Wednesday, March 30, 2011

EtherPad: Working Together

EtherPad is an amazing web site! You create a "pad" and put a link to it in the student shared space. Your students can then access it and work on it together. All of them can edit, add, and delete text, and it keeps track of who does what. Students can even use the chat portion to discuss what they are doing. The final document can be copied or exported to other file types.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Calculator Chaos

Fourth grade students are trying the web site Calculator Chaos. The students have a "broken" calculator with only a few buttons that work. The have to find a way to make all of the numbers appear on the screen before time runs out. If they make it, they can put their time up on the SMARTboard.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Patterns and Symmetry

This week third grade students experimented with patterns using the web pages SnowFlaker and KaleidoDraw. They made patterns using LinoTiler and Tessalate! Teachers, all four sites are lots of fun to use on a SMARTboard.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Google Custom Search

Last week I was lucky to go to the MACUL (Michigan Association for Computer Users in Learning) conference in Detroit. I learned many great things, but the one I end up using the most may be Google Custom Search. For class projects, I have always been nervous about doing an all out Google search. Instead I would put a list of links on a page or have a series of shortcuts for the students to follow. With Google Custom Search I won't have to do that. I can set up a search that will just look through the web sites I specify. Here is one I did for future 50 States projects. Students will still get practice searching, but the resources will be ones I pick.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Spring Newsletter

If you didn't make it in for conferences, here is my Spring Newsletter:

Thanks for stopping by the Charlevoix Elementary School computer lab. Many grades have just finished up some exciting projects and there are more fun things planned for the rest of the year. Read below to find out more.

Students continue to learn more and more of the drawing and painting program Kid Pix. You should continue to see some great artwork coming home. Students will also be using the reading program Bailey’s Book House to practice their language arts skills.

First Grade
If you have access to the Internet at home, check out the Goodnight Moon slide shows on the Student Projects page at The first graders did a great job. Upcoming activities include drawing a computer, playing a math game, and integrating text and graphics in Microsoft Word.

Second Grade
The students have now learned how to type each letter from the home row position. They will continue to practice touch typing using the program Type to Learn, Jr. After spring break, second grade students are going to write, type, proofread, and format a technology-themed paragraph.

Third Grade
Students just got to digitally manipulate their school picture. You can see some examples on the bulletin board in the lab. After break students will be writing paragraphs that will be posted online. People from anywhere in the world will be able to read and comment on the paragraphs. There will be a link on the Student Projects webpage to check them out.

Fourth Grade
Whew! After six weeks of work, we just finished the fourth grade web pages. They turned out great! Each student wrote and illustrated a page telling about a state. You can check them out on the Student Projects webpage, also. Upcoming projects include creating a game board and practicing math with the Internet.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Copyright on the Web

This week fourth grade students are using the resource Copyright on the Web to learn about and discuss copyright laws and how they pertain to school projects.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Easy CD's

Our teacher laptops have a shortcut on the desktop for the program Roxio Creator. This program can create and copy CD's with pictures, documents, or music. Just please don't violate any copyright laws!

Monday, March 7, 2011


This week second grade students are listening to the book Horton Hears a Who. Then they are using the Seussville Storymaker to create their own story. The web site has characters and backgrounds from the story that students can use. They choose music to go with each scene and write the words for the characters.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Goodnight First Grade

Students in first grade just listened to the story Goodnight Moon in computer class. They each created a PowerPoint slide saying goodnight to something in their room at home. The slides were then put together to make a complete presentation. Click here to see the shows.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Helping Each Other

This week in computer class Kindergarten students are experimenting with the amazing paint brush tools in Kid Pix. One big part of the lesson is asking for help and helping others. Students show each other where to find different tools.