Mason Road School
February is already a short month, and snow days don't help! We didn't get a lot of time together in the Computer Lab this month, but students did great work when they were here! Both First Grade and Kindergarten were able to make cards or pictures for Valentine's Day - First Graders used a fun website that let them print out fold-able Valentine's Day cards, and Kindergartners used many different tools in TuxPaint to create something for their loved ones.
During our STEAM Bonus Special in February, first graders did a wonderful job making free-standing structures out of paper hearts. They had to use their imagination and perseverance to glue strips of paper together to make something that would stand up on its own, and it was great to see what they were able to create!
In March, DCRSD's STEAM Director, Mrs. Ares, will be visiting Mason Road to help teach students about BeeBots! We have fun lessons in store that students will be sure to love. In addition to this, students will continue to practice typing, and Kindergarten will get the opportunity to make an alphabet book for their class!
Dudley Elementary School
Both Second and Fourth Grade at DES spent February wrapping up some bigger projects we've been working on. Second Grade used WorldBook, an online encyclopedia, to research interesting facts about an animal of their choice. They took those facts and turned them into a riddle, which they then published as a mini-flip book using Google Drawings. It was wonderful to see how creative everyone was, and students truly enjoyed learning about their animals!
Fourth Graders did a group research project on a region of the US. They used the kid-friendly search engines, Kiddle and KidRex, and online encyclopedias, WorldBook and Ducksters, to find information about the states, industry, major cities, climate, and Native Americans of their region. After they'd conducted their research, students worked collaboratively in Google Slides to create a professional presentation with their information!
Click the arrows to see more slides made by students in Mrs. Carroll's class!
Third Graders spent their February using different tools in GSuite - they practiced typing up paragraphs in Google Docs and made Valentine's Day Word-Hearts in Google Drawings. Some of these Word Hearts were so creative and really showed a lot of skill!
At the end of February and beginning of March, everyone at DES was introduced to our new typing incentive program - we have a chart in the back of the computer lab that all students in the school will use to keep track of their Words Per Minute. As their WPM increases, they'll be able to move themselves up the chart. With this new program, students were introduced to a new typing website - typing.com. This website is similar to TypingClub, but it gives students the opportunity to choose lessons based on what they're working on. For instance, Second and Third graders can practice typing with punctuation, and Fourth graders can choose to practice typing paragraphs (to get them ready for the MCAS!). Whenever they want to (at home, during recess, during free time in computer class, etc), students can take a 1 minute typing test on typing.com that will tell them their WPM! The goal for 4th grade is to be able to type at 20 wpm by the end of the year. For 3rd grade, the goal is 15, and 2nd grade, the goal is 10. Already there are many students who are well above their goal! Most importantly with this program is that students aren't competing against each other, but they're competing with themselves to always keep improving.
Looking into March, both 3rd and 4th graders will spend time going over how to use the different tools on TestNav (where they will take their MCAS), so that they are well prepared come April. Second grade will be introduced to Zoombinis, a computer game that teaches students the fundamentals of logic (something very important in computer science!). Third grade will continue to practice typing paragraphs in Google Docs, and will also get to try a Minecraft Breakout (similar to Escape the Room, but less scary and stressful, and more educational). It should be very fun! Fourth grade will be introduced to coding using Code.org's curriculum!