Thursday, August 29, 2013

Let's Move Those Fingers!!

Was developed by gunmakers E. Remington & Sons in Ilion, NY from 1874-1878.  It was named  the "Sholes & Glidden Type Writer," and it was produced by the gunmakers E. Remington & Sons in Ilion, NY from 1874-1878.  Read more about how the design came about here.

A major emphasis of technology at the elementary level has always been improving our keyboarding skills.  Even though we don't normally type on "regular" typewriters any more, keyboarding is an integral part of our life.  Most occupations have a technological component and technology is integrated into your child's education from Day #1.  Throughout the year we will also cover such topics as Internet Safety, Digital Communication, using appropriate digital tools and resources and use of computer applications.

South Dakota is now part of The Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, a state-led consortium working to develop assessments to measure student progress toward college- and career-readiness. This assessment system is aligned to the  Common Core State Standards (CCSS) .  One major difference we see in these tests is that they are all given online (vs. paper and pencil) and that the test itself is more rigorous, requiring deeper thinking with extended explanations in more of an essay-type format (vs. multiple choice).  Of course, students need to be proficient in their keyboarding skills for this type of assessment!

Kindergarteners are just learning where the keys on the keyboard are located.  We play a variety of online games as to develop this skill.  Mouse control is also a new skill for many Kindergarteners.  We are also learning the correct terminology used for different parts of the computer hardware  (monitor, keyboard etc.) as well as vocabulary for things located on the desktop of the computer (icon, dock, cursor etc.)

First Graders are about to begin a program called Dance Mat Typing, an introduction to touch typing for ages 7-11.  There are 4 levels that will gradually build keyboarding skills. Dance Mat Typing is a fun program with some singing and dancing of their characters built into the program.  Kids love the British accent as well!

Third-Sixth graders use a program called Type To Learn.  This is a cumulative touch typing program which retains students' information from year to year.  Review, demonstration, practice and assessment are all included in this program.  Accuracy AND words per minute (speed) are analyzed and assessed. Since this program is in a game format, it is engaging for the students.
  • Use the correct fingers
  • There's no need to rush!
  • Always rest your wrists on the desk
  • You should take a rest, and shake your hands and arms to relax your muscles if you get tired
  • It's important not to look at your hands when you are learning to type. The best way to ensure that you don't look at your hands is to cover them up - you can make a simple box out of cardboard or wood to cover both the keys and your hands
  • Sit comfortably with your back up straight and your feet on the ground!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The Star-Spangled Banner

We've been learning about the history behind the Star-Spangled Banner in school.  One of the videos we watched this week was this one -  the Star-Spangled Banner played by Jake Shimabukuro on his ukulele.  Jake has quite a few recording on YouTube if you want to take a listen!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Sunday, August 18, 2013

NewSong: Who Loved You First

NewSong is an American contemporary Christian music group that was founded in 1981, at Morningside Baptist Church in Valdosta, Georgia. They have had eight GMA Dove Award nominations. Wikipedia