- Technology Newsletter April 2017
Happy Spring! We’re doing lots of fun projects in tech class this month.
In 2nd/3rd grade, we just finished up using iMovie on the iPads to make trailers about 3D shapes. Check them out here: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0B7rJG26aQ8Vhd29XNEd1LVNsMTQ?usp=sharing
Next up for the 2nd/3rd graders is working on a boat project. Students will design and create a boat that can float while carrying a load.
In 4th/5th grade, we’re working on designing and building Wigglebots! Students learned how to complete a circuit to power a dc motor, and are using various materials to offset it and make their design move across a flat surface.
In Middle School, students are working on designing creating controllers for makey-makeys for a “client” with a physical disability.
- February 2017
There’s a lot of exciting stuff going on in technology this semester. The 2/3 classes are working on their research skills. We’ve been working on using keywords in search engines to find information online. Our next project is to create an ABC’s of Inventions book using Storyjumper. Each student was assigned one or 2 letters of the alphabet. They have to find an invention that starts with that letter and create a page of a book that will give information about the invention.
The 4/5 classes just finished up their Pure Michigan videos, and they turned out great! You can learn about some great places in Michigan and check out their videos on this interactive map! Either click on pinned locations to view the videos, or click the down arrow next to “All Items” under teacher names to view videos by individual students. Here’s the link to the map!
Middle schoolers just finished up their 5 Minutes in History podcasts. They used soundtrap.com to record their scripts and add music and effects. They did a nice job on them! Next up for Middle School is researching a job in the STEM field and completing a creative project to present the career they chose.
The middle school elective this semester is a coding adventure. Students will learn about the uses of several different programming languages, and then pick one to learn the basics of and write programs in. They can choose from any of the languages listed on Codeacademy. Students in this elective who are also on the brand new First Tech Challenge team will be able to work on their Java programs for the tournament in May.
- Technology Newsletter December 2016
Can you believe it’s already December? 2016 has flown by so fast! We’re doing a lot of fun stuff in technology this month!
In the 2/3 classes, we’re still getting to know our Google Drives, learning to use word processing programs, and learning about file types. Coming up, we will begin our Digital Storytelling unit using a great site, Storyjumper.com. We’re going to start with a templated book where they will be writing about themselves. Next, we’ll be working on a collaborative book! Storyjumper just added a great feature where students can edit books together in real time! Exciting!
In the 4/5 classes, we will be working on our Pure Michigan videos. Students are picking places in Michigan to write a poem about, then in Tech class they take their poem and turn it into a Pure Michigan video complete with photos and music. This year we’ll be adding an exciting new feature to the project as well. (You’ll just have to wait to find out what it is!)
In Middle School, we’re still working on our Podcast projects. Students picked a historical event and are writing/recording a script to tell about it in 5 minutes. They are using a collaborative, online audio mixer to record their script and create the intro/outro music for the podcast. I hope to get them on the website when we finish. Elective students are continuing to develop well-rounded games. Now we’re looking at the coding side of making games using Scratch.mit.edu.
- Technology Newsletter November 2016
Greetings all! Here’s what we’re doing in technology class this month.
We finished up with internet safety and began exploring our Google Drives. This month students will learn to create and share documents, create folders, and save pictures to their Drives. We will also be learning the different file extensions for pictures, and creating our own gif images using abcya’s animation maker.
In November the 4/5 students will be working on making Pure Michigan projects. This is a fun collaboration project where they will be researching a place in Michigan and writing a poem about it in Language Arts. Then in technology, they turn their poem into a Pure Michigan video by recording themselves reading the poem and adding music and photos.
In Middle School this month we will be working on creating our own podcasts using audio mixing software. They will be working in groups of 2-3 to create intro music, write and record their scripts, and mix the project. In the technology elective, students are continuing to create their own games.
- October 2016 Technology Newsletter
We have been discussing Cyber Safety and Acceptable use in technology this month. In the 2/3
In the 2/3 classes we are talking about the 3 keeps of internet safety. They are:
- I keep safe my personal information, all of it
- I keep away from internet strangers
- I keep telling my trusted adults anything that makes me feel uncomfortable
We had some guest speakers from the Washtenaw Area Council for Children come in and talk to the 4/5 and Middle School classes. They visited each class and led important discussions with students on concepts including cyberbullying, digital reputation, privacy & security, netiquette, and online predators.
In the Middle School technology elective we are using GameStarMechanic to learn about the elements of game design. Students are learning to create well-balanced games. Later in the semester, they will also be using Scratch to program some games.
- June 2016 Technology Newsletter
The 2/3 classes are finishing up their Green Screen videos. Most of them have their finished video saved to their Google Drives. I’ll send out an email with a link to all of the videos when they are completely finished.
The 4/5 students have been working on Scratch programming. They made awesome interactive collages about themselves. Ask your child to show you their project on Scratch.mit.edu!
In Middle School, we got some really exciting news! As I’m sure most of you heard, the Middle School Philanthropy Life Skills Class started a Donor’s Choose Project to get 25 Chromebooks, and due to a generous donor who matched that campaign, we are able to get 50 Chromebooks for next year! This means we will be able to go one-to-one with the Middle School next year!
Have a great summer!
- May 2016 Technology News
We’re doing some fun things in technology class as the end of the year approaches. In the 2/3 classes, we are continuing to work with the Green Screen iPad app. They are working to make short videos to tell about an animal that they are researching for science. The Green Screen app allows them to look like they are reporting on their animal right in the animal’s habitat. Check out the works in progress at the Curriculum Celebration on the 13th!
The 4/5 students are working on visual programming using Scratch.mit.edu. Last week they worked on making a program that had two sprites tell a joke or have a conversation. Here’s an example made by Luca Fessahazian. (link: https://scratch.mit.edu/projects/107427373/?autostart=false)
In Middle School, we are finishing up our 3d pen project. For now, here’s a sneak peak at one of the projects.
Make sure to check them all out at the Curriculum Celebration!
- April Technology Newsletter
Hi all! Can you believe it’s already April? We’re doing some exciting projects in technology class right now. In the 2/3 classes we just began working with a green screen app on the iPads. So far students are just playing with it to get comfortable using the app, but when we get back from Spring Break they will be working in small groups to make green screen videos.
The 4/5 classes have been working with Amber to make pages for a book inspired by Todd Parr. In technology class they are turning their pages into a video and recording themselves reading their pages. Then we will be combining all of their videos to make one movie of the whole book.
The middle school students are working in small groups to design and create a 3d object using the 3d pens. In the middle school elective students are hard at work building websites which they are able to host right from their Google Drives.