Classroom Updates

2nd Marking Period
Dear Families,

Thank you for a great turnout with Robotics night.  It was nice to see families working together in the name of computer science and robotics.  Meanwhile, your students are working hard to become intuitive technology users. Technology centers were introduced or reviewed to fine tune certain skills within our program.

In Kindergarten, we continued to master our technology operations and concepts, becoming more confident on logging in and navigating to our activity page.  In our keyboarding center, students are working hard to type letters and words.  In addition, we met in small groups to create digital word processing projects with the PAINT program to celebrate the winter season, worked with building design challenges, and were introduced to our robot Dash, where we began to learn about ALGORITHMS (a list of directions for a computer to follow).

During our first grade classes, we continued our study of computational thinking, moving from understanding a sequence and how to properly use the interface to creating an algorithm and applying these algorithms in various ways; for example, with our Dash Robot center.  In addition, we discussed finding and fixing problems, or BUGS, in a program.  In our Keyboarding center, students continued to practice uppercase letters and have now begun to move into a keyboarding activity which focused on typing popular sight words and introduce proper hand placement in a fun and meaningful way.  In our building center, students were introduced to the Design Process through different design challenges to work with and move through.
Second graders have been learning about a variety of different applications.  We have been fine tuning our proper hand placement, working on our posture and attempting to keep our eyes on the monitor, rather than the keyboard. I’ve noticed big improvements with their typing skills.  In coding, we continued to practice creating our own programs with the exercises, and finding BUGS to DEBUG within an algorithm.  Our next concept will be introducing EVENTS.  In our Robotics center, students were introduced to our Dash and Dot robots, and have been applying their knowledge of algorithms from block coding, to a visually different alternative in the Wonder workshop.  In word processing, students began to learn the basic menu functions within Microsoft Word, understanding how to change font type, size, and color.  We have learned that certain keys on the keyboard can also help us, such as the ENTER key, and that only 1 space can help separate words.  For Black History Month and Presidents day, we discussed the benefit of virtual simulations and took virtual field trips to various

Third graders focused this past marking period on Digital Citizenship, Communication and Collaboration, and Research and information fluency as well as our various centers with robotics and engineering.  In Schoology, your student began to learn and apply appropriate online communication tools, discussing important digital citizenship concepts with one another, and how to leave comments which show Grandview Greatness and online etiquette.  We read the book “Technology Tail” by Julia Cook, learning that information we post can follow us.  During Black History Month, we collaborated with Classroom teachers and the Wax Museum, practicing and recording our own voices to create and ‘interactive’ wax museum poster with a program called Seesaw.  In our coding units, students are learning to identify patterns in our code and create LOOPS (repeated actions and set certain conditions in our code, or CONDITIONALS.  Our robot sphero will be making an appearance during 3rd marking period to complete a ‘shapes’ challenge and work with our programming interface with sphero.  In the meantime, students are learning that code can help draw various shapes and objects using our LOOPS, or repeat block.

During 3rd marking period, we will explore our Design process and understand how technology and society can work together.  We will continue with our coding challenge, and introduce our photography/film units into our centers.  I look forward to implementing these activities with our students.

Educationally Yours,

Mrs. Pietrocola