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January Activities for the Computer Lab


January Activities for the Computer Lab
January in the computer lab is full of winter themed activities. It is a great time of year to do some spiral review of the skills learned at the beginning of the school year. 
How to use this blog post: find the grade level you're interested in and then read about the activities. Click on any images to go to the product description to learn more about it. You'll see some activities in multiple grade levels. This either means that differentiation is provided to make the lesson appropriate for multiple grade levels, or it includes multiple grade levels of activities for the tech lab.

Kindergarten Activities for January


TECHademics is a way to teach technology skills to our youngest learners while also working on academic content. This Kindergarten Math and ELA set for Winter has 12 different math and ELA skills while working on technology skills for the mouse and keyboard. I would have students do half of this in January and half in February. 

The Kindergarten slides of Timely Tech for January go over beginning sounds, spelling CVC words, and counting dice. It is great mouse practice for students as they are starting to become more independent in the computer lab. 

First Grade Activities for January

First grade students work on the next set of skills from Timely Tech. You can choose any combination of slides based on your student needs, but I recommend doing the before and after numbers and symmetry snowflake. 
Next we dig into some software lessons, specifically Docs/Word. Students love learning how to format text in a document!

Second Grade Activities for January


Students are going to love creating their own Digital Glyph Winter Snowman Scene and you’re going to love all of the technology skills work they are getting. This resource works on so many great technology skills. While students may be familiar with paper and pencil glyph activities, it takes it to a whole new level to do it digitally.
Second grade students work on the skills of making new words (typing), putting the words in ABC order, and pixel art using Timely Tech. These are important skills to do multiple times throughout the year so that students don't lose their typing abilities. 
January Activities for the Computer Lab

Third Grade Activities for January


Learning keyboarding can be super boring and tedious for students. This set of 4 Winter Themed text formatting activities aims to bring engagement and a sense of purpose to the practice of typing. Students will also (hopefully) have a sense of pride over the final outcome and an understanding of the learning objective.

Third grade students work on making charts and graphs in spreadsheet software. I have them do the first 3 in this set of 5 lessons. 

Fourth Grade Activities for January

As long as 4th graders have already learned multi digit multiplication and long division in class then they are ready to do this digital mystery picture activity in class. Otherwise, wait and do this with 5th grade students. 

Fourth graders love to do these text formatting activities and take them to the next level. There are multiple ideas provided for adding challenge like:
•Have students highlight the text with the color instead of changing the font color.
•Have students add a line at the end that says what the shape is.
•Have students add a clip art image that represents the design.
•Have students type a reflection about how the activity went and what they might do differently next time.

Fifth Grade Activities for January

Students love answering questions about themselves. This New Years Memories and Resolutions eBook is always a hit! 
5th grade students review coding with Timely Tech. By reviewing the skills several times throughout the year they become really good at it! 

There you have it, activities for grades k-5 for the month of December. Be sure to pin this blog post to get back to later!
January Activities for the Computer Lab


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Brittany Washburn
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Using the KOOV Kit in the Elementary Classroom


Using the KOOV Kit in the Elementary Classroom #SonyKoov

One of the coolest parts of the job as a tech teacher is getting to test out robots. In this blog post I'm going to tell you all about KOOV from Sony. They are paying me to write this blog post, but all of the opinions are my own. I really think it will make a great addition to any STEM or Computer Lab classroom. 


Features of KOOV

First I want to tell you about the KOOV Trial Kit. They also have an Educator Kit that includes more parts, but the Trial Kit can definitely get you started and see if it is a good fit for your classroom. 

One of the things that sets KOOV apart from other coding kits is that students can actually build with it! The kit comes with KOOV blocks in 7 different shapes and 7 different colors, which is ideal for learning about 3D building. 
Using the KOOV Kit in the Elementary Classroom #SonyKoov
To help students learn the fundamentals of coding, there are these sensors that can be programmed. The kit comes with 5 sensors that include LEDs, a buzzer, IR Photoreflector, motors, and the KOOV Core. This combo is perfect for building models that can interact with their surroundings. 
Using the KOOV Kit in the Elementary Classroom #SonyKoov
In addition to all of the physical pieces, there is a great app with a user-friendly interface that makes it perfect for elementary students. Students use the drag and drop coding blocks to program the sensors, so it should be a familiar experience to other coding programs we use. It is the same app that is available in the full Educator's Kit. 


Using KOOV in the Elementary Classroom

The app has everything you need to code your KOOV. I love that they made options for Chromebooks, Windows devices, and IOS. This makes is so versatile for all of our unique setups. 
Using the KOOV Kit in the Elementary Classroom #SonyKoov


Interested in 9 Digital STEM Challenges to go along with KOOV? There is a file in the TRY section of my Free Resource Library that you can use with students. Just sign up for a free account and then navigate to the "Activities to TRY" area and look for the picture of KOOV to find the activity. 
Using the KOOV Kit in the Elementary Classroom #SonyKoov
You know I'm always talking about ways to bring collaboration into the tech lab. When we think of coding, sometimes the image that pops into our mind is someone with noise canceling headphones working for hours over his/her laptop. That doesn't appear very collaborative. 

That is why I love this next generation of classroom coding kits. They practically require collaboration and problem solving skills. Students can work through the challenges together until they get it right. 


Using the KOOV Kit in the Elementary Classroom #SonyKoov
The digital STEM challenges I provided really only go over the very basic commands that are possible with KOOV. There is so much more to do using the 3D building blocks that the possibilities are nearly limitless. 

Q&A

I'm pulling the Q&A directly from the KOOV website
Can children use KOOV on their own?
Yes. The KOOV app was developed so that children can learn while playing on their own, as it explains the way to build blocks and coding in a concise and intuitive manner.

Can I enjoy KOOV even though I don't know how to code?
Yes. KOOV uses visual programming so that even beginners can quickly understand how to code. In the Learning Course, students learn how to build robots and how to code step-by-step, so that without previous experience they can learn while having fun. In Robot Recipes, we have pre-coded and pre-designed a wide range of run robots so that even beginners can instantly start enjoying KOOV.

In which countries is KOOV available?
The Educator Kit and Trial Kit are available to ship only to residents of the USA although KOOV is sold in both Japan and China. These products may not be shipped to purchasers located in the state of Washington.

Do I need anything to use KOOV?
You will need three 1.5V AA/LR6 alkaline batteries, a Phillips screwdriver and a compatible operating environment to run the KOOV app.

How can I contact the KOOV team if I have any questions?
For technical questions, contact us at KOOVSupport@sony.com.  To speak with someone directly, call 1-866-935-7665 M-F from 7am-5pm.  For all other questions contact us at KOOV@sony.comWe are happy to answer any questions you may have.

What is STEAM and how does KOOV teach kids about STEAM?
STEAM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math. Through KOOVs Learning Course, we provide children with over 50 hours of engaging STEAM content, working as an introduction for many kids to these exciting fields.

What operating systems is KOOV compatible with?
Windows: 7/8.1/10 64bit
Mac OS: 10.8 and above
iOS: iOS 10 and above, iPads made in 2013 or later
Chrome OS

How does KOOV connect with my computer?
Via Bluetooth and direct USB on Mac, IPad, Windows and Chromebooks devices..

How long do KOOV robots last on batteries?
This really depends on the number of sensor and actuators that you use. The Alligator can work for several days without new batteries, while a robot with two DC motors running continuously can last for around 45 minutes.

Can KOOV be used offline?
Offline options are available.

Is the software free?
There are no additional charges for the KOOV App, Classroom Management software or for student logins/licenses.

Special Deal

For a limited time only, you can get the Trial Kit or the full Educator Kit at a huge discount. Hurry though, the offer is only good through 12/29/19.


KOOV SALE - From NOW until 12/29/19 -> HERE

Save $50 on the KOOV Trial Kit $249.99 à NOW $199.99 

Save $100 on the KOOV Educator Kit $519.99 à NOW $419.99 

New information about the First Annual Sony KOOV Challenge

In March 2020 Sony will host the First Annual Sony KOOV Challenge in the USA. To sign up to participate in the challenge, please go please go HERE


Using the KOOV Kit in the Elementary Classroom #SonyKoov

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Brittany Washburn
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Text Formatting Activities for the Computer Lab or Classroom


Text Formatting Activities for the Computer Lab or Classroom

Text Formatting Activities

Learning keyboarding can be super boring and tedious for students. This set of formatting activities aims to bring engagement and a sense of purpose to the practice of typing. This blog post shares the rationale behind doing mystery text formatting activities plus has a bonus freebie you don't want to miss. Keep reading! 
Click on this image to buy the Months set on TpT.
By the time students finish all 12 months they will have practiced each of the keyboard rows four times.

Students will also (hopefully) have a sense of pride over the final outcome and an understanding of the learning objective.
Text Formatting Activities for the Computer Lab or Classroom
Each month has 2 sets of directions pages. The first one is lowercase letters and the second one is uppercase letters. This is to give you choice to match your student keyboards. When the students actually type the text, it should all be in lowercase to match the finished examples provided.
Text Formatting Activities for the Computer Lab or Classroom

Ways to add challenge:

Text Formatting Activities for the Computer Lab or Classroom
  • Have students Highlight the text with the color instead of changing the font color.
  • Have students add a line at the end that says what the shape is.
  • Have students add a clip art image that represents the design.
  • Have students type a reflection about how the activity went and what they might do differently next time.


Ways to provide supports (make it easier):

Text Formatting Activities for the Computer Lab or Classroom
  • Provide students with a second sheet of paper or a flat edge like a ruler so that they can be looking at one line at a time.
  • Dictate the directions one line at a time to students.
  • Demonstrate each line as you go using a projector or screensharing software.

Text Formatting Activities for the Computer Lab or Classroom


STANDARDS ADDRESSED

Strand: Innovative Designer
Standard: 4.b. select and use digital tools to plan and manage a design process that considers design constraints and calculated risks.
I Can Statements:
I can stick with a problem until it is solved
I can use the materials around me to help me solve a problem
I can create an original work using a digital tool
Strand: Empowered Learner
Standard: 1.d. understand the fundamental concepts of technology operations, demonstrate the ability to choose, use and troubleshoot current technologies and are able to transfer their knowledge to explore emerging technologies.
I Can Statements:
I can learn a new technology tool by exploring it.
I can find any letter or number on a keyboard.

Text Formatting Activities for the Computer Lab or Classroom

Designs in the Months Set:

January: Snowman
February: Mitten
March: Kite
April: Umbrella
May: Flower
June: Tent
July: Beach Ball
August: Sun
September: Apple
October: Leaf
November: Acorn
December: Evergreen Tree

Free Bulletin Board Letters

In my Free Resource Library in the INSPIRE section, there is a PDF with bulletin board header letters that spell out MYSTERY TEXT FORMATTING that you can use in your classroom. Click on the image above to go there.










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Text Formatting Activities for the Computer Lab or Classroom

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December Activities for the Computer Lab



December Activities for the Computer Lab
December has to be my favorite month in the computer lab because we have Computer Science Week and the Hour of Code! I do also have some other fun and engaging activities planned to work on our everyday tech skills too. Check them out.

How to use this blog post: find the grade level you're interested in and then read about the activities. Click on any images to go to the product description to learn more about it. You'll see some activities in multiple grade levels. This either means that differentiation is provided to make the lesson appropriate for multiple grade levels, or it includes multiple grade levels of activities for the tech lab.

Kindergarten Activities for December

For Hour of Code, use these sorting matrix activities to teach the concept of conditionals. Both print and digital versions are provided, making it an excellent activity to fill a class period or two. This can be used with both Kindergarten and First Grade students. 
For the rest of the month of December, Kindergarten students work on Timely Tech. I have them do the slides for letters, numbers, patterns, and word families as long as they have been introduced to it in class. 

First Grade Activities for December

For Computer Science Week, 1st graders can work on their if/then/else thinking with sorting mats on paper and digital. The paper ones take a bit of prep time so plan for that. 
Next up for 1st grade is digital pixel art. Depending on whether or not students have done this type of activity before, 1st grade students can do either level 1 or 2 of Pixel art. The December themed designs are motivating for students to complete. They always beg for more!

If there is time left, 1st graders can complete the rest of the Timely Tech slides. It works well as early finisher activities for the whole month. 

Second Grade Activities for December


For Hour of Code, 2nd graders can master algorithms! This set is all about decomposing and understanding algorithms. Both paper and digital activities are included so you can set it up as stations for students to work through. 

 2nd graders love to make presentations. These presentation projects are perfect because they come with all of the facts already done for you, so all students have to do is turn it into a Google Slides or PowerPoint presentation. This set includes 10 different countries' holiday traditions. 

If there is time, 2nd grade students do really well with coding robots. This holiday themed set of task cards for any moveable robot are great for this time of year. 

Third Grade Activities for December

Starting with Hour of Code, 3rd grade students complete the first few slides from this set of digital activities. They will decode a Christmas message in binary code. 
To help them really master binary code, they can complete these digital flash cards as early finisher activities all month long. 
After Computer Science Week, 3rd graders can make their very own digital ugly Christmas sweaters! The skills they are working on by doing a digital glyph activity are important to practice all school year. 

Fourth Grade Activities for December

4th grade students can complete the middle few activities from the Christmas Coding set during Hour of Code. 
There are also coding puzzles in Timely Tech for December that would work great for Computer Science Week. 
After that, it is always a good idea to review keyboarding. The text formatting activities here have a design for every month of the year, without holiday themes. The December design is an evergreen tree, to signify the beginning of winter. 

Fifth Grade Activities for December

5th grade students finish up this set of coding activities for the Hour of Code. Early finishers can do the same binary code digital flash cards as 3rd grade. They are great practice for grades 3-5+. 
Speaking of early finishers, the classroom teachers really appreciate when we can integrate some math and ELA into the computer lab. Digital Mystery Pictures are a great way to do that. This set reviews multi-digital multiplication and long division, which makes it a great activity for 5th grade students. 
January is the typical time of year to kick off a research project with 5th grade, but it can be done earlier with guided research projects. This one has students research Christmas traditions for an assigned country and then fill in a PowerPoint or Google Slides template with the information about their country. 

There you have it, activities for grades k-5 for the month of December. Be sure to pin this blog post to get back to later!
December Activities for the Computer Lab

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