second grade

Weekend Website 40: NORAD Santa

It’s the time of year when inquiring young minds want to know–Where’s Santa? Here’s a great website to answer that question.

santa site

Track Santa on Xmas Eve

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Categories: first grade, Kindergarten, Parent resources, second grade, third grade, Uncategorized, websites | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

Is Handwriting So Last Generation–Redux

handwriitingI wrote about the demise of handwriting 2.5 years ago. Seems even truer now than then. One problem for both sides is that Common Core is ‘silent’ on it, according to the Alliance for Excellence in Education. That’s like the Fat Lady warming up, but not sure when she’ll be performing. Where Common Core has a lot to say about many tools required to deliver the education that will lead to college and career for students, it doesn’t mention ‘cursive’ at all. Though Common Core allows for a nominal amount of personalizing–meaning add-ons–only eleven states (as of publication) have amended their education requirements to mandate cursive be included in the curriculum. Not a ringing endorsement. Headlines such as these proliferate in the news:

Technology may script an end to the art of cursive writing

Is cursive’s day in classroom done?

No longer swearing by cursive writing

Studies show one in three children struggle with handwriting. I’d guess more, seeing it first hand as a teacher. Sound bad? Consider another study that one in five parents say they last penned a letter more than a year ago.

Let’s look at the facts. Students handwrite badly, and don’t use it much when they grow up (think about yourself. How often do you write a long hand letter?). Really, why is handwriting important in this day of keyboards, PDAs, smart phones, spellcheck, word processing? I start students on MS Word in second grade, about the same time their teacher is beginning cursive. Teach kids the rudiments and turn them over to the tech teacher for keyboarding.

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Categories: homeschool, internet, K-5 Tech training, problem solving, second grade, teaching, writing | Tags: , , , , | 8 Comments

Weekend Website: Great (Free) Training Videos

Every week, I share a website that inspired my students. Here’s one that I’ve found effective online tech training.

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Categories: first grade, Kindergarten, Parent resources, second grade, third grade, Uncategorized, websites | Tags: | 2 Comments

Book Review: Second Grade Technology Textbook

2nd grade techSecond Grade Technology: 32 Lessons Every Second Grader Can Accomplish on a Computer

by Structured Learning IT Teaching Team

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I’m often asked what books I’d recommend for teaching technology in the classroom. Each year about this time, I do a series of reviews on my favorite tech ed books. If you’re already looking ahead to next year’s technology curriculum and want to fix some of this year’s problems, I suggest you consider the seven-volume K-8 technology curriculum series that’s used in hundreds of school districts across the country (and internationally). It’s skills-based, project-based, aligned with Common Core and NETS national standards and fully integratable into state core classroom standards.

The third in the series, the 156-page Second Grade Technology: 32 Lessons Any Second Grader Can Do, (Structured Learning 2013), available in print or digital, and perfect for Smartscreens, iPads, laptops. It includes many age-appropriate samples, reproducibles, Web 2.0 connections, thematic websites, pedagogic articles, and how-to’s. Because I edited this book, I made sure it includes pieces that I as a teacher knew to be critical to the classroom:

  • K-6 vertically-integrated Scope and Sequence
  • Certificate of Completion for students when they finish the year
  • a summary of steps for a 45-minute class period–usually 2-3 activities, arranged temporally throughout the year for ease of understanding by students. For example, a lesson is likely to include 2-3 activities from among typing practice, student presentations, project that ties into core class activity, problem-solving that assists with 1:1 initiatives
  • Common Core and ISTE standards supported
  • domain-specific vocabulary
  • Big Idea and Essential Questions for each unit
  • integrations to core classroom units
  • trouble-shooting solutions to the problems most likely to come up in the classroom
  • enrichments for those precocious students who finish the lesson and want more
  • a list of websites (PDF has active links). Both print and PDF can access a webpage on Ask a Tech Teacher that is updated yearly with new websites by grade level and category
  • a help link (to this blog) to a teacher using the curriculum who will help you through the prickly parts of a lesson plan. This is FREE–no charge.
  • Where lessons center around purchased software, the authors made an effort to offer free alternatives. For example, instead of KidPix, teachers can use TuxPaint. Instead of Type to Learn, teachers can use a list of online keyboarding websites like Dance Mat Typing and Typing Web
  • pedagogy articles to help think through critical issues like keyboarding, use of the internet, how to use wikis in classrooms, and more
  • wall posters covering critical technology issues (like mouse skills)
  • monthly homework for grades 3-5
  • FREE membership in a real-time teaching wiki where you can teach along side an experienced teacher using the curriculum every week

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Categories: Book reviews, homeschool, lesson plans, second grade | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Tech Tip #56: Force a New Page

tech tipsAs a working technology teacher, I get hundreds of questions from parents about their home computers, how to do stuff, how to solve problems. Each Tuesday, I’ll share one of those with you. They’re always brief and always focused. Enjoy!

Q: I’m teaching my students to create a book report with a cover page. what’s the easiest way to get the cover on the first page and the report on the second?

A: Students as young as 2nd grade can learn to force a new page with Ctrl+enter. I have them create the cover page during one class and add the Ctrl+enter for the new page. That way, students can type the book report without my help–even on  classroom computers.

To sign up for Tech Tips delivered to your email, click here.

To get the complete list of 98 Tech Tips, click here.

To ask a question, fill out this form:

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Categories: fifth grade, fourth grade, homeschool, keyboard shortcuts, second grade, Tech Tips, Word Processing | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Weekend Website #133: Embeddable Puzzles

It’s the time of year when children are looking for entertainment and parents want something fun to keep their cerebral fires burning. Entertainment-cerebra–that’s not an oxymoron. Check this website on States, and then check out the other topics available on Quiz Factor.

states

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Categories: first grade, Kindergarten, Parent resources, second grade, third grade, Uncategorized, websites | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Weekend Website #130: EngageNY

Every week, I share a website that inspired my students. Here’s one that I’ve found effective in supporting the pedagogic changes to Common Core

Engage NY--get Common Core into classrooms

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Categories: first grade, Kindergarten, Parent resources, second grade, third grade, Uncategorized, websites | Tags: , | 2 Comments

Weekend Website #127: Brown Bear Typing

Every week, I share a website that inspired my students. Here’s one that I’ve found effective in… Here’s a great website to answer that question.

bb

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Categories: first grade, Keyboarding, Kindergarten, Parent resources, second grade, websites | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

Weekend Website #126: BrainPop Game Up

Every week, I share a website that inspired my students. Here’s one that I’ve found effective in… Here’s a great website to answer that question.

games

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Categories: first grade, Kindergarten, Parent resources, second grade, third grade, Uncategorized, websites | Tags: , | 1 Comment

Weekend Website #125: Starfall Math

Every week, I share a website that inspired my students. Here’s one you may have missed. Starfall is a lot more than reading…

startfall more

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Categories: first grade, Kindergarten, Parent resources, second grade, websites | Tags: , , , | 7 Comments

Summer Keyboarding Class–How to Win FREE K-8 Keyboarding Curriculum

SUMMER KEYBOARDINGEvery summer, I teach a keyboarding class to 2nd-8th graders. It’s sixty minutes a day, five days a week, for three weeks. This summer, I’m moving it online, through my Keyboard Wiki.

Ready? Don’t need any more information? Click here to join.

There will be two sessions:

  • June 24th-July 12th (no class July 4th)
  • July 15th-August 2nd

Class will be self-paced, self-managed, the sixty minutes arranged whenever the student can make it fit into summer schedules. Required materials include:

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Categories: fifth grade, fourth grade, Keyboarding, second grade, third grade, websites | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Weekend Website 123: Google Gravity

Inquiring minds don’t always need a purpose. Fun is often inspiration enough. Check out this clever rendition of Google Search:

google gravity

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Categories: first grade, Kindergarten, Parent resources, second grade, third grade, Uncategorized, websites | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

Weekend Website #121: Class Badges

Every week, I share a website that inspired, excited, and/or informed my classes. Here’s one on a popular trend in education–awarding badges:

badges

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Categories: first grade, Kindergarten, Parent resources, second grade, third grade, Uncategorized, websites | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Free Lesson Plans–Visit My TeachersPayTeachers Store

tech edLooking for something to spice up your classroom? Here are a variety of projects you can download for free. Just visit my TeacherPayTeachers store, click download, and they’re yours. If you enjoy them, please add a few stars to the recommendation list:

A Colonization Brochure in Publisher

A Publisher trifold on American colonies (or any
other topic you’re covering in your classroom). Includes step-by-step directions, standards addressed, time required, prior knowledge expected, vocabulary used, higher-order thinking skills addressed, samples, reproducibles, grading rubrics, and more.

His Words in Our Words

Students interpret the words of Dr Martin Luther King in their own words in a visual organizer. Great project that gets students thinking about impact of words on history. Common Core aligned

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Categories: 8th grade, fifth grade, first grade, fourth grade, free tech resources, Kindergarten, lesson plans, middle school technology, second grade, third grade | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Weekend Website #118: Scale of the Universe

Wondering what’s out there, past our Earthly bounds? Here’s a great website to answer that question.

universe

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Categories: first grade, Kindergarten, second grade, third grade, websites | Tags: , , | 3 Comments

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