Here at St. Brendan Parish School, the goal of our technology classes is to integrate key computer skills into engaging, developmentally appropriate lessons and units that address a variety of core content standards. As directed by the Office for Catholic Schools in Western Washington and OSPI, we use the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE)’s 2016 standards as our guide.
Mrs. Amanda Roach
February 2019 Technology Class Updates
I enjoyed meeting your children last month. The St. Brendan School community has been incredibly welcoming, and I am so appreciative of your support as I begin this new role.
K-5 families, if you have not already, please sign and return the FlipGrid Consent Form.
We are in the middle of a coding unit using CodeSpark Academy. We began the unit by reading How to Code a Sandcastle, by Joshua Funk, and discussing key computer coding vocabulary such as loop and if-then-else. Each week, we check in to discuss important classroom procedures, coding vocabulary, and problem-solving techniques. Then students work on new online puzzles on CodeSpark, which are free for classroom use. In addition to helping students understand how computers work, coding provides an opportunity for students to tackle problems step-by-step, work in iterations without giving up, and (quietly) collaborate with peers. Practicing coding skills is especially effective in supporting students’ math achievement. Be sure to ask you children about the “games” they play in technology class!
2nd Grade/3rd Grade:
A few weeks ago, students took some time to show me if they could independently open Microsoft Word, adjust the font and alignment of their words, and begin a number series. I also shared Epic! Books with them to find out if they could go to a URL and correctly use a code to access a website. In the coming weeks, students will begin a rotation in which they are keyboarding (typing), creating a document connected to classroom work in Word, and interacting with high-quality online books in Epic! This will allow me to better meet their needs in small groups, which will be especially important as they learn to access Office 365 with a user name and password.
4th Grade/5th Grade:
In addition to a few opportunities for keyboarding (typing) practice on Keyboarding Without Tears, students began creating persuasive PowerPoint presentations. We began by reading Persuading Mrs. Doover, by Robin Pulver (I pronounce her name Mrs. Do-Over) together and discussing effective and not-so-effective persuasion techniques. Then the students read a New York Times article together on the effectiveness of PowerPoint presentations in persuading parents. The next week, we discussed best practices in creating slideshows that serve as supportive visual aids rather than distracting attention-stealers and students began working on their presentations. My hope is that by early to mid-March (at this rate, with the snow), students will be ready to share their presentations with their families! Reading high-quality, challenging, real-world materials and presenting to authentic audiences are key components of both school library and technology standards, and it’s clear that students are very engaged in this work.
6th-8th Grade Coding Elective:
We began our elective with a bit of a pre-assessment during which students had one class period to animate their names in Scratch. Students also communicate with me at the end of each class via a Word document to let me know how each class period felt in terms of the level of challenge. Some students are continuing work on an express course in Code.org that will allow them to have a strong coding foundation (loops, if-then-else, basic binary) before moving forward. About half of the students in the elective have asked to move into an HTML unit, also through Code.org. They are able to work independently with help from the website or collaborate with each other in order to build an understand of how to code their own web pages and websites. They seem to be enjoying this challenge, which allows space for creativity. If time allows, they’ll be able to create a portfolio showing what they’ve learned, including a web page that exhibits their own interests.
|Archdiocese Technology Curriculum||Required Religion prayers|
|Washington State Technology Standards||Required Religion vocabulary|
|Religion vocabulary definitions|
|St. Brendan School Supply List 2018-19_all grades|
Technology Class Links
Links for K-5 Lessons at School:
Free Resources for K-8 Enrichment at Home (Sign-up may be required):