Wisconsin Research Brainstorm

We started our brainstorming yesterday and we’ll record it here. We’re coming up with topics that we would like to share with students from around the world about Wisconsin, our school, the midwest, and topics of interests to you as students. Your task in your comment today is to come up with ideas that you would like to cover in your post. Our next step will be researching and compiling resources on a website called a wiki. We’ll explore that next! When you are done with this comment, please go back to DanceMat until the rest of the class is ready to move on.

Round and Round We Go

Happy Valentines Day!  For our last day of keyboarding we’re going to do a slightly crazy activity. You’ll each begin a comment to this post, and then every minute, I’ll say “switch” and you’ll get up and move to the next chair, add to THAT comment, and so on.  I’m leaving the topic WIDE open, but a good suggestion is to start a list of some kind – that leaves a lot of room for new material from your classmates.  When you get back to your seat at the end, you’ll be responsible for proofreading the comment before submitting it.  Remember, hands on the home row!

Welcome to Round 2!

Hey 6th graders!  Welcome back to keyboarding!  We have some exciting projects to work on in addition to practicing our keyboarding skills.  Before we get started, though, I have a few questions for you:

1)  Do you have an email account (of your own)?  If so, what do you use it for?  If not, have you used email before?

2) Have you ever made a video using a camcorder?  If so, have you ever put anything on YouTube?

3) Have you ever used Powerpoint?  Do you consider yourself a beginner, intermediate, or expert?

4) What’s something that you’d really like to learn how to do in this class?

5) What are your favorite sites on the internet?

6)  How much time do you typically spend on the internet each day at home?

After you get your answers written (and please number them!), just click submit and you’re done!

Do You Love Middle School?

Well, this is a little off-topic, but we’re having so much fun and getting so much work done in our small class that I thought we’d talk about something a little different today!  Tell everyone why you like or don’t like middle school – is it better than elementary?  What’s harder about middle school?  Anything easier?

Welcome to Keyboarding!

Welcome to keyboarding, 6th graders!  Your first blog assignment is to tell me what your computer/technology background is.  Have you ever been taught keyboarding by a teacher?  Have you used a keyboarding program?  What do you do on your computer at home?  (examples: school work, IM, email, etc)  Do you think you have good keyboarding skills?

 I’m really excited to get to work with you!


6th graders –

Here’s your chance to let everyone know what you liked or didn’t like about keyboarding class.  Remember, you’re reflecting, so you’re going to share WHY you did or didn’t like things.  Feel free to write as much as you’d like!

When you’re done with this comment, you may go to any of the links on the Keyboarding Links page or to your class blog and comment or post.  I loved working with you and will see you again in May!

Beyond Questions – Blogging as Reflection

Our class is doing an excellent job with the blog project, including the students who are simply contributing comments.  There is one thing that we need to work on, though.  Blogging is not simply about asking questions and polling the readers.  A blog is a place to publish your thoughts for the world to read and to share resources that you have found.  You can share cool pictures, audio, and video.  Other people come and comment on your writing simply because what you wrote somehow struck a chord with them.  I realize many of the posts on THIS blog ask questions, and that’s because I’m also using this blog as a place to post assignments.  See the posts “New Way of Searching” and “Checking In” as examples of posts sharing resources or thoughts.

The task of the day is creating posts that go deeper than just asking questions – our job as bloggers is to contribute information, not just collect from others.  Now, because this IS an assignment, you’ll create your post as a comment to this post.  Please ask questions as needed and feel free to ask for input before submitting.

Next time we’ll visit some blogs with good examples of what our posts could look like.

Mrs. Olson is Catching Up!

All the 6th graders seemed to be ahead of me with technology!  I hadn’t used instant messenger since my early college days and hadn’t gotten into text messaging due to the cell service plan I have.  Well, this weekend I started using both IM and texting to collaborate with a teacher in Alabama on a blog project we’re creating for elementary school students.  I’m interested in hearing how you use IM and texting – is it just for social things with friends, or do you use it to keep in touch with family and for work on homework with friends?

Fill me in!

Collaboration Input

One of the main things I like to do on the internet is talk with people from all over the world.  I’d love to give you that opportunity and am planning on starting a blog with other teachers/classes from all different places.  First I need your input!  What’s an area of the state, country, world that you’re interested in?  What would you like to talk about with middle school students from across the world? 

Current Event Search (Beta!)

6th Graders –

This assignment will: 1) provide keyboarding practice; 2) teach internet navigation skills; 3) review internet search skills; 4) review cut and paste; and 5) provide reading and reflection practice on current events.

Follow these instructions to complete the activity:

1) Click on the link (below) to read the current event article (in a new tab or window!)

2) Come back and reflect

3) Search from the article’s page to find another article somehow related to the original (same topic, same author, etc) The new article can be from anywhere on the internet

4) Come back and paste the link into your comment and give a short description of the new article and how it relates to the original

You can not have the same article as anyone sitting next to you – dig deeper! See Mrs. Olson’s example comment for guidance when completing the activity.

Current Event Article: Millions Bring in the New Year