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Ms. Chris Whitley » All About Ms. Whitley

All About Ms. Whitley

Welcome to Computers & Technology! Looking forward to a great year with your children! 
 
My name is Chris Whitley, and this is my fourth year teaching in the computer lab at Holy Family. I absolutely love teaching children how to use computers and technology and can't wait to explore with your children this school year!
 
Prior to joining the staff at HFRS, I taught K-5 math at Pembroke Elementary in Birmingham as well as taught 4th grade at Rose Pioneer Elementary in Holly. Between those two positions, I spent a decade home raising my five children and being immersed in their many schools, activities and church events. 
 
I attended Central Michigan University and Oakland University, graduating with honors while attaining my bachelor of science degree in Elementary Education with a major in Language Arts. I earned my master's degree in Elementary Education from Marygrove College. Prior to studying education, I was a journalism major and was a reporter & photographer for two major newspapers in Michigan.
 
I have taught many levels of religious education (from PreK-6) at both Sacred Heart of the Hills in Auburn Hills and St. Daniel Church in Clarkston. I also served for many years as the high school youth group leader at Sacred Heart. I was in leadership positions at my church for many, many years and love sharing my faith with children! I can't wait to meet yours!
 
Ms. Whitley :)
 
 
 

Recent Posts

Websites We Use in the Computer Lab

Christmas Break Websites for Kids

Compiled by Ms. Whitley

December 2018


Christmas Fun


Interactive Sites for Education

http://interactivesites.weebly.com/christmas.html


Google Santa Tracker Present Bounce

https://santatracker.google.com/presentbounce.html


Abcya Holiday Games

http://www.abcya.com/third_grade_computers.htm#holiday-cat


Keyboarding Practice


Key Seeker

http://keyseeker.parkfieldprimary.com/


Keyboard Zoo

http://www.abcya.com/keyboarding_practice.htm


Keyboard Builder

https://typetastic.com/builder/v7/?m=fu


Dance Mat Typing

http://kidstyping.weebly.com/


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)

https://www.teachyourmonstertoread.com/u/1549893



Y5-5 All Subjects/Coding Games


Brainpop Jr.

https://jr.brainpop.com/ (username is hfrs, password is hfrs)


Abyca

http://www.abcya.com/


Code.org (dance party, minecraft, star wars, and more!)

https://code.org/hourofcode/overview


Lightbot

http://lightbot.com/flash.html

Password Problems

Please be aware that we are experiencing some problems with student passwords. Our tech team is in the process of rectifying the situation so that students will have a consistent password that works logging onto the PCs in the computer lab, logging onto the chromebooks and logging into Typing Agent. 
 
Many students will be getting a new password. I apologize for this inconvenience and am simply the messenger of this news! 
 
Please disregard the red Typing Agent login cards that were sent home with half of third grade. The password problem was discovered during this process which led to an all-school review of password consistency. 
 
I am very grateful to our tech team for all their effort in solving this problem. 
 
Thank you for your patience.
 
Ms. Whitley

Welcome Back!

I am so excited to come back to Holy Family for another great year in the computer lab! Good news, everyone: we have brand new computers in the lab! Thank you to everyone who made this new technology available to all the children at Holy Family. We are going to love using the new, faster devices to explore, create and practice skills during computer class! 

What's going on in the computer lab? March 2018

Want to know what your children have been working on in computer class? Check out this grade level update for more info!
 
Ms. Whitley :)
 
P.S. Still collecting cell phones for our virtual reality goggles. They need to be iOs 8.0 or higher if iphones or Androids 4.4 or higher. Donations GREATLY appreciated!  

What's going on in computers & technology?

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.


ATTENTION ALL FAMILIES: If you have an unused but working smartphone - iphone or android - that you are willing to donate, please send it into school with your child to bring to either the computer lab or library and mark it “Ms. Whitley”. Phones will be used with virtual reality apps and headsets to allow children to take virtual learning field trips. All donations are greatly appreciated!

Smartphones needed for virtual field trips


ATTENTION ALL FAMILIES: If you have an unused but working smartphone - iphone or android - that you are willing to donate, please send it into school with your child to bring to either the computer lab or library and mark it “Ms. Whitley”. Phones will be used with virtual reality apps and headsets to allow children to take virtual learning field trips. All donations are greatly appreciated!

Code-A-Pillar on Sale at Amazon.com for $28.99!

Fisher-Price Think & Learn Code-a-Pillar Toy

Amazon's Choicefor "code a pillar"
 
 
List Price: $49.99 
Price: $28.99 Free Shipping for Prime Members
You Save: $21.00 (42%)
 
 
In Stock.
 
Arrives before Christmas.
Want it tomorrow, Dec. 6? Order within 3 hrs 30 mins and choose One-Day Shipping at checkout. Details
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com in easy-to-open packaging.Gift-wrap available.

This week is the Hour of Code!

Help us celebrate Computer Science Education Week by visiting code.org with your child! There are tons of great coding activities categorized by age groups.
 
Every computer student will be coding this week and will create an algorithm (a set of rules for solving a problem) to make a character perform actions on the screen. What fun we will be having!
 
We are also having a special visitor - the Code-a-pillar! This cool toy made by Fisher Price snaps "commands" together as you link its body parts in a row. Upon pressing the start button, the Code-a-pillar will move across the floor and do exactly what you programmed it to do! Great Christmas gift idea for kids 3-8 years old - and parents too! You can set up obstacle courses and try to program this toy to maneuver around it! Find out more by clicking the link below:
 
 
 

Computer Lab News

K-3 computer classes have been learning about how to be safe on the internet, through videos, discussions, games and other online activities.
 
Third grade classes delved into social media this week with an opportunity to safely send polite and appropriate messages to computer classmates. They also had to send a message to ME stating the three internet safety rules and give three examples of how to stay safe online.
 
After a few weeks of home row key practice and lots of keyboarding, my second grade computer classes are now in the process of creating a poster with the three internet safety rules: Keep Safe. Keep Away. Keep Telling. They are learning how to change font size, style and color as well as how to insert and center an online picture, center text and use the enter key to go to the next line down. Simple things we adults do every day on computers have to be TAUGHT step by step to students - and they are doing FABULOUS!
 
First graders completed a zoo unit, in which we took virtual field trips to the Smithsonian and San Diego zoos, and explored not only their websites but also the website (animals, maps, prices, amenities, etc.) for the Detroit Zoo. The classes had an actual field trip to the Detroit Zoo last Friday. We are now starting internet safety as well as learning about fall and autumn activities, all while mastering use of the mouse and keyboard.
 
Kindergarten classes are still mastering the skill of logging ON to the computer with their very own SECRET computer names and passwords. We are continually practicing using the mouse and keyboard effectively. They have been playing lots of games that help them click, click and drag, drag and drop, scroll up and down, use the back arrow and many other basic skills - all while playing! They might just say they are playing games in computers, but please know that all that they do in the lab is helping them to become comfortable, confident computer users and digital citizens. They, too, have learned about internet safety - how the internet is like a community and just like we have safety rules in the "real world", we have safety rules online too.
 
I love getting to meet with your children every week! I hope that they are talking to you about what we do in class. They are making great progress!
 
Sincerely,
Ms. Whitley :)

Parent Helpers

I am looking for a few parents to come into the computer lab on Fridays during the school day any time between 10-3 to help clean and disinfect computers, chairs, tables, etc. I have all the supplies, just need the helping hands!
 
There are not classes in the lab on Fridays, so this is the perfect day for cleaning! (I teach in the library on Fridays.) 
 
If you can help, even just once a month, please email me directly at whitley.christine@holyfam.org.
 
Thanks!
 
Ms. Whitley :)

Attention 3rd Grade Families: Typing Agent Info Coming Home This Week

This week, third grade students are bringing home a sign in card for Typing Agent, our keyboarding program at HFRS. This card includes your child's username and password so they can log into Typing Agent from anywhere you have internet. 
 
Only these 3rd grade students are allowed to type in Typing Agent. Parents, siblings and other family members should not do any of the lessons because the students receive a grade for keyboarding. 
 
Students will be provided time to type in computer class but are welcome to type at home too! Enjoy!
 
Ms. Whitley