Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Hour of Code

Last week was the Hour of Code.  What's that, you ask?  The Hour of Code is a 5-day initiative, tied to Computer Science Education Week, in which students are encouraged to try just one hour of computer coding to learn more about how coding impacts our everyday lives.  The goal is to introduce students to coding as a career.  The organizers of the event hoped they'd have 1 million participants and, by the end of the week, they were at 15 million...not bad!

At Blackland Prairie, student in Mrs. Masters' 5th grade class participated in the Hour of Code.  Students had tutorials from Scratch, Kahn Academy, and code.org to try.  What they found out is that anyone can code!  If you are interested, please visit one of the links and try it out.

Additional Resource:  14 Resources for Getting Started with Code

Monday, December 9, 2013

5th Grade Tech Camp

The 5th grade teachers here at BPE conducted the 1st Annual Tech Camp this year!  
Each teacher took on a different topic such as Google Docs, 
Google Chrome Store and Apps,  and Powtoon.
Students rotated to each classroom for a lesson on how to use these tools and 
ways they will be implemented throughout the year.  
Be sure to ask your 5th grader about what they learned!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

How long does it take to count to 120?

First graders in Mrs. Fuchs' class found out that it doesn't take long at all when you use Microsoft Excel to help.  These students have used Excel before to they graph the kinds of  candy they received for Halloween.  This time they had the chance to use the copy feature in Excel.  First they counted to 10 then moved to a new row and counted to 20.  After that, Mrs. Fuchs' shared that Excel could guess what they were going to do and they used the copy feature to count to 120.  Well done!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Exploring the Explorers

Mrs. Keller's and Ms. Burch's classes were very busy today creating Explorer projects using our new Google accounts.  The kids worked in groups researching an explorer and then put it together in a Google presentation. 

The nice part about using Google presentation rather than PowerPoint is that they could all work on it at the same time, thus dividing up the work fairly and they had a finished product in less than an hour!  They were super excited to learn they could add video clips as well!

Here are a few of the pictures of the fun.

Apps in Google Account for Education
Mrs. Keller started and shared a presentation with each group.

Here's an example of a finished product done by Jordan, Alex and Ethan...Cortes Presentation 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

What is a Scientist?

Our second graders can answer that question!
In Mrs. Bond's class, students used dragonfly tv from pbskids.org (http://pbskids.org/dragonflytv/
to research real scientists like Lesley Hamming who is a Glue-ologist, Lisa Parr who is a primate scientist,  
Jose Almirall who is a criminalist or Tyrone Hayes who is a frog scientist...
who knew there was such a thing???  
What a wonderful way to find out the different jobs there are available under the title "scientist"!  

Additionally, on career day we had some real life scientists visit us.  Some of them were:

Dana Schubert, Geologist

Brady Staples, Police Officer

Round Rock Fire Fighters
Lance Johnson, Farmer

Dr. Joseph Giasi, Orthodontist

Mr. Fleming, Contractor

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

5th Grade and GAFE

The fifth graders here at Blackland Prairie were introduced this week to their new Google Apps for Education (GAFE) accounts.  These accounts are created and owned by the school district, therefore the district is in charge of setting features as well as sharing and safety parameters.  Here in Round Rock ISD, email accounts can be monitored for inappropriate activity and, at this time, students in fifth grade will only be able to email their teachers from the email account.

Some benefits of the accounts are:
  • They open a line of communication directly between students and teachers. 
  • Access to Google Drive allows students to create documents and presentations that can be shared directly with the teacher.  Comments from the teacher can be added directly to the document or presentation.
  • If students are working in a small group, the document or presentation may be shared with a few others so that real time collaboration may take place.
Here are a few tips for students as they are getting comfortable with their new accounts:
  • Save to different file types:  You can easily save your documents and spreadsheets to commonly used file types like DOC, XLS, CSV, and HTML.
  • Use keyboard shortcuts:  With keyboard shortcuts, you can speed through all of your tasks in Google Docs.
  • Insert photos with drag and drop:  Instead of going through the process of attaching, you can just drag and drop files from your hard drive into the document, then wrap text around the photo.
It will be fun to see how these accounts will be utilized in the classroom...check back for updates!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Did you Sokikom today?

Mr. Bilski's fourth grade class did!  
Sokikom is a program that has online math games as well as a classroom management component.  
Mr Bilski had his students working on the math portion today.  
Students can work at their own pace and enjoy the graphics and interactive part of practicing math on the computer.  Teachers like the fact that the program tracks student progress in math skills such as fractions, measurement and data, operations and geometry.  
Its a win-win situation!

Math Practice


Teacher Tracking Section

Math Practice

Math Practice

Thursday, August 1, 2013


As you visit this blog throughout the upcoming school expect to find examples of how technology is being used to enhance learning here at Blackland Prairie.

Research shows that integrating technology with the curriculum increases student interest, prepares a 21st century workforce and allows students to explore beyond the textbook, just to share a few benefits.  (See:  http://edutopia.org/technology-integration)
In Texas, the Technology Application (TA) TEKS were revised last year (See:  http://ritter.tea.state.tx.us/rules/tac/chapter126/index.html) and are being integrated into the curriculum beginning in kindergarten!

Check in often to see the 21st century learning going on here at Blackland Prairie!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

May Middle School Madness at BPE

Students in Grade 5 are preparing for Middle School by having Middle School Madness and changing classes for the different subjects. One subject they have included in their daily schedule is "Technology."

 Students report to the Laptop Computer Lab and begin their lessons using Easy Tech (aka learning.com)
Lessons in keyboarding and internet safety are among some of the lessons completed.

Monday, May 13, 2013

All About Our World

Tammy Conrad's second graders have been studying about the different environments found throughout the world. Using reference tools such as Pebble Go, World Book for Kids, and Searchasaurus, students discovered facts about the wetlands, grasslands, tundra, ocean, rainforest, and desert.

Once they had the facts collected, the students worked in groups to illustrate and narrate a paper slide. They used the document camera and software to video their work, and a microphone for the audio.
After a quick orientation on how to run the software, students completed their projects.

Here are links to the various environments:






Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Staying Safe and Sound!

All Blackland Prairie students have been given Acceptable Use and Computer Orientation this year. Texas Senate  Bill 407 requires that students be taught online safety, so  RRISD schools have been instructed to educate all students about appropriate online behavior, including interacting with other individuals on social networking websites and in chat rooms and cyberbullying awareness and response."

One of the resources that teachers used was "R U Safe? Protecting Yourself in Cyberspace." Students viewed and discussed ways to keep safe on the internet.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Doodle4Google Doodlers

A wonderful fourth teacher, Mrs. Scott, encouraged some 4th and 5th grade Blackland Prairie students to enter the annual Doodle 4 Google program. This program invites K-12 students in the United States to use their artistic talents to think big and redesign the homepage logo for millions to see.

Students were required to use their creative imaginations while focusing on the theme, “My Best Day Ever…”

The Blackland Prairie students did an amazing job capturing the theme through their illustrations.

One talented student artist in the United States will see their artwork appear on the Google homepage, receive a $30,000 college scholarship, and a $50,000 technology grant for their school along with some other cool prizes!

Check the Google homepage on May 1st to see if any Blackland Prairie students’ entries are selected for voting. 
Here are our Doodles!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Mrs. Fuch's Class Presents the Life Cycle of the Frog - Rivet, Rivet!

First graders from Mrs. Fuch's class have been studying the life cycles. All students worked in groups to produce a video illustrating the life cycle of the frog. Here are some examples from her class.

Life Cycle of the Frog - Lauren, Emily, Aranza, and Kyra

The Frog's Life Cycle - Alina, Cade, Nicholas, and Gavin

Frog Life Cycle - Ashley, Anna, Jenna, Kiera, Celeste

Life Cycle - Frog - Logan and Samuel

Frogs R Us - Rene, Brock, Landon, Ryan

We're Frogs Now! - Anthony, Camron, William, and Carson

Students used the document camera, microphone, and the camera software to make their production.  They did a "Toad-ally" awesome job! 

Monday, April 8, 2013

Students in Mrs. Patterson's first grade class have been working on Paper Slides. Using the document camera and a microphone, they make a movie. Topics range from King Cobras to fish to drawing a basketball player.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Blackland Prairie students in Grades 3-5 have been putting in countless hours of work on the comprehensive computer based program Istation Reading. The state of Texas has purchased this program to maximize students’ reading fluency and comprehension. The students each took a small assessment, and then were given a customized program for their needs.

For homework students are working regularly as teachers can monitor their progress in the program. The “work” is in a very attractive format, more like a game. Students are highly motivated to complete these modules. The parents are able to access online reports and suggested activities to reinforce their child’s learning.

Currently the state of Texas has funded Texas SUCCESS through August 31, 2013, so iStation will be available all summer.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Diamante Poems

Do you like poetry? Have you ever written a Diamante? First graders from Mrs. Patterson's class wrote poems using the website Read, Write, Say. They selected their topic, supplied the words required, and they printed their poems. After printing, they then decorated their poetry page and displayed their work on the bulletin board. Here is a photostory of poetry.   Diamante Poems

 They did a fabulous job!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Paper Slide on Winter

Connor, Braydon, Matthew, and Paula in Mrs. Rushing's second grade classroom have been creating Paper Slides about the four seasons.
First they made a story board of their movie. Next they created the pictures and winter effects. They wrote a script to narrate their story. Then they rehearsed and rehearsed.
They used the document camera to video their story.
Here is their movie.
                         Winter Paper Slide
They did a great job!

Monday, February 11, 2013

100th Year for Round Rock

Emily Cao, Lauren Huffmaster, and Abby Fenton from Mrs. Stork's fifth grade TAG classroom created a presentation commemorating the 100th year for Round Rock ISD. Their presentation was played on the Broadcast announcements on the 100th day of school. 

They used the online presentation tool, Prezi, to create their project.
Here is the Prezi, 100 Year Anniversary of Round Rock ISD

Click away and see how the city of Round Rock was named, the year the first school year began, and what delayed school to open in 1919. Also, find out the first year that Blackland Prairie Elementary opened!

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Tech Heroes at BPE

Students in Grades 4 and 5 have been identified as their classroom "Tech Heroes," students who are selected to assist in various areas of technology, from laptop care to logging in.
The students met with Mrs. Oliver, ITS, and joined the "Tech Hero" Edmodo group. Edmodo is a free and secure learning network for teachers, students, and schools. Their classrooms will be joining  Edmodo in the next few weeks, so the "Tech Heroes" will be there to assist them in setting up their account, joining the group, and allowing parents access to their accounts.

Meet the Tech Heroes!