In today’s world, students must prepare themselves for a wide range of college and work opportunities. All students want to lead a happy life and enjoy the good things the world has to offer. Our students will certainly be provided a quality education. This year I am working with our junior high students as they learn and master a wide range of 21st Century Skills.

In this year’s “Technology Applications” class, students will learn and master various topics associated with computers and technology. For a list of the various technology topics covered in this course, CLICK HERE for a PDF file. CLICK HERE for a Microsoft Word document.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Students Explore Independent Learning

Between Weeks 12 and 13, students have come to know and understand that being a "Self-Learner" is not as difficult or fearful as first imagined.  6th Graders are completing Module 2 (Digital Citizenship) and selecting "Self-Learning" modules of their choosing.  Some of the modules selected so far range from Graphic Design, Professional Development, Learning.com (Mixed Bag), Keyboarding, Computer Hardware, Career Exploration, and Coding using Code.org.

Between Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of this week, all students are expected to complete Module 2 and start a new training module of their choice.  Empowering students to learn topics of their choosing is turning out to be the fulfillment of a dream I have pursued since I started teaching here 19 years ago.

To view the training modules available, click the link below.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Our First Unit; a Huge Success

My 6th graders in "Technology Applications" just completed their first unit in Graphic Design.  Using Microsoft Word 2016 as a medium, students had to learn, know and master a number of beginning, intermediate and advanced features of the program.

To complete the project, student had to know the following:

Open a Microsoft Word document
Set Margins
Change Page Orientation
Change Font Style
Change Font Size
Create a Table
Merge Cells
Split Cells
Insert Pictures
Resize Pictures
Add Color
Change Table Borders
Add a Page Border
Save their Microsoft Word Documents

For many students who had little or no experience with a Word Processing program or Microsoft Word specifically, these students did a fantastic job of creating their projects.


Sunday, September 16, 2018

It's been 3 weeks since my last blog and the 6th graders have been hard at work.  In the creation of their first Desktop Publishing Project, students found themselves using Microsoft Word 2016 for the first time.  Being new to Microsoft Word, students learned to change "Margins", change "Font Style" and "Font Size", "Align Text", create a "Table", "Insert Pictures" and add a "Page Border".  In typing up the "Social Norms", students did a great job of capitalization, spelling and punctuation.  It was observed that "attention to detail" was much better with this class of 6th graders than has been seen in previous classes.  

A number of learning resources were employed along the way.  Interactive videos, Learning.com lessons, various class exercises and activities were completed as students learned and practiced their new knowledge and skills.

Here are a few "Social Contracts" created by students.  Stay tuned as we move into our "Class Picture" and other Desktop Publishing projects.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Great Times Ahead

This year, our 6th grade Technology Application students are an awesome group.  They work hard and are not afraid to jump in and try new things.  Students spent time this week learning and reviewing all our district, school and classroom policies and procedures.  They learned how to log into our schools network and Google Classroom without a hitch.  In the past, students took as long as a week to master the login procedure.  With this group, they were all ready to go in a day or two.  As soon as they got into the classroom, they logged in and and were ready to start work just as if they were in a real job somewhere.

Got Milk!
Through one "Warm Up" Exercise, students learned how many gallons of milk a cow gives each year.  When given the fact that there were 10,000, glasses of milk involved, students took to a calculator to figure that each glass held _____ ounces.  I will let them tell you what they discovered. On a second "Warm Up" activity, students took to Google to discover the closet star to our solar system.  Ask your 6th grader.  I'm sure they will be more than happy to share what they learned.  

Through the week, students did a number of activities to learn what they needed to know for our end of week test.  While we did a few activities together as a class, students teamed up and work primarily with each other as they prepared themselves for the test over Rules, Policies and Procedures.  About 97% - 98% of all 6th grades passed the test with an 85% or higher.  Congratulations to all.

Next week, students will learn about Microsoft Word and its "Graphic Design" capabilities.  We will use this software package to create our "Social Contract" and "Class Picture Project".  Stay tuned next week for samples of their work.   

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Python Programming and Self-Learning Modules

In Career and Technology, 6th graders spent the last 2 weeks learning to key in and debug Python programs.  In working with the Python "Turtle.Pen" command, students experimented and created these designs.

Jaime Moreno
Enrique Alcorta
Elijah Martinez

Danika Chapa
Amelia Martinez
Calyssa Servier

It has been a great year for the 6th graders.  I won't see them again for 2 years as 8th graders.  They will be missed.

In Principles of Information Technology, 8th graders are wrapping up their "Self-Learning" modules.  At the end of their various modules, they were asked to complete a little survey about the things they learned on their own.  Here are their thoughts.

Here is hoping everyone had a great summer.

Sunday, May 6, 2018

"Self-Learning" Modules Produce Great Results

While not all Learning Modules result in a product, here are a few samples of students who created projects as they work in or have completed their selected module.

Limousine Advertisement was created by Julian Salinas

Restaurant Menu created by Judith Mujica

Restaurant Menu created by Daunia Esposo-Franklin

Restaurant menu created by Alexandra Casteneda

Flyer for the San Antonio Zoo created by Alexandra Casteneda

While these were created by students involved in "Module 3 (Graphic Design), videos and website created in other modules will be available soon.  Stay Tuned.