Grade 5 / Quarter 1 / Quarter 2 / Quarter 3 / Quarter 4

Nathan Pueblo house.jpg
Nathan's Pueblo House

Class: 50 minutes / once a week

Keyboarding Goal for end of 5th grade: Finished UltraKey. Type 16-17 wpm / 95%, by touch.
  • Students receive a grade of O, S, N on the online report card, based on their typing progress.
  • If your child has not finished UltraKey, the only way they will be able to complete it is working through it at home. We do not spend enough time in it after 3rd grade to be able to work through the program. Fifth grade teachers often have students type stories, but I do not allow students to type stories if they have not completed UltraKey. (It wouldn't be good for them to practice "incorrect" finger reaches.) Regular practice for 15- 20 minutes three-four times a week or more will help your child complete the program at home. Contact me if you are interested in purchasing UltraKey for $19.95 for your child to learn at home.

Free online games to practice keyboarding:


Quarter 1

Since most students completed the UltraKey typing program in third grade and can type by touch, we practice our typing skills by typing stories and working on other projects involving typing. We spend our computer classes on other computer skills and technology projects.

SKILLS: Making presentations using Prezi, to share science concepts; taking pictures of their Native American houses.

Prezi is a fun Internet tool for creating presentations. Students add and format text, and then add images to their Prezi "canvas". Videos from YouTube can also be added. Then they click on the object they want to show first, second, etc, creating a path. When the user clicks on the play button, the program zooms in on each area of text or each image. The results are very unique! Students researched a question about the International Space Station or some other aspect of space, to use for their Prezi presentations. We also talked about how to search and determine valid sites during this lesson. Next, they will learn how to embed the presentations onto a wiki so they can view what each other has created.


Using the Camera: I showed the students how to use the digital camera so they could take pictures of their wonderful Native American houses. They zoomed in and out, got close-ups, and a variety of angles. They'll be uploading the pictures to a wiki and adding captions later.

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Quarter 2

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Luke's wigwam (Ottawa Tribe)

SKILLS: Taking pictures with a digital camera; Making a wiki page to share what they learned and created in Social Studies class; Uploading pictures to a wiki; Formatting a picture and adding a caption on a wiki; Adding and formatting text on a wiki; Google Docs

Creating a website (wiki) page with pictures and text: Teachers make wikis to share information with others. It's important for students to also know how to use this valuable tool. When students know that others will see their work, they take more pride in it and want to do better. The houses are so incredible and students have spent so much time on them, that it's a shame to only have them in the school hallway for a short time. This way, they can be shared with family and friends, as well as with other teachers and classrooms. I showed students how to use the digital camera to take pictures of their Native American houses. Each student took several pictures from different angles and distances. I pulled the pictures onto our server and showed students how to upload a picture and make it smaller, align it, and add a caption. Students copied and pasted the explanations of how they created their houses from what they had already typed in Word onto their wiki page. Then I showed them how to format that text as well.

Click HERE to see the fifth graders' NATIVE AMERICAN HOUSES!

Writing in Google Docs: Some of the students had used Google Docs in 4th grade. We all got into our Google Accounts and began typing an essay Mrs. Long had started in class. With Google Docs, students can work on their stories from home! Writing more often improves writing skills, as well as keyboarding skills. Next, we will show students how to share their Google Docs stories with Mrs. Long and with their classmates. That way, they can peer edit, have Mrs. Long provide more feedback to their writing, encourage each other, and provide an authentic audience again - like with the wikis. 21st Century technology is all about creating, publishing, sharing, collaboration, communicating. Fifth graders are learning how to harness these tools to be better learners and communicators! This also gives opportunity to reinforce good digital citizenship and how to comment to each other online. Students have been instructed not to use the email feature of Google Docs at this time.

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Quarter 3

SKILLS: Integrating with Social Studies and Language Arts - Using World Book Online and Google Docs to research historical figures and create a podcast with Garageband and a timeline with TimeGlider; Sharing their work on a wiki by uploading and embedding their files.

Google Docs & www.worldbookonline:
Students chose a historical figure to research, using Mrs. Long's guidelines for research. The major source was World Book Online, for which LMS has an account. Students also used other sites, including BrainPop. Facts, notes, and the script were written in Google Docs, so that they could be shared with Mrs. Long and myself. That way, we could monitor how they were doing and make comments and suggestions directly on their work.

Students will use Garageband to create a podcast about their person. Their podcast will include audio and images, looking like a slideshow. They will upload it to a wiki page. Students rewrote their notes as a script on the Google Doc. Then they looked for images and saved them in a folder. They will use Garageband to record themselves reading their script and drag their images onto the Garageband track, adjusting the length of each image to cover the matching audio. They will also add background music.

Last year, students created podcasts about "sea life" for "Beach Day". Here is the link to their podcast wiki:

More complex podcasting and use of Garageband in 7th grade:
When students are in 7th grade, I work with the music teacher to show students how to create their own songs with Garageband. Then they use their song as a starting point for writing a poem for language class. In computer class, they create a Garageband podcast which combines the song they wrote, a recording of themselves reading the poem they've written, along with images they found to match their poem.

Timeglider Timelines!
As students are doing their research, they are gathering dates. They will create timelines in the online program, Timeglider, to show important events within their person's life, as well as important events in the US around their person's lifetime. Timeglider allows you to add text and images to your timeline, and timelines can be shared and embedded in a wiki.

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Daniel Boone (image: World Book Online)

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Quarter 4

Biography podcast on Davy Crockett by Sam:

SKILLS: Finishing the Garageband podcasts as a biography report; Creating collaborative online timelines about people from the biography reports with Timeglider

Podcasts with Garageband: Students created podcasts as a way to present their biography reports this year. They researched their person using several online resources, including World Book Online. Notes were taken with Google Docs and then rewritten as a report. Having their reports online allowed them to share them with Mrs. Garton and Mrs. Long, so we could easily add comments, suggestions and edit their work. Students started a podcast with Garageband and recorded themselves reading their reports. Then they added images they gathered online to their podcasts. Some students had time to add background music as well.
Click HERE to see their podcasts.

Timeglider: Next, we had them create an online timeline of events in their person's life. using Timeglider. It was easy to use, allowed students to upload images and write details about the events, and the timelines could also be embedded in a wiki. This year, we had students do collaborative timelines. Students were in groups and were to add their person's events, as well as general events from their Social Studies books to the timelines. To form groups, students added their person's name and year born on a shared public Google Doc. Then I showed them how to sort the people by the date when they were born.
Click HERE to see their timelines.

In the time that was left this year, students created podcasts about their field trip to Philadelphia.

Click HERE to see projects from 2012-13!

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Quarter 2

SKILLS: Using to find bible verses; Using "Wordle" to create "word clouds"; Using "Grab" to create a screenshot image; Creating a wiki page and uploading an image to it; Understanding image formats.

Unfortunately, both 5th grades meet on Friday. Therefore, we miss a lot of classes. Most of 2nd quarter was spent finishing our Prezis and embedding them onto wiki pages. Students created the pages, learned the difference between embedding and linking, got the embed code for the Prezi and pasted it into the widget they placed on their page. A lot is involved in creating and sharing on the Internet. But, it's so great to be able to make such cool things to showcase what we've learned and then to be able to share it with others!
Check them out at:
5H Cell Prezis:
5L Flood Prezis:

It's always fun to do a Christmas project. Students had been reading the Christmas story in Luke in class. I directed them to to see how easy it is to find bible verses in every version. Students copied a portion of the passage that they liked best and pasted it in a Wordle text box. ( Then they used "Grab", a utility in the Mac that allows you to select a portion of your screen and save it as an image. Grab saves the image as a ".tiff". Unfortunately, Wikispaces will not display a tiff, so we opened the image in "Preview", which comes on a Mac and resaved the image as a ".jpg". This gave me the opportunity to discuss the different image formats and the use of "save as" for converting files. Students got into their teacher's wiki, created a page and uploaded the Wordle image to the page.
Check out 5H's Wordles:

Google Docs
Fifth graders are just learning how to use Google Docs to create and collaborate on stories online. I have set up a Google Apps Education account for 3rd-12th grade students in the system. The purpose of the accounts is primarily to use Google Docs. However, students also receive Gmail capability with the accounts. Students in elem/ms are told to not use this email, as parents may not want them using email at that age and we do not want them to have to check email every day. If a teacher sends them something through email and tells them to check it, or if a teacher wants them to use it with other students as part of a project, that is fine. At this point, I have it set up so that elem and ms students cannot send/receive email to/from outside the domain. This gives us opportunity to discuss online etiquette: bullying, and how messages online can be misinterpreted, and thinking before you post or send email because you can't get it back.

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Quarter 3

SKILLS: Using Google Docs to write stories online and then sharing them with others for peer editing and providing feedback. Bogging with

Google Docs: I have set up Google Apps for Education accounts for students in grades 4-12 at LMS. This type of education account allows me to put added restrictions on middle school and elementary students' Internet activities. These students cannot receive from or send to anyone outside the "" domain. Schools are using Google Docs because it allows students to work on the same file from both school and home. With the ability to share with another person, students can share their stories with their teachers for immediate help and feedback. Teachers can comment on and edit the student's document. When students share with others, they can collaborate on the same story or PowerPoint at the same time! I connected with an 8th grade class from NYC this fall and both sets of students created joint Google Doc PowerPoint presentations comparing the two communities! They planned their projects using Google Docs and Skype. Middle school language arts teachers have students do most of their weekly essay writing in Google Docs. (Make sure your child practices typing! They will do A LOT of it in middle school!)

Our 5th graders were so motivated to write in Google Docs, especially because of the sharing feature, that we had to "ban" them from sharing for awhile. Students were being inundated with too many stories which their classmates had shared with them. We did do some activities where students collaborated to write a story, as they got into groups and shared their documents with each other and took turns writing parts of their stories. This resulted in some very interesting writing!

Blogging: Students have just set up their Gaggle accounts to start blogging. Blogging gives students an "authentic audience" - someone other than their teacher to read and respond to what they write. As with the Google Docs, it motivates students to write better, knowing someone is else is going to read what they write. It also gives them practice giving thought to what they post online and responding in an encouraging and positive manner. Gaggle provides a safe way for classes to blog because they can be limited to just the classroom or school and anything a student may write that is inappropriate is blocked and sent to the teacher. After students have some practice communicating appropriately online, we will try another program which allows the teacher to create a "class blog" with individual student blogs connected to it. Then we will let them share what they're doing in class with students in other classrooms.

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Quarter 4
SKILLS: Creating podcasts, adding pictures to blogs

Podcasts:Students in Mrs. Hurst's class created podcasts, about their field trip to Philadelphia,
using Garageband. They recorded their narration of what they wrote about their trip, along with pictures they found on the Internet of where they went.

Blogging: This group of students especially enjoys writing and responding to each others' writing, which is one of the purposes of blogging and Google Docs. Blogs can also include pictures, so learned how to save an image and import it to the blog. One of our blogs was about artwork Mrs. Weinstein had posted around the school. This year, she asked teachers to integrate writing with art by having students write what they saw, what they thought, and what they wondered. Blogs are a perfect way to share their observations and thoughts with each other.

Wikis: Mrs. Long's class created wiki pages to post the projects (PowerPoints, Prezis, Pictures) they have been working on independently. This class has been very industrious using technology to learn and share what they have learned with others.

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