Welcome to Computer Class.
My name is Mrs. Dhanagom, and I have been the Technology Coordinator at St. Joseph’s Regional Catholic School in Beltsville, MD, since August, 2002 until 2017. I have also been the Technology Coordinator for St. Catherine Laboure in Wheaton, MD, and St. Mary’s in Landover Hills, MD.
It is a privilege to be at St. Luke School in McLean, VA. I have heard and experienced many terrific things about this great community with the parents and students here. I enjoy working with the students and parents in challenging and engaging the students in their journeys of this technological world.
The Robotics Program is visiting St. Luke School later this year! We are looking forward to learning more about Robotics and programming. More information will be coming later.
Kindergarteners have learned how to log onto the computer and we are going to Keyboard Zoo http://www.abcya.com/keyboarding_practice.htm. We are becoming adept at finding the letters on the keyboard as we enjoy the animals in the zoo. In our classroom we have created our own “Monsters” and now teach our Monsters to read.
1st Through 8th Grade Keyboarding:
With 1st and 2nd Grade, we are learning key positions with the Brown Bear Typing: http://www.bigbrownbear.co.uk/keyboard/ In learning the different sides of the keyboard, our young students build their skills at finding the letters and deciding which hand types the different letters.
Starting in 3rd Grade we begin to learn the finger positions. Their bigger hands and dexterity are in place to accomplish this feat without as much frustration. In Grades 3-8 we work in the online Typing Program https://www.typing.com/, where they each have their own user name and sign in, lessons to follow, and they belong to my class.
Typing is an important key to working with the computer, and when students learn the finger positions of the keyboard, ideas are able to flow out onto their documents without them having to think where the “s” key is, or other specific keys. It is like riding a bicycle, once you learn the keys, your fingers will “remember” where the keys are and you can think more deeply about what you are writing. It will also allow you to accomplish more in a shorter time without having to scavenge about looking for where the letters are.
We are formatting our Microsoft Word Documents, using our names with capital letters. We then proceed to typing their current Spelling Words, making sure they are all accounted for. Saving under their folder and printing the Spelling Words come next, and we staple the small original list with their document to complete our task. Using a physical way of spelling the words in our document helps to reinforce the words used, as they must think of each letter and physically type the letters. After mastering the MS Word Document, we will introduce Prodigy. When they have mastered their Spelling Words for the week, they may continue to Prodigy. Prodigy is an exciting online program encouraging math exploration, reinforcing different math concepts through playing and correctly answering math problems.Letters will go home when we start Prodigy, with user names and passwords for Prodigy: https://www.prodigygame.com/Play/ . They have chosen their avatar character and use an alias name chosen by them to ensure their privacy. They may play along with their friends, as long as they know their friend’s alias and are in the same world at the same time. It is a challenging game which implements their skills and levels in the adventure. They may play at home if they wish: https://www.prodigygame.com/Play/ Most students do NOT become members, but if you would like your child to be a member, there is a cost to it. You do NOT need to be a member to play the program, but there are bonuses if you are a member. I do not encourage them to be a member.
We have been exploring the ways of keeping safe on the Internet. We are also working on our Math skills in a program called Prodigy. Students have to correctly solve different math problems to progress through the game and earn different rewards. They have chosen their avatar character and use an alias name chosen by them to ensure their privacy. They may play along with their friends, as long as they know their friend’s alias and are in the same world at the same time. It is a challenging game which implements their skills and levels in the adventure. They may play at home if they wish: https://www.prodigygame.com/Play/ Most students do NOT become members, but if you would like your child to be a member, there is a cost to it. You do NOT need to be a member to play the program, but there are bonuses if you are a member. I do not encourage them to be a member.
We are learning finger positions in keyboarding. We have discussed the ways of the Internet, how to stay safe, and what are good websites to visit and are at the correct level of understanding. We have learned to avoid websites that give wrong information, and what to do if a website is inappropriate or if another person is mean to you online.
We have 10 minutes of typing in the beginning of class to hone our skills in typing, remembering our finger positions. Presently we are looking at how to present ourselves in our Digital Footprints, keeping in mind that what is put on the Internet is forever.
Skill in typing goes a long way in helping to develop confidence in working with a computer. We are going into a deeper depth of what it means to have a Digital Footprint. Who is in control of what is presented and how to request others to respect your boundaries.
6th through 8th Grade:
With much typing practice, comes much typing proficiency. We are currently delving into online safety with chatting with peers, phishing features in avoiding scams and schemes, as well as cyberbullying and what to do if it happens.
Thank you so much for having me here at St. Luke School! I look forward to seeing you, and the students in computer class!
Mrs. Loretta Dhanagom
- Monday—1st Grade, 8th Grade
- Tuesday—2nd Grade, 3rd Grade, 6th Grade
- Wednesday—Kindergarten, 4th Grade, 5th Grade, 7A Grade
- Thursday--7B Grade