Meet Dash

During our last rotation our 4th and 5th graders worked in assigned pairs and groups of three to practice their coding skills.  What is Dash?   According to the Wonder Workshop website “Dash is a real robot, charged and ready to play out of the box. Responding to voice, navigating objects, dancing, and singing, Dash is the robot you always dreamed of having. Use the Wonder app to create new behaviors for Dash — doing more with robotics than ever possible.”  Mrs. D enjoyed seeing how well students worked together and helped each other figure out the challenges using the Wonder app.

2nd and 3rd graders were introduced to the app/website Prodigy which is a free, adaptive math game for grades 1-7.  It integrates math into a role-playing game using a Pokemon-style wizardry theme. … As students play, question difficulty is increased or decreased depending upon their answers and facility with the skills.

Kindergarten and 1st graders worked on logging into their assigned computer using their own login and password.

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Typing Club Ninjas 2017

Right after school on March 23rd Mrs. D took a screen shot of the top ten in 3rd, 4th and 5th grades in the Typing Club program.  Those individuals will be receiving a certificate and a large Hershey chocolate bar for their efforts.  Winners for this year’s contest are:

3rd grade: Chuemong K, Cassidy B, Jai K, Annalise M, Samuel D, Delaney R, Dalilah V, Israel K, Kristen R, and Jordyn S.

4th grade: George J, Ryden L, Blake B, Tyler M, Elin N, Brian L, Ella S, Sophia W, Kaden G and Caedmon A.

5th grade:  Jia K, Cayden B, Grace P, Evan P, Dakota W, Aidan G, Max H, Drew R, Reis N and Isabella J.

Congratulations to all of our winners!

Why is knowing how to keyboard so important in today’s world?  I found several reasons in the following article: https://adamfortgo.wordpress.com/2014/06/25/benefits-of-touch-typing-skills/ 

Here are the top 3:

“1. Speed. This is going to be the first and most obvious benefit of learning to touch type. A touch typist can easily reach typing speeds above 75-80 words per minute, while a hunt and peck typist would be hard pressed to reach 30 words per minute. This also increased by the fact that an accomplished touch typist doesn’t have to look at the keyboard. It is difficult to type something while reading it if you have to look down at the keyboard every other stroke to find your next key.

2. Accuracy. One of the most important things to learn no matter how hard you type is to type accurately. Ask anyone who’s ever played a multi player online game, and they’ll tell you how it important it is to be able to type quickly and accurately. No one is going to be able to ride to your rescue if your typing skills are so atrocious that no one can understand what you’re saying.

3. Time. If you increase your typing speed from, say 30 words per minute to 60, you have effectively halved the time it would take you to do the same amount of work. An average two finger typist, typing at for example of 15 words per minute, will type a 250 word section in about 17 minutes. A touch typist, on the other hand, typing at an average 60 words per minute, can type the same section in around 4 minutes.”

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Ozoblockly adventures…

This rotation we are doing a variety of things in our library/computer classes.  Kindergartners are excited to try out the new website Spot the Differences.  There are both easy and hard levels which adds to the fun.  1st graders enjoy Between the Lions in their classrooms and we explored the website after book checkout.

2nd graders are diving into Tynker, a great coding website.  I set up classrooms and logins so students could see how far they can get in the Candy Quest.  3rd graders are reviewing the online tools for the upcoming Forward Exam with Mrs. D.  This test is a new experience for them this year.

Mrs. D brought out the ozobots again and 4th and 5th graders used the online coding site Ozoblockly to practice creating codes and working on the Shape Tracer game to see if they could get all 10 levels completed during our class time.

Mrs. D demonstrated our newest STEM maker space challenge known as the Crunch!  It is fun to watch students work together to solve problems and come up with their own inventions.

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Battle results for this year….

We are so proud of our Battle of the Books team this year!  The results are in and Riverside has made the “honors club” again with a total score of 255.  We finished 28th in the state among 217 teams this year.  A special thank you to Mr. Podeweltz and Mrs. Moore who help me make it possible for us to have this fun club!  Our final BOB team members are Mila B,  Angie S, Olivia O, Gracie P and alternate Ola O.  Congratulations!

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Read Across America 2017

Another busy week at Riverside Library!  Kindergartners are discovering PBS Kids website and all of the awesome activities that can be done on it.  1st graders are using library iPads to scan at least two different QR codes around the library so they can listen to stories from Dr. Seuss, stories about spring or stories that have weather in them.  Check out all of the codes around the outside of our story area (aka the pit)!

2nd graders are trying out six different math games from the website ABCya.  They are also spending time in the maker space of their choice for the last 5 minutes of library class.  4th and 5th graders are going through the student tutorials for the upcoming Forward Exam in April.  Mrs. D will have the 3rd grade classes use their hour long class to go into even more depth since this is their first year taking the exam.

Mrs. D and Mrs. T loved seeing students of all ages dressing up for Read Across America day this year.  We celebrated it on March 3rd instead of the 2nd so it wouldn’t interfere with the spring music concert practicing.

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Ozobots

dscn2315“We’re fascinated with robots because they are a reflection of ourselves.” ~ Ken Goldberg

Mrs. D enjoyed teaching students how to use our Ozobots, which are small, smart robots that empower learners to code, play, create and connect the physical and digital worlds.  K and 1st graders worked with a partner in the app Ozodraw to draw shapes and letters using different colors for their Ozobot to follow and read.

3rd, 4th and 5th graders all worked with partners to use Freedraw, Playground and Challenge to add codes and program their Ozobot to perform various coding activities.  2nd graders are getting the opportunity this rotation to work with a partner and try out the Ozobots.

What is the purpose of having students use these “mini” robots?

Being introduced to coding gives students an appreciation of what can be built with technology. We must admit that in today’s world we are surrounded by devices controlled by computers. Understanding how they work, and imagining new devices and services, are enhanced by understanding coding.

Of course, not everyone taught coding will become a coder or have a career in information technology. For example art is taught in schools with no expectation that the students should become artists.

The idea is to give students exposure to coding and its basics so that they can decide if it is any area they are interested in learning more about.  Mrs. D is always excited to create opportunities that give students as many educational experiences as possible.

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Kindness Boomerang 2017

actsofkindness2For the past two rotations  we have been working in our K – 5th grade library/computer classes on what I call a “kindness boomerang” project for Valentine’s Day.

Kindergarten and 1st grade students created online Valentine cards, which we printed and decorated for a teacher or support staff member of our school. 2nd through 5th graders used their Google accounts to write special notes using Google Docs as their word processing tool. Notes were printed and placed in envelopes that students decorated for our 60 staff members. Students were also encouraged to write notes to family members, friends and classmates.3e98b709190d3fde4642efd423624065031e

The response of our students to this assignment was heart-warming and I was inspired by the kindnesses that I witnessed.  Several students wrote notes to each other and it was great to see the notes given and compliments received by students.  4th and 5th graders also enjoyed decorating the envelopes that held the compliments for staff members.

If you are interested in a website that has a great list of ideas for activities that your family could do to promote kindness try the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation website at https://www.randomactsofkindness.org/kindness-ideasand look up the Kindness Boomerang video on YouTube.

Opportunities surround us every day to inspire others with random acts of kindness. I hope you will be inspired to share acts of kindness throughout this month and beyond.

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