Christmas Break Websites for Kids
Compiled by Ms. Whitley
Interactive Sites for Education
Google Santa Tracker Present Bounce
Abcya Holiday Games
Dance Mat Typing
Typing Agent (grade 3 only)
https://hfrs.typingagent.com (3rd graders only have own id and password)
Phonics/Reading (each 1st grade child has own username and password)
Y5-5 All Subjects/Coding Games
https://jr.brainpop.com/ (username is hfrs, password is hfrs)
Code.org (dance party, minecraft, star wars, and more!)
News from Ms. Whitley from the North Campus Computer Lab & 3rd Grade Library
Third graders continue to improve their keyboarding skills using our Typing Agent program. They just finished a unit on the Home Row Keys. They have been learning how to post on our classroom social media page and how to send appropriate messages to the class and teacher. They will be using their word processing skills to create cards to be sent to other Catholic schools in honor of Catholic Schools Week. All students recently experienced the Hour of Code and practiced programming activities on the PCs and ipads.
Second graders not only joined in coding on the computers and ipads but also got to program two caterpillars we named Al and Alice - appropriately named because each piece of the creature was a command in an Algorithm. We turned the lab floor into a giant game board to use our whole bodies to practice commands from the Angry Birds game at code.org. They too have been practicing keyboarding through lots of games online. We just embarked on an adventure in Habitats to coordinate with their grade level unit in the classroom. Students have designed deserts, rainforests and more on the computer! They also learned how to use an online dictionary to look up habitat terms they don’t know - or any words they want to learn more about!
First graders enjoyed their playtime with Al and Alice too - amazing how they are coding at such a young age and understanding how to place the pieces in order in an algorithm to get the caterpillar from one place to another! First grade students have been exploring winter weather in the lab - complete with snowflakes projecting around the room and a teacher bundled for the cold weather while indoors! In addition to winter explorations, they have just begun exploring all kinds of penguins through websites with videos, pictures and class KWL charts on the smartboard. This week they learned how to use Tux Paint, a computer drawing software, and each child is drawing a penguin along with including a fact they learned about penguins from their online exploration of penguins last week. I’m hoping our penguins will be ready to hang up in the hallway for Open House, as these projects are a beautiful representation of the talent and learning our students have done in computer class!
Kindergarten classes just ended for the semester and new classes started this week. The new classes are beginning the semester with learning how to hold and manipulate the mouse, practicing finding letters on the keyboard, learning the names of computer parts and also how to stay safe on the internet. Soon they will be logging into their very OWN accounts with IDs and secret passwords! We have lots of learning games and activities to give the children plenty of practice using the mouse and keyboard - all while having fun!
Young Fives students will have their first visit to the computer lab next week! I’ve heard they are very excited to find out what goes on in the lab! They have enjoyed a semester of art and are ready to come across the hall to computers. Thankfully, their teacher lets them explore the chromebooks and smartboard a lot in class, so I’m sure this group will be up for the challenge of using a PC in the lab! Because this group is a larger class, we will rotate in stations - some children working on PCs, others on ipads and some on chromebooks. We are so lucky to have many great age-appropriate technology options in our North Campus Computer Lab!
In addition to teaching computers & technology, I have the privilege of teaching 3rd grade library. My students have been learning all about locating books in the library and delving into the Dewey Decimal System. Soon we will start our Authors In April books...and I’m even planning a virtual trip to the coral reefs for the children since our author, Jason Chin, has written a fabulous book titled Coral Reefs. While I can order a set of virtual reality headsets, I’m still in need of smartphones to put inside them so that each child can experience the trip under the sea! A collection is underway to round up enough phones for at least a half class at a time to experience this wonderful, realistic technology that coordinates perfectly with our upcoming books.
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