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Information for Parents

Loma Portal STEAM Lab website: https://lomaportalcomputerlab.weebly.com/

This year we have been busy working on programs and projects created by myself and the teachers in each grade level designed to improve students reading, writing, math, problem solving and creativity skills.

Kindergarten:

Students in Kindergarten are getting an introduction to the parts of the computer, most notably the keyboard and mouse. They are expected to know the keyboard parts and basic functions of the keyboard by first grade. They have learned a few of the basic functions and are gaining experience with programs like Kid Keys, Wiggle Works, and are currently working on student books using the program Kid Pix. Kid Pix is an interactive art program that students are responsible for drawing a picture and doing their best to type a sentence based on a certain topic. They have been busy on these and will continue to work on them until they have a complete book that they can take home with them. Students are also working hard on the school purchased Raz-Kids program which helps students increase their reading skills and improve their reading levels with child friendly rewards and incentives.

Raz kids logo

1st Grade:

First graders are getting experience with the computer keyboard as well as the mouse. They know the basic parts of the computer and they are doing similar programs to the Kindergartners but to more detail. Students are given more responsibility including turning on and off the computers, maintaining cleanliness, and volume control. Students are working on student books and they are expected to type sentences on their own using capitalization and punctuation using the keyboard functions. First graders are also working hard on the school purchased Raz-Kids program which helps students increase their reading skills and improve their reading levels with child friendly rewards and incentives.

2nd Grade

Second Grade is a transitional period for computer use. From 2nd up until 4th grade students start to go from "learning to use a computer" to "using a computer to learn". These students really start to take off with getting experience researching, keyboarding, creativity and displaying their knowledge. This year we start a keyboarding program and I encourage good habits to form right at the beginning. Students are asked to keep their eyes off of the keyboard, looking straight ahead, maintaining good posture and breathing as well as good hand placement on the keyboard. Second Graders are also working hard on the school purchased Raz-Kids program which helps students increase their reading skills and improve their reading levels with child friendly rewards and incentives. Students will get an introduction to the Microsoft Word and PowerPoint programs and will be expected to publish some of their classroom written works using the Microsoft programs.

3rd Grade:

Learning Upgrade Logo

Students in 3rd Grade are expected to continue with their good typing habits. They will gain more experience with keyboard functions and they will start to form muscle memory with the keyboard. These students will have access to the i21 Netbooks and will get more experience than any other previous grades with computers. These students each have their own personal computers in their classrooms and can potentially get quite a bit of use from them. Students will start to use programs like Word and Power Point to display their research and findings. They will be given research assignments and have to publish their findings using Microsoft programs like PowerPoint and Microsoft Publisher. They will start to gain confidence with these programs to the point of experimenting and creating very exciting work. Their creativity will be presented to their classroom teachers and fellow students. Third Graders will also begin the Learning Upgrade program which was purchased by our school site to help students with their reading, comprehension and math skills.

4th Grade:

Google Earth Logo

A major function of computers in the 4th grade is research. Students are given the chance to explore the school website, the school's library system, several very informative websites and search engines like yahooligans, Google and Bing (all within district guidelines). These students are expected to find information from the internet and then display it using programs like Word, PowerPoint, and Excel. Beyond that they are exploring programs, researching, problem solving and thinking critically. By the time they will leave 4th grade they will see the computer as another tool of learning as well as a vessel for creativity. Students in the fourth grade will monitor their own keyboarding practice and skills by taking a monthly keyboarding test. They will work with Google Earth to research and to display research projects. Overall by the time they leave 4th grade students are confident with their computer and keyboarding skills and are more than ready for the fifth grade!

Microsoft office Logo

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