DPMS Research and Media Center

Becoming tomorrow's digital citizens

Scholastic link


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Common Sense Media


Common Sense Media (http://www.commonsensemedia.org/) “Common Sense Media is dedicated to improving the lives of kids and families by providing the trustworthy information, education, and independent voice they need to thrive in a world of media and technology.”

Follow this link for some “Digital Fun for Creative Kids”  They have developmentally appropriate activities

A site we used in class for image editing can be found at Pixlr.com.


Also remember you can use ‘cleanvideosearch’  as you look for this short YouTube video that shows how a photo is edited before it is placed in an advertisement or magazine cover.  Clean video search scrubs the ‘suggested videos and the comments from the screen which can provide an even safer video experience.


If your really looking for something to do, check out this new blog!


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Spring is beginning to Burst into Summer!


At 3, 4th and 5th grades we have been diligently building our technology skills.

5th Graders are gathering photos to insert them into a PhotoStory.  it is a Microsoft Program that is similar to MovieMaker, which is also a safe and free download from Microsoft.

We also are learning about how digital editing of photographs is important to consider when we view images that are presented on magazine covers, advertisements and other visual media.  Help your child remember that those pictures do not represent people accurately.  They are more like cartoons, than reality.

That being said.  . 4th graders are getting to practice collecting photos from our shared drive and saving them into their own folders.  The, they have learned about some free online editing tools.  Pixlr is one example.  They have layered borders, overlays and effects onto images.  The intermediate level allows them to actually alter, or change, the images.

Third graders are learning about the SafeSearch feature most search tools offer. I also encourage them to include their parents on any of their internet time.  Students really need to limit their ‘screen time’ to less than 2 hours a day.  The next skill the third grades have been practicing is using ‘keywords’ for their internet search.  This take a thinking skill called ‘synthesizing’.  Students have to determine the most important word in their query, then add the next important word to begin the process of narrowing their search.  Regular search engines can return millions of results.  Student friendly search engines reduce that number to a manageable range for our kids.  Kidrex is a good example.

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MSP Preparedness


The third, fourth and fifth Graders have had a lot of opportunities to practice using the Testing interface.  They are pretty familiar with using the computer to show their learning.  Each year, in order to ensure the students are making adequate improvement, they use the Scholastic Program which cycles them through Reading and Math questions.  The Scholastic programs are ‘adaptive’.  That means that they determine which level a student is proficient asking easy and difficult questions.  The students get very excited when the computer asks them a math question that includes some middle school algebra!  The reading test gives them short passages from familiar texts, then offers a sentence for the student to complete. Like. .  .Sam felt a)tired  b)happy  c)lonely  .  The students make the choice based on the evidence in the text.

Combined with the work their classroom teacher have carried out, the students were quite prepared for the assessment.  we can’t wait to see the results!

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March-ing on to Spring Break!


Useful yo-yo resources.

These videos are filtered through iboss clean video search.

Grant Johnson Evolution

Grant Johnson Revolution

Grant Johnson Theory

How- to Videos

messy yo-yo


 First Steps 

Some tricks

The videos presented by “expert village” — How to do basic yo-yo tricks seems to be the easiest to follow.



Additionally, if you are interested in using Clean video search . .. which screens out comments, recommended videos and almost all ads use this link.

 http://www.cleanvideosearch.com    or Search “clean video search”
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video 1     video 2    video 3


First BE FOREWARNED!  Our environment is soon to be filled with Scientists!!  Our annual science fair is approaching.

Students are to choose a project where they CONTROL a VARIABLE.  We have discussed the difference between interesting science questions and questions that are great for a Science Project.

There are a lot of fun projects out there!  But be careful!  Our purpose is  to engage the students in solidifying their understanding of a VARIABLE!

So, building a solar oven, a microscope, volcano, muscle model or other demonstration or exploration will NOT work for this fair.  🙂 

Examples of Interesting questions.

What are stars made of?*What ingredients are in Friskies dog food?*How many students can you stuff into the computer lab?

There Must be a ‘Testable Question”  The students need to be able to circle the Control and underline the Changed variable.

Examples of Good science Questions.

Which dog food does my dog prefer?*Which battery lasts longer to power my MP3 device?*

Those are questions where students can perform repeated trials and record their results in a table.

Other science questions, where students explore differences like, who in my family can roll their tongue?   Are great for recording data, but not for making conclusions unless there is more research completed by the scientists.

Cows Moo Softly  Click to see what that has to do with Variables!

General Science Fair Information

Variables Information

Experiments with one variable

Lots of links

Inspirational ideas-

Display support

In the Technology Lab;

Fifth graders: Working on the Presentation Software create a Digital Citizenship slideshow.  Be Safe, Be Responsible, Be Respectful

Link here to see evidence of our discussions Digital Citizenship

Additionally, they are reading Non-Fiction Text for a Classroom project that is due the first week of February.

Fourth graders: Still improving our Brochures.  Through this project students are learning how to save photos and insert them into a document.  They will also format heading and text with bullet points.

In Class they have a reading project due the end of January on a Historical Fiction Book.

Third Graders: They are becoming RETRIEVERS.  They can open up our network drive, find their grade level folder and access their very own folder that they will use until they graduate from DPSD! they have been retrieving their Drawing,  where they are learning to use menus, format shapes and customize images.  they Resize  and fill the  shapes to create a scene.  The most important thing they have learned to do is SAVE!  they can save using the icon and the menu.


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Please visit the pages called Library Media and Internet safety.  These will give you an idea of what we have been working on inside while waiting for it to snow outside.

I have been telling the 5th grade students to limit their screen time to less than two hours a day.  It is healthier for people to interact with anything with a heartbeat, than it is a 2-d object.  It is better for the mind and body.  Stay active to stay happy and healthy!

You may also ask a 5th grader about . .$20 bill.

Fourth Graders have continued working on a digital brochure, as well as learning about basic internet safety.

The third graders have been learning about moving object within a document.


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First Trimester has come to an end.  Students all have a great foundation in basic computer skills.

Click  5th Grade to view the Report Card Letter.  This note went home with the Report card to show what it takes to be meeting standard at Arcadia Elementary’s Technology Class.


Fourth grade Student’s classroom Book Project for November and December is a study of an animal.  The final product will be in the Brochure format.  Example brochures can be found here.


AnimalBrochureSolid pages

These templates have non-printing guides that show the page numbers, so students don’t get ‘lost’.  In technology class we will practice inserting images and formatting the pages after Thanksgiving.

Additionally, students can use clipart.com with our subscription  in order to download pictures for their brochures.


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We are rolling now.


The month of September, like the regular classroom, was filled with assessments. Students in each grade completed Scholastic Reading Inventory and the Scholastic Math Inventory. These assessments just learn how students work with text from books and how they work with math concepts.
With this information, the classroom teacher can make instructional decisions more tailored to student needs.

Now that the assessments are finished, for a little while, each grade level is working to develop different skills with our technology tools.

Third Grade students are beginning to practice typing in a program called Type To Learn. They are learning to keep their fingers on Home Row as they ‘teach their fingers how to type efficiently.’ They are also practicing sitting correctly so they do not cause themselves injury. The second week they also typed spelling words into a word processor. It was fantastic! In order to learn to do things correctly, it is okay to make a mistake. The important part is to have feedback tell the learner about the mistake. Spell checkers on our word processors do not tell the students HOW to spell a word. Just that a word is spelled incorrectly. Most students want to figure out “What is wrong?” so they takes steps to figure out how to fix their mistakes. That is quite POWERFUL! for their learning.

Fourth Graders are currently practicing text formatting.  Using some ideas from the classroom science kits, WATER, students have watched how to create a bulleted list.  They will practice these skills in a couple of weeks.  They are also working toward a keyboarding speed of at least 20 words per minute.  By the end of the year they should be able to type a page of text in one sitting.

Fifth Grades are working on Boo-Graphy in their classrooms.  So, in the lab, they are learning to choose certain text or images to print, instead of printing an entire web page.  Copyright issues are also addressed. Fifth graders are becoming more proficient toward their goal of 25 words per minute and two pages of text in one sitting.

We found some new timeline creation resources like; http://www.teach-nology.com/web_tools/materials/timeline/ and http://www.readwritethink.org/files/resources/interactives/timeline/

This timeline allows us to see a lot of world events that were occurring at the time.



If you have questions or ideas for lessons, ask.  just e-mail me or even leave a comment.

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School is IN!


Welcome Back to school!  

There have been quite a few changes here at Awesome Arcadia!  Several new teachers and a complete change for me.  No longer do I have the pleasure of developing a positive learning climate for the entire year or two.  Now, I get to see all 460 student for about 45 minutes a week.  I will have to be trying out some new management strategies, that’s for sure.[singlepic id=27 w=320 h=240 float=]

This year, I have the pleasure of coaching all of Arcadia’s top notch students through the use of computers to help them learn and communicate.

I do this in the Computer Lab with about 30 computers and one SMARTboard!.  this first week has been very exciting as I see all of these new faces and struggle to remember names.  I am used to have a whole year to remember them!  and that was for just 25 students!!  Whew, I will have to develop a new part of my brain.  Which is good, because I am pretty good at remembering faces, but not names.  So, I look forward to the new skill.

The first week in the Computer Lab we discuss what technology is.  What do you think technology is?  Leave a comment and tell us!

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