7/31/14

Computer History Lesson Plan


Well, happy summer! I have been spending sometime revamping my lessons (who says teachers get summers off?!) One lesson that I want to include this year is about the history of the computer. This lesson is intended for my 5th grade computer class. You can make adaptions as you see fit!

Enjoy!
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Computer History
Class Period: 40 Minutes
Classes: 6-8


Day 1:
Introduction to computer history
Use Brainpop’s video (please note, you will need to have an account) to introduce the topic. http://www.brainpop.com/technology/computerscience/computerhistory/preview.weml


After the video, read and discuss the main questions that go along with this video:
Who made the first computer?


Was the Antikythera mechanism really the first computer?


What do we use computers for?


Activity:
Have the students chose one way technology has changed the way we work and compare it to how it was done in the past. For example, in the past people wrote letters to communicate. Today we use email.  


Have the students complete Read Write Think’s compare and contrast and select similarities and differences to follow the prompts given. Have students respond. http://www.readwritethink.org/classroom-resources/student-interactives/compare-contrast-30066.html


There is an awesome save option for your students to use if they do not have enough time to complete this task. Save if needed.


Day 2:
Introduction and Review: Discuss some highlights from Brain Pop’s Video on Computer History and the activity that the students need to complete: RRT Compare and Contrast organizer (if needed.)


Print and share.


Days 2 / 3-4:
Activity:
Discuss with students that they are going to begin research on the history of the computer using a guided Google Docs worksheet.
  • Make sure to “Share” the document with your students. Have them “Make a Copy” and “Share” it back to you.
  • Students will use the guided worksheet to discover the history of the computer.


Days 4-6 (possibly 7 or 8 if needed):


Introduction:
After students have completed their Computer History Google Docs Worksheet, the students will then create an info-graphic timeline from scratch using Piktochart found at: https://magic.piktochart.com/
Define and discuss the term: Info-graphic


  • Some examples of technology timeline info-graphics to show your students:


Activity:
Introduce Piktochart to students. Either Share and Make a Copy of the Student Assignment Requirements or print them out and pass them out to the students.
  • Demonstrate how to create an account.
  • Have students select Info-graphic, and new template/blank canvas.
    • Piktochart is an easy-to-use-tool. Before you introduce it to your students, I would suggest getting to know it’s features. I am a big proponent of allowing children to “Play” when introduced to a new tool in technology. After you have taught them the tools of the trade, allow them to “play” around for a few minutes to understand and learn Piktochart’s features.
  • Once the students have an excellent understanding of Piktochart, have them take their researched knowledge of Computer History and turn it into a info-graphic timeline.




1/10/14

Typing Club for your classroom



With today's implementation of the Common Core, the skill of becoming a proficient typist is more important now than ever. But where do you begin? And at what age?

At the beginning of my professional career, I taught preschool children (3 and 4 year olds) computer education in a daycare setting. During that time I had made it a part of their daily learning activity by playing typing games; and practiced word and letter recognition by having the students type sight words and his or her name. Just the simple introductory at that age is very important. However, as they become older, students need more of a "formal" approach to learning the keyboard. I have posted in the past typing exercises and Websites for you to use (click here to check them out). Recently I have introduced Typing Club to my third grade class.

Typing Club is a free site that offers a basic version and a school version. While the school version does have a small fee associated with it (that I honestly did not select due to budget constraints at my school), it has a free, basic version as well. Why sign up for the school version? Simple- you can easily track your student's progress!

What I liked about using Typing Club is that it starts out very basic- focusing only on two keys at a time (lessons that you can customize and choose), which is perfect for younger students. Students are rewarded with the ability to see their progress and are able to challenge one another with their typing scores that are displayed on a classroom scoreboard. This definitely kept my third graders engaged. Games are included in the free version while typing tests are not.

I also found the interface to be extremely easy to navigate for both teacher and student! Make sure to check out Typing Club and place it into your teacher tool box for safe keeping!

12/27/13

Website Spotlight: Symbaloo for Education


Tablet. Chromebook. iPad. Smart Phone. What do these tech tools all have in common? Apps. Children are often excited when they see a colorful square with a fun icon nestled inside. For years I have been listing hyper-linked words on my classroom Website for students to endlessly search through until they found the exact link I was directing them to. Then I stumbled onto Symbaloo and was able to make the list of links into colorful "app-like" clickable boxes.

You can get Symbaloo for free in both "public" and "education" versions as well as use the paid version with more features. Easily bookmark and share your Websites with ease- as well as make it visually appealing!

Symbaloo can turn your list of hyper-linked Web Words and make them into fun app-like bookmarks. Have your students sign up and create their own Symbaloo's for a research project. Create a Symbaloo and post it to your classroom Website or have the Symbaloo be the first Web page that opens when your students click on their Web Browser!

Symbaloo's are also easy to share or borrow from other educators. I have shared with you my Symabloo for Third Grade- it is still a work in progress, but please feel free to grab it for yourself. Enjoy!

Please Note: I changed the width of the Symbaloo for it to fit inside my blog post as it is also displayed on my classroom Website as well. You can change the size of your Symbaloo when you are logged into your account to accommodate for the width of your Webpage..


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