STEM/Computer

Dear Parents,

I am very excited to be returning this year as the STEM teacher. Even though technology is an integral part of STEM, there are other aspects of STEM we will be exploring throughout the year. Since the STEM curriculum is brand new, it is a work in progress. I will be updating you on the curriculum as the year goes on. For “Meet the teacher”, I will only be focusing on the technology part of the curriculum.

In Kindergarten, the students will begin by working on their typing and mouse skills using Kid Pix.  A good site to practice typing skills at home is www.abcya.com. This site is also wonderful because it helps the children with their reading and math skills.

The first graders will continue to improve their typing skills using abcya.com. They will also learn how to combine text and graphics using Kid Pix. Their first project is using Kid Pix to make their own name tags that can be placed on their desk. Finally, they will know how to save their work in the “My Documents” folder.

In second grade the students use a more advanced typing program called Keyboardingonline.com. This program teaches the children where their fingers go on the keyboard and how to integrate speed and accuracy into their typing. They will begin the year by learning how to copy and paste images from one place to another and how to change those images. Their first project of the year is called “Presidents”. This project will help them develop the skills that were just mentioned.

The third graders will continue to use Keyboardingonline.com to develop their typing skills. Their goal this year is to type 25 words per minute. Students will begin the year learning how to open multiple windows and how to work with them simultaneously. They will also know how to save a document to multiple places on the computer. Their first project is “The Animal Project”. They will need to be able to copy and paste images from the internet and transfer them across different windows opened in Microsoft Paint.

Fourth graders will continue using Keyboardingonline.com. Their goal is to type 30 words per minute this year. Each fourth grader will need a jump drive so they can save their work. This will also help them if they fall behind on a project that can be finished at home. They will learn how to save to their jump drive and how to transfer that data back to their folder. They will also start the year with the “Planet Project”. They will be able to combine graphics and text in Microsoft Word.

In fifth grade, the students will continue using Keyboardingonline.com. Their word per minute goal is 35. This year we will be focusing more on accuracy. As of January, the students will practice typing with keyboard covers. The cover blocks the student from seeing the letters making their knowledge of the keyboard and their accuracy that much more important. They will start the year by learning how to take a graphic and change its size, angle, and color. This will be done by the image option in Microsoft Paint. Their first project is called “Perspective”. They will be using the skills just mentioned in this project.

All students this year are required to have their own headphones. Also, please be aware that USB or jump drives are required for all 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders this year. Finally, if you want to practice typing at home, there is a great free typing program called Typing Lessons for QWERTY. The web address is http://www.powertyping.com/qwerty/lessonsq.html. You can also practice their keyboarding skills using Keyboardingonline.com. The 2-5th grade students will receive their passwords for this site in about two weeks. If you have any further questions please feel free to e-mail me at sdavid2@schools.nyc.gov .