In the fourth grade computer class it's all about practicing keyboarding. One activity that I have the fourth graders do is to open up Microsoft Word. In Word I have them practicing their home row keys (ASDF JKL;) by typing a series of letters (aaa, ddd, fff, sss, etc.). This allows them to practice the proper placement of their fingers on the keys. I also have them type grade appropriate spelling words (sometimes making it a competition). I don't look for correctly spelled words, but I do look for proper finger placement.
Another activity I have them do is to go to a keyboarding website that is made by the BBC (the students call it the goat website because there is a dancing goat on one of the levels). This website has them go through stages and shows them proper finger placement on the home row keys. It's a great tool and lots of fun for them. They usually ask to go on it if they have any free time after their work is done. The website is listed below and is wonderful practice--even for me!!
Starting with the second grade, I have begun using a website called Growing with Technology. The website introduces Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, Powerpoint) at an age appropriate level. It has grades K-5th with different activities for each program on Office and allows the students to be able to learn them.
Also I have begun using this website for internet scavenger hunts. The Growing with Technology website, along with another educational website I found, both give me ideas for scavenger hunts. The main purpose of these hunts is to familiarize the students with internet research. The scavenger hunts allow the students to be presented with a worksheet with different questions and when sent to a specific site, they are able to find the answer by reading and learning more about the topic. Just recently the fourth graders were sent on a Weather systems scavenger hunt. They were given a worksheet with questions pertaining to weather and sent to different websites to look for the answers. The website below is the website that has links to these sites. Some of the links did not work, however, we were able to explore and look them up as a class.
This week we...
HAVE A WONDERFUL AND SAFE SPRING BREAK!!!!
*We did our bbc typing practice as our warm up then I had them do 2 three minute typing tests. I took their best score.
*We also had a fun internet scavenger hunt. March is Women's History Month, so I sent them to a website that is listed below and had them fill out a worksheet. The worksheet had different influential women listed and they were able to click and learn on the website. It was alot of fun and very educational!
*We did keyboarding warm ups on the bbc website and also took 3 two minute typing tests on the typing test website. I recorded their best score out of the three.
*We also did an internet scavenger hunt! I gave the students a worksheet with 10 US Presidents on it along with some events that happened during their presidency. I sent them to a website with information about each president and had them match the event with the president. Then I had them choose a president from the worksheet that they wanted to know more about and in some space provided for them had them write a few facts including birth and death dates, other governmental positions, and political party.
*Learned about databases!!! Last week we talked about spreadsheets on Microsoft Excel and had a small introduction to gathering information and sorting it in an organized manner (please see note). The students were given a database concerning the planets, their size, the number of moons they have, etc. They were also given a corresponding worksheet with questions pertaining to the database. The students learned to look at the information given to them and answer specific questions. They had fun learning about the planets! Even I learned some things, such as: Mars has the longest year (687 days) and Venus takes 5,832 hours to rotate a full 360 degrees. I was even reminded that Pluto is no longer a planet; which I had known, but I suppose the website was a little outdated. Perhaps I should call the website and remind them! We took the time, though, to look up the date that Pluto was no longer considered a planet and why that was.
*We also practiced our keyboarding, as always, on the bbc typing website.
**(NOTE: We looked at a spreadsheet that had sales for Model Rockets. There were questions that told us to add numbers or take away numbers. It also asked us specific questions such as "What day had the biggest amount of sales?" This activity allowed the students to be introduced to Excel in a fun and educational manner.