In first grade this week, we practiced using the mouse and got better acquainted with our computer and technology webpage by playing some of the games posted to the first grade page. The children should now have a better handle on how to navigate to "Mrs. Bullock's page" from Ms. Becker's fabulous LS Faculty Webpages site and they should also feel more confident using the browser's back button. In the Lower School, we use Firefox and Safari interchangeably; Chrome is installed on our machines, but we have not added it to the dock for regular use just yet--although we do encourage our teachers to use it!
In second grade this week, we started a new activity that is meant to correlate to the current nonfiction reading and writing units of study taking place in the classrooms. The children were taught how to use Britannica's Image Quest to search for rights-cleared images that they could then manipulate in the computer lab. They were encouraged to find images of the subject(s) they have chosen to write about with their lead teacher, but this was not a requirement of the project. The images that the children selected varied from a sea star to the Olympic flag to a newborn baby, and they were all taught how to save their images to the Desktop of their computers. The next step of the project was to teach them how to use the application, Preview, to annotate and edit their images. We talked about how many of the nonfiction books we read contain annotated diagrams and illustrations (examples I shared were the DK Eyewitness Dogs, Swimming, and Baseball books), and that we could use the power of Preview to add labels and text boxes to our images and use them as teaching tools for our audience. I was so proud of how well the children followed my example this week, and I'm looking forward to seeing their work in their published nonfiction writing very soon! Here is a sneak peek of Zion's work: