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6 Activities to End the School Year

end of school activities

From our files, here are great articles about activities popular at the end of the school year:

5 Favorite Activities to End the School Year

The end of the school year is a time when both students and teachers alike are distracted by thoughts of vacation, sleeping in, and no deadlines. For many, this means, during the last few weeks of school, learning limps to a grinding halt but increasingly, teachers use this time productively to introduce curricular- and standards-aligned activities that “color outside the lines” — step away from the textbook to blend learning with dynamic activities that remind students why they want to be life-long learners. Many of these, educators would love to teach but “just don’t have time for“, even though they align well with broad goals of preparing students for college and career.

If you’re looking for meaningful lessons to wrap up your school year, here are my top picks:

        • Digital Passport
        • Cool book reports
        • Practice keyboarding
        • Dig into cyberbullying
        • Applied Digital Skills

10 Ways to Wrap Up the School Year

It’s the end of school. Everyone’s tired, including you. What you want for these last few weeks are activities that keep the learning going but in a different way. You want to shake things up so students are excited and motivated and feel interested again.

Change your approach. Provide some games, simulations, student presentations–whatever you don’t normally do in your classroom. If you’re doing PowerPoints, use the last few weeks for presentations.  Make them special–invite teachers. Invite parents. If you never serve food in your lab, do it for these presentations.

Here are my favorite year-end Change-up activities:

        • 6 Webtools in 6 weeks
        • Class Debate
        • Digital Citizenship review
        • Games and Simulations
        • Genius Hour
        • Group Discussion
        • Khan Academy
        • Presentation Boards
        • Service Learning
        • Write an Ebook

How to Use Tech to Help Graduating Students Find Jobs

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10 Most Popular Tech Tips in 2012

top tenAs 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 in 2012, I shared one of those with you. Here are the

Top Ten tech tips from 2012. Between these ten, they had 48,001 visitors during the year. They better be good or a lot of people were disappointed!

  1. Tech Tip #18: Ten Best MS Word Tips–How Did You Survive Without Them
  2. Tech Tip #18: 10 Best MS Word Tips
  3. Ten Best Keyboarding Hints You’ll Ever See
  4. Twenty-one Techie Problems Every Student Can Fix
  5. Tech Tip #2: The PrintScreen Key
  6. Tech Tip #19: How to Activate a Link in Word
  7. Tech Tip #12: Wrap Text Around an Image
  8. Tech Tip #2: The PrintScreen Key
  9. Tech Tip #57: How to Create a Chart Really Fast
  10. Tech Tip #1: the Insert Key

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Categories: classroom management, fifth grade, first grade, fourth grade, free tech resources, K-5 Tech training, Keyboarding, Kindergarten, lesson plans, problem solving, projects, research, Science, Tech ed, Tech Tips, third grade, Web 2.0 | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

10 Most Popular Tech Tips in 2011

As 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 in 2011, I shared one of those with you. Here are the

Top Tech Tips of 2011

Top Ten tech tips from 2011. Between these ten, they had 40,510 visitors during the year. They better be good or a lot of people were disappointed!

  1. Ten Best Keyboarding Hints You’ll Ever See
  2. Twenty-one Techie Problems Every Student Can Fix
  3. What Do You Think is the Hardest Techie Problem?
  4. Tech Tip #18: Ten Best MS Word Tips–How Did You Survive Without Them
  5. 25 Tips for Not-so-Techy Folk
  6. Tech Tip #1: the Insert Key
  7. Tech Tip #2: The PrintScreen Key
  8. Tech Tip #19: How to Activate a Link in Word
  9. Tech Tip #12: Wrap Text Around a Picture
  10. Tech Tip #57: How to Create a Chart Really Fast

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Categories: classroom management, fifth grade, first grade, fourth grade, free tech resources, K-5 Tech training, Keyboarding, Kindergarten, lesson plans, problem solving, projects, research, Science, Tech ed, Tech Tips, third grade, Web 2.0 | Tags: , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Monday Freebies #19: My Bookcover in KidPix

This year more than any before, classroom budgets have been cut making it more difficult than ever to equip the education of our children with quality teaching materials. I understand that. I teach K-8. Because of that, I’ve decided to give the lesson plans my publisher sells in the Technology Toolkit (110 Lesson Plans that I use in my classroom to integrate technology into core units of inquiry while insuring a fun, age-appropriate, developmentally-appropriate experience for students) for FREE. To be sure you don’t miss any of these:

…and start each week off with a fully-adaptable K-8 lesson that includes step-by-step directions as well as relevant ISTE national standards, tie-ins, extensions, troubleshooting and more. Eventually, you’ll get the entire Technology Toolkit book. If you can’t wait, you can purchase the curriculum here.

I love giving my material away for free. Thankfully, I have a publisher who supports that. If everyone did, we would reach true equity in international education.

My Bookcover in KidPix

Draw a cover for a classroom project or unit of inquiry or use one of Kidpix’s templates. Have students nicely mix text and pictures for an attractive design. Introduce KidPix fonts, font sizes, font colors to grade 1

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Categories: first grade, kidpix, Kindergarten, lesson plans, projects | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

Buy 3, Get 16 Holiday Projects Free

16 holiday projects

Thumbnails of all 16 projects

To kick off my new 45-page holiday e-book, 16 Holiday Projects for K-5 Using Word, Excel, Publisher, KidPix, TuxPaint, Web 2.0 Tools and more, my publisher is offering thisholiday tech projects $7.99 ebook for free with the purchase of any 3 Ask a Tech Teacher books or ebooks. This includes:

You can purchase print books through Amazon or the publisher. You can purchase ebooks through Teachers Pay Teachers, the publisher’s website, or Google Ebooks. Just email copy of purchase receipt showing the books you bought to: Zeke.Rowe@structuredLearning.net and you’ll receive the Holiday Book within 24 hours.

This is a great gift for the Kindergarten-fifth grade teacher in your life. With these projects, they can teach valuable technology skills while making useful and attractive holiday gifts.

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Make ‘Passports’ to Encourage Keyboard Skills

As I was exploring the online edtech world, trolling for new ideas, I ran across my digital friend Scott’s great idea to encourage keyboarding. It’s one I never have seen before, so I asked if he’d share the details with

keyboarding

Passport to keyboarding

my readers.

Let me back-up a moment and give you a brief bio on Scott Jackson:

After three years as a sub, I was hired as a tech teacher at St. Martin of Tours School in Philadelphia. It is on the edge of the inner city. We have kids from 30 countries. Our church (that was in the picture) has been serving the community for 86 years. In 2009, the opportunity to use my social studies certification arose and I taught a seventh grade homeroom for two years. This year I am back in the lab as a

He’s come up with a clever idea to encourage keyboarding skills without making them boring. Take a look:

Keyboarding is a long dreaded task by teachers and students alike. The rote, droning teacher and students petrified of mistakes are replaced by fun and exciting activities for our younger students. To accomplish this, I have designed the Passport to Typing to correspond to the levels of BBC Dancemat Typing (http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/typing/).

These lessons focus on a different set of keys. After the home row, the lessons add two keys until the entire keyboard is accomplished. At my school, I do Dancemat in the second half of second grade. Since there are 12 lessons and one is completed weekly, this fits well between January and the end of the school year. Usually, I will take every third week off so class does not become boring.

In the first week with Dancemat, I hand out the Passport to Typing.

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Categories: Keyboarding, lesson plans, projects, teacher resources | Tags: | 11 Comments

#42: Where Did I Come From?

Students find their country of origin on Google Earth and grab a screen shot of it. Save to their computer. Import it into KidPix and add the country flag and student name. Students learn about importing data from one program to another with this project.

lesson plan

Use Google Earth in Second Grade

–from 55 Technology Projects for the Digital Classroom. Preview available on Amazon.com and Scribd.com Continue reading

Categories: Geography, Google Earth, History, kidpix, lesson plans, projects, second grade | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

Book Review: 55 Technology Projects for the Digital Classroom

55 Technology Projects for the Digital Classroom: Everything you need to integrate computers into K-8 classes55 Technology Projects for the Digital Classroom: Everything you need to integrate computers into K-8 classes

by Jacqui Murray

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Volume I is 219 pages and Volume II 235 pages, making this series an all-in-one K-8 toolkit for the lab specialist, classroom teacher and homeschooler, with a years-worth of simple-to-follow projects for K-8. Integrate technology into language arts, geography, history, problem solving, research skills, and science lesson plans and units of inquiry using teacher resources that meet NETS-S national guidelines and many state standards. The fifty-five projects are categorized by subject, program (software), and skill (grade) level. Continue reading

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A Note to Readers From My Publisher

We’re kicking off the update of Structured Learning’s technology curriculum by offering you a discount on the pdf.

special discount

PDF of tech curriculum more affordable than ever

All you have to do is visit this link to download your $10 copy. If you no longer have your Proof of Purchase, use this code: IWantThe4thEdition

What’s in the update? Read this if you’re interested in the K-5 technology curriculum:

The six-volume Structured Learning Technology Curriculum (Fourth Edition, 2011) is the all-in-one solution to running an effective, efficient, and fun technology program whether you re the lab specialist, IT coordinator, classroom teacher, or homeschooler, and is the current choice of hundreds of school districts across the country. Newly updated and expanded, each volume now includes step-by-step directions for a year’s worth of projects, samples, grading rubrics, reproducibles, wall posters, teaching ideas and hundreds of online connections to access enrichment material and updates from a working technology lab. Aligned with ISTE national technology standards, the curriculum follows a tested timeline of which skill to introduce when, starting with mouse skills, keyboarding, computer basics, and internet/Web 2.0 tools in Kindergarten/First; MS Word, Publisher, Excel, PowerPoint, Google Earth, internet research, email and Photoshop in Second-Fifth. Each activity is integrated with classroom units in history, science, math, literature, reading, writing, critical thinking and more. Whether you re an experienced tech teacher or brand new to the job, you ll appreciate the hundreds of embedded links that enable you to stay on top of current technology thinking and get help from active technology teachers using the program. Additional items included in each volume are wall posters to explain basic concepts, suggestions for keyboarding standards, discussion of how to integrate Web 2.0 tools into the classroom curriculum and the dozens of online websites to support classroom subjects.

Read this if you’re interested in the Middle School toolkits: Continue reading

Categories: K-5 Tech training, lesson plans, middle school technology, news, projects, teacher resources, Tech ed, Web 2.0 | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

#11: Photoshop Actions and History Brush

These are simple features ( including frames, quadrant colors, photo effects like snow) that add sophistication and professionalism to a finished product. This is a good addition to a Photoshop unit. It doesn’t take much time to teach and its wow factor is off the charts with students.

photoshop lessons

Quick project using Actions and History Brush in Photoshop

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Categories: 8th grade, art, fifth grade, lesson plans, middle school technology, Photoshop, projects | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

#10: Drawing in Photoshop

Photoshop reputation as a photo editor ignores its many other tools that enable you to draw like a pro with a wide variety of brushes, textures, and scintillating extras. This side of Photoshop is perfect for creative projects that tie in with many different classroom lesson plans.

photoshop

Photoshop basics

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Photoshop Anyone?

I teach Photoshop to eighth graders and have put together a comprehensive Photoshop Class Wiki to teach them skills, organize them weekly, explaining goals and grading.

Photoshop wiki

8th grade Photoshop wiki

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Categories: 8th grade, classroom management, free tech resources, lesson plans, Photoshop, projects, teacher resources, Tech ed, websites, Wikis | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

10 Most Popular Tech Tips in 2010

I’m on vacation this week, madly trying to come up with the curriculum for an 8th grade Scratch class I’ll be soon teaching. I love these two parts of teaching, where we create lesson plans to share knowledge and where we get two weeks off at Christmas to do it. Despite the drawbacks found in every job ever done, teaching is wonderful. Continue reading

Categories: classroom management, fifth grade, first grade, fourth grade, free tech resources, K-5 Tech training, Keyboarding, Kindergarten, lesson plans, problem solving, projects, research, Science, Tech ed, Tech Tips, third grade, Web 2.0 | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

#30: A Cover Page

Use the Quick Publication template to make a fast cover page for a report, project, etc, in the classroom. Pay attention to layout, grammar, spelling, design

Click on them for a full size alternative. Continue reading

Categories: fifth grade, fourth grade, homeschool, language arts, lesson plans, projects, Publisher, second grade, teacher resources, third grade, writing | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

#43: How to Teach Geography with KidPix II

Before you start this project, be sure to go through How to KidPix I and How to KidPix II as well as How to Teach Geography with KidPix I. Continue reading

Categories: critical thinking, first grade, free tech resources, Geography, homeschool, kidpix, Kindergarten, lesson plans, projects, Science, teacher resources | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

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