, and an end. They used Microsoft Word to publish their stories, which addresses technology skill 1(B): create original products using a variety of resources. Students learned how to center titles and how to make capital letters using the SHIFT key.

Below are some screen shots of stories written by students in Ms. Campbell's class. You can tell from their stories how much the boys enjoyed Halloween and Trick or Treating!

Subtracting Apples in Kidspiration 3

In November, first grade students in used a program called Kidspiration 3 to work on both technology skills and math skills. Students opened a teacher-created template and then saved it. Saving can be a tricky skill, as students have to find and select their own folders as the save location. This skill is introduced in first grade and should be mastered by the end of second grade.

The "Subtracting Apples" activity required students to follow written directions and drag the specified number of apples from the tree to the basket. Then they filled in the blanks for the subtraction problem. Students enjoyed the activity and got in some important practice in both math and technology.

Vincent (above) is in Ms. Neubauer's class; Vincent's work is shown below.

Students, like Julien in Ms. Neubauer's class, printed their work for a classroom display.