Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Sharing Research about Famous Texans

Kayla and Casyn use internet sites to learn about Stephen F. Austin.
 For most grade levels, one important learning objective for the second nine weeks involves research. Librarian Vanessa Stenulson taught fourth grade students how to locate sources of information on the internet and how to decide if the sites contained valid information. Students were learning about famous Texans in social studies. Their research project integrated reading, research, and technology skills with social studies content. Pairs of students worked together on PowerPoint presentations about Famous Texans. Below are the PowerPoint slides created by Kayla and Casyn about Stephen F. Austin.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Robotics Class Engages ASPIRE Students

Engaged learning. Hands-on instruction. STEM  (science, technology, engineering, and math) education. Union Hill students who select robotics for one of their ASPIRE after-school program activities experience all of this and more! Students use Lego® Mindstorms NXT kits to build and program robots that can perform a variety of tasks, such as following a path or picking up things.

"Robotics is fun because I love playing with Legos® at home. My favorite thing at school is technology, and I love robotics!" stated Keagan.

Cassie builds her robot. Each kit comes with a variety of parts to build several different models of robots.
Once the robots are built, students then use the Mindstorms NXT software to program them. After test runs, students make adjustments to their programming to fine-tune their robot's performance.

Kelly (left) and Brandon collaborate on their project, which is another important skill that robotics teaches.

TAG teacher Sherry Yesenik teaches robotics at Union Hill. The Round Rock Education Foundation funded the grant proposal Ms. Yesenik wrote several years ago to purchase the Lego® Mindstorms kits.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Sharing Learning with a Paper Slide Video

First graders have been learning the basics of doing research. In Ms. Makawi's class, students learned from online resources, like PebbleGo. They also read books to learn more about snakes. Students each created a drawing to illustrate a fact they learned. Then the class made a video using the video recording feature of the document camera software. Click on the link below to hear and see what these first graders learned about snakes!

Friday, November 9, 2012

If Kinder Kids Were President . . . .

On election day, students in Ms. Sickert's kindergarten class read an online version of Madam President by Lane Smith. They pondered what they might do if they were president. Using Kidspiration, students chose an image that they felt represented themselves as president, and they wrote a sentence about what they would do as president.

By Lana.

By Adriana.
Our kindergartners are growing as readers, writers and technology users!

4th Graders Use Blabberize to Share Research Info

Fourth graders in Ms. Vasquez' class have been doing research on topics of their choice. Several students used a Web 2.0 tool called Blabberize to create short videos to share what they learned. With Blabberize, users start with a photo and add a hinged "mouth" that moves. Then students record their audio and save their products as video.

Check out their creations!

Frogs by Jordyn:

Hiding Hamsters by Milo:

Chihuahuas and Labs by Jade:

Taylor Swift by Sydney: 

The students used photos from World Book Online and Discovery Education. They forgot to document their sources on their videos, but they will be sure to do so next time.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Kinder Kids Love Computer Time!

Logan practices locating the Ctrl-Alt-Delete keys.
The first thing that kindergarten students learn is how to log on to the Round Rock ISD computer network. Kindergarten teacher Rachel Milstead explained, "We teach students how to make a longhorn with their left hand to press control and alt and then use their right hand for the delete key. We have each student's user name and password on a card so it is easy for them to see it and type it on the keyboard."

The Starfall  menu offers Connor many choices of stories and activities.

Students are taught to look at the taskbar for the big blue "e" that is the Internet Explorer icon. Teachers also discuss appropriate uses for the internet and tell students exactly which links they are allowed to select.

"At the beginning of kindergarten we let the students explore Starfall and get familiar with clicking the mouse. While they are exploring they are also learning, because Starfall helps with letters and sounds," concluded Ms. Milstead.

Reviewing Basic Skills with First Graders

First grade teachers begin technology instruction in a new school year by reviewing vocabulary and skills. Students log on to the RRISD network with individual user names and passwords.

Donovan logs onto the desktop computer, using a card to help with his user name and password.
First graders then practice opening and using web sites like Starfall or BookFlix, which provide early reading stories, activities, and games. Controlling a mouse and learning to click and scroll can be challenging!

Students also learn to close programs and then to log off or shut down the computers they are using.

Mario logs off the computer, reading the screen closely because choices Log Off and Lock are right next to each other on the menu.

Practicing and mastering these basics ensures that students have the foundation of skills necessary for success with technology.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Writing Stories is Second Nature to Second Graders!

Students in Ms. Humphres' second grade class wrote personal narratives. They used Microsoft Word to type their stories and then experimented with various font styles and colors. Students were working on the technology application TEKS section 6: technology operations and concepts. They performed basic software application functions, including opening an application and creating, modifying, printing, and saving files.

Here are a few of their stories:

Fun in the Sun by Mikayla

Swimming by Jose

And below, a screen shot of Dakota's story, Hiking in Washington:

Monday, October 8, 2012

Third Graders Create Graphic Organizers on Matter

In science, third graders have been learning about the properties of matter. They learned to describe and classify matter as a solid, liquid, or gas based on its physical properties. Students used a software program called Kidspiration® to create graphic organizers to demonstrate their understanding of matter. Several students' webs were exported as JPEG files, so they could be included below.

This web was created by Lily in Ms. Russell's class.

This web was created by Angela in Ms. Garza's dual language class. Her web was labeled in Spanish because students in dual language receive science instruction in Spanish.

Promethean Technology Involves Students

Janah, a fourth graders, works to solve a rounding lesson in math.

Union Hill is a Promethean campus. Promethean is a brand name for interactive technology, including the  interactive white board pictured above. Students love to come up to the board to participate in lessons!

All second, third, fourth, and fifth grade classrooms are equipped with Promethean boards. The music rooms, the library, and the upstairs and downstairs labs also have Promethean boards. Using a special pen, users can write, draw, highlight, and manipulate objects. Teachers use Promethean ActivInspire software to create lessons that incorporate the manipulative features of the board and truly engage students in their learning.

5th Graders Create Stories Using Microsoft Word

Bernardo and Valeria work on their personal narratives.
Students in Ms. Harrell's fifth grade dual language class were thrilled to use the new laptops that Union Hill received in mid-September! They used Microsoft Word to type and save their personal narratives. Students were asked to insert a graphic appropriate for their stories. They were also encouraged to experiment with various fonts in different sizes and colors.

Here are links to a few of the stories that the students created:

Donkey by Nallely

My Baby Cousin Emilio by Valeria

San Antonio by Alex

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

New Tech TEKS for 2012-13

Students at Union Hill will be learning about and using technology through lessons based on the new Technology Application TEKS (TA_TEKS) that were adopted by the State Board of Education.

New Technology Application TEKS 2012

Students will use laptops, netbooks, and desktop computers to work on technology skills. They will also use other equipment like Promethean boards, individual learner response devices, document cameras, digital cameras, videos cameras and more to meet their learning goals in technology.

Jakelin works on mouse skills using the Tux Paint program.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

3rd Graders Publish Animal Research

Third graders in Ms. Garza's dual language class produced animal reports using Microsoft Publisher. The students learned about their chosen animal using books, online encyclopedias, and other library databases.

Here are some samples of their reports:

Friday, February 24, 2012

Literary Nonfiction + Black History Month = 5th Grade Powerpoints

Fifth grade students have been studying literary nonfiction and research during Language Arts in the third nine-weeks. All fifth graders selected a famous African American person to research and learn more about. Students used online resources like World Book Encyclopedia and PebbleGo to gather information, and some also used library books as resources.
Cosette shares information about George Washington Carver.

So that everyone in the class could learn more about these famous Americans, each student created a PowerPoint presentation. The presentations were shown on the Promethean board while students discussed what they learned about their famous American.

Here are a couple of PowerPoint presentations that were completed by Mr. Hawthorn's students. They have been convert to .pdf format for ease of access.

George Washington Carver by Cosette G.

Colin Powell by Jacob S.