A Name Change

Well, I finally got to it over the holidays. I have been wanting to change the url to my blog to fit its name – Keystrokes – but did not know exactly how difficult it would be to copy everything over to a new site. After reading this post on Free Tech 4 Teachers, I gave it a try and was able to easily copy my posts to the new blog site. I had both blogs opened and just took the time to copy each link and the theme from the old to the new.  So head on over to my new place on the web. I am hoping the new name will be easier for people to remember.


See you there!  And please don’t forget to subscribe!!!

Fourth Graders Are Writers!

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This is SO exciting to me. Thanks to my good friend and co-worker, Pam Cranford, I came across this site called My StoryMaker from the carnegielibrary.org website. (You can also find a widget link on the left sidebar of this blog). The fourth grade classes have been using this website to create their stories in technology this week. So far, three classes have created stories. Once the story is completed, the student has the option to “share” the story on the website. The site gives each story a “magic number” they can give out to family and friends. When someone visits the site, they can enter the “magic number” and view the story. The website says the story will be stored on their site for about a month. In the computer lab, the students also printed out their stories to take home. I am so excited about this activity because there was 100% participation and engagement!!! If you don’t believe me, just watch the video included in this blog post. The magic numbers for the students are included below:

Matthew B. – 108265, 807388
Adrian B. – 939748
Katie C. – 758384
Dylan D. – 921069
Alyssa E. – 28313
Destiney F. – 3530
Christopher H. – 671630
Brock M. – 152873
Kyla M. – 993244
Destiny M. – 677731
Riley N. – 29007
Camden O. – 835791
Allison P. – 973704, 169587
Arayana P. – 20439
Lisa P. – 403922
Bailey R. – 160595
Jacob S. – 713411
Cade W. – 392452
Ashlee W. – 846974
Savanna C. – 17651, 821914

Brianna B. – 878016
Kyndle C. – 586529
Ryan D. – 631008
Christian F. – 210585
Jesse G. – 829111
Lauren H. – 656804
Dylon J. – 555194
Baylee L. – 690047
Makana M. – 916417, 425234
Gunner O. – 40131
natalia R. – 5131
Dalton S. – 533634
Emma W. – 437144
Mason W. – 234185
Brennan W. – 12414
Camryn W. – 334301
Austin W. – 740720
Jacob Y. – 540362
Trevor B. – 980981

Ryan B. – 433418
Tyler B. – 82039
Breanna B. – 548420
Collin B. – 504286
Andrea C. – 889543
Madison G. – 622268
Lexy H. – 87800
Linley H. – 920793
Braden H. – 916858
Luke L. – 368342
Victoria M. – 363176
Connor M. – 666386
Austin O. – 483866
Brant R. – 109865
Makayla S. – 936559
Dalton S. – 764710
Nathan W. – 115174
Johnson C. – 388391
Jane R. – 112866
Baird M. – 819200

Karli A. – 562253
Erin B. – 17680
Gabby B. – 242656
Grace B. – 629179
Braden C. – 9670
Tanner C. – 651763
Madison F. – 788906
Hailey H. – 583686
Peyton J. – 40218
James L. – 51401
Savannah M. – 412050
Harrison O. – 87795
Madison R. – 660558
Haley S. – 112100
Nick W. – 824579
Elizabeth W. – 961964
Patrick B. – 68012
Trenton G. – 25688
Tristan B. – 901850
Daniela J. – 643379

my storymaker for blog

December Plans

The fifth graders are still recording their geography terms using Photobooth and a green screen. The lighting of the green screen is rather tricky, but we are doing our best. There are 45 geography terms in all. Each group that comes to technology is responsible for recording nine terms, so it is taking more than one technology period to complete the project. I hope to get them all recorded before we leave for the Christmas break. When all the terms have been recorded, Mrs. McFall will have a great audio/visual glossary on her blog. An example is embedded below.

geography term-mov

The fourth graders will begin a writing project that will allow them to enter a contest for prizes. They will begin by practicing their writing skills with the website http://www.carnegielibrary.org/kids/storymaker/.  Next week they will begin composing the answer to the question, “How does technology make the world a better place?” in 100 words or less. The contest rules can be found at http://tweentribune.com/essay.

The third graders learned how to create a table in Pages to record data from measurements they will take this week.  They will measure their ear, foot, and height in centimeters and compare them to those of certain animals.  The animal measurements are found at http://www.lawrencehallofscience.org/kidsite/measures. This instructions for creating a table can be found by click on the picture below.

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Fourth Grade Slideshows

The fourth graders have completed their Texas Day Memories project. The groups in each class wrote about a station they went to during their Texas Day celebration a few weeks ago. They used a slide in Keynote on their MacBooks to record their sentences. Some groups found a picture to enhance their memories. Using Student Google Apps, each group added their slide to a shared presentation. We could not upload the slide from Keynote, so the students created a new slide in the shared presentation and inserted a screen capture of their Keynote slide. Each 4th grade class created their own presentation. You can view them below.

From Keyboards to Greenscreens

We finally finished our unit on Digital Citizenship.  The 3rd through 5th graders at White Oak Intermediate School are ready to have their technology instruction tailored to their needs. Below you will find lesson ideas for each grade level.

Third grade students will learn the proper technique to keyboarding.  At the request of a third grade teacher, we will spend at least one technology period learning about the home row and proper keyboarding technique.  I created a paper Mac keyboard using Corel Paintshop Pro.  Click on the keyboard below to print out your own PDF version. The students will color the fingers and related keys the same color.  They will practice proper keyboarding technique using Dance Mat Typing.

mac keyboard

Fourth graders had an awesome day Friday celebrating Texas Day.  You can check out the fourth grade teacher blogs to highlight pictures of the event by clicking here.  Our principal, Mrs. Dickson, commented that they will have a great deal to write about.  In technology, each class will collaborate on creating a slideshow of all the various aspects of the day.  They will upload their Keynote slides in Google Docs to create one class slideshow.  We will then share the slideshow using Slideshare. The teachers will post their slideshow on their blog, so check back often to see details of their amazing day!

Fifth graders are going to be using Photobooth on the Macbook and the greenscreen to video geography definitions. This will be our first attempt at using the greenscreen, and we are very excited.  Mrs. McFall will post the completed geography terms on our blog, so don’t fail to check out her blog at http://mcfalla.wonecks.net in a few weeks.  While preparing for this technique, I discovered how to download many more effects for use in photobooth.  You can check it out here.

The Proof is in the Pudding

Some of my students and some entire classes have been taking their test in Moodle to get their web license. Those students who completed the quiz last week had the opportunity to see a digital content concept first hand, thanks to an email I received from Scott Floyd.  Scott sent me a link to a website a few weeks ago to help save the Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus.  The site looks authentic. It even shows pictures and a video of the creature! The more we looked at the website, the more questionable it became.  We discussed the fact that just because something is stated as a fact on the internet, does not make it true.  After doing a search on Google for the Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus, we looked at the wikipedia definition. To complete the activity, students searched on Facts4Me to find an interesting fact about a favorite animal. Each student shared that fact on TodaysMeet. I asked students to make sure their fact was stated in a complete sentence with proper capitalization and punctuation.  I had Pam Cranford, our testing coordinator, and Karen Dickson, our principal, join us on the website from their offices so the students could gain a better understanding of the fact that ANYONE could be in the same “chatroom” with us if they had the url. It was a VERY exciting week! Students were totally engaged in the activity. They were correcting each other’s sentence structure and word usage in the “chat room.”

Digital Conduct

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Cyber Bullying is a hot topic right now.  Hardly a day goes by without a news story involving someone ending their own life  due to the effects of being bullied, quite often using cellphones and the internet. Some states have already passed anti-cyber bullying laws. The federal government is considering making it a federal crime to harass or bully someone using the internet.

Bullying is not a new social ill. It has been around as long as there has been human civilization. Using cellphones or the internet to harass takes on a whole new element, though.  To begin with, it is often very difficult to identify the bully because of the ambiguity of screen names.  Secondly, because the audience that witnesses the attack can grow exponentially through the use of the internet, the victim feels the effects of the bullying more.

One factor to consider when discussing cyber bullying is the development of the human brain.  According to http://www.examiner.com, the human brain is not fully developed until the age of 25.  Teenagers are therefore participating in activities they are not equipped to deal with. The article goes on to say:

“Prior to full brain development children exhibit the following behaviors more coincidentally vs. consistently:
•    Decision making
•    Use of appropriate judgment
•    Rational thinking
•    Integration of emotion & critical thinking
•    Ability to think clearly about long-term outcomes that stem from behaviors
•    Global thinking vs. self-centered thinking”

So, what is a parent and teacher to do.  We must make our children and students aware of the dangers and temptations they will face when using the internet. That will require talking to them, and talking to them often. That will require monitoring their cellphone and online activity.

Students will watch the Garfield cartoon on cyberbullying in the e Safety LiveBinder under the Student tab called Bouncy-A.  They will then go to their own computer and complete Garfield Cyberbullying 2 or Garfield Cyberbullying 3 in the same tab.

The students will then log in to Moodle and complete the Digital Conduct Quiz. You can log in as a guest to view the lesson. The guest user name is woteacher and the password is woteacher. You will find my course under Enhancements: Technology with Mrs. Peery.

Understanding Passwords

We will finish up our unit on Digital Citizenship next week when the students examine Digital Conduct.  This week we are going to take a break from the routine and look at passwords. Today being Columbus Day, the students had a break and did not have to come to school. The district employees met in the High School Auditorium to hear about Social Networking from the TGB Fraud organization.  We heard some very good information about safeguards to keep in mind when using social network sites to help protect your identity.  The speaker also shared with us some good ideas for setting and changing passwords.  I will pass this information along to my students this week.  We will watch the above video to get the converstation started.

Click on the picture below to see the rules for passwords we will be discussing.
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