Welcome!

In today’s world, students must prepare themselves for a wide range of college and work opportunities. For our students who want to lead a happy life and enjoy the good things the world has to offer, all of our students will certainly need a quality education. This year I am working with our junior high students as we learn about Computer Programming. Students in my “Coding” class will be writing and creating programs using the Python programming language. Students will also learn Block style programming for Android Phones and Tablets using the online MIT App Inventor system.

In other various courses I am teaching, students will learn a wide range of technology applications such as MS-Word, MS-Excel, hardware and software concepts along with basic video editing and production. Students will be introduced to 3D design and 3D Printing. All students in my classes will have ample opportunity to learn and practice 21st Century Skills throughout the semester and year.


Monday, December 29, 2014

Week 16

Students gave Mrs. Leal their "Heart Felt" Thank You messages.  Mrs. Leal was very touched.  She mentioned that no other class has ever thanked in in this way.  I am confident her last day with us our 6th graders will be one to remember.

Using what students know about Desktop Publishing, students were given and opportunity to create a special Christmas or Holiday message to take home to parents or a special loved one.  Students did a great job.  With each opportunity to use what has been learned, document quality gets better and better.

The 6th graders also began our unit on Robots.  A document was created by students to show the various type of robots there are.  Students learned that there are Toy robots, Medical Robots, Military robots, Music Robots, Industrial Robots, etc.  Students will view various scenes from different robot movies in 3 different time periods; 1960s, 1970s and 2009.  Students will get to see and compare how changes in technology effects how robots are portrayed in different time periods.  We have a few weeks of exploratory learning and will conclude our unit with the creation of a Tri-Fold brochure.

Stay tuned through the coming weeks to see how things develop.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Week 15

This week students completed their "Thank You" messages to Mrs. Leal.  They will be presented to her on Monday the 15th.  In each class period, a couple of students have volunteered to be spokespersons for the class and present the documents to her.

This week, students will begin their next unit on "New and Emerging" technologies.  For this unit, robotics will be explored since our Junior High has just started a Robotics Club.  This unit of exploration is in preparation for the Tr-Fold Brochure Project students will be creating in a few weeks.

It is my goal that students create the brochure on their own with little or no help from me. Independent learning and work is our ultimate goal.  With the Internet research skills they will be learning and mastering, along with a series of step-by-step document creation video tutorials I created, I am hoping students will learn what they need and are able to create a Tri-Fold brochure on their own.

With the work we have been doing over the last few weeks, students have had plenty of opportunity to work on their spelling, grammar and punctuation.  I am please to announce that over these past few weeks, the quality of student work is improving.  The errors seen in most documents has been dramatically reduced thanks to the efforts of each student.  They are to be commended.


Sunday, December 7, 2014

Week 14

This week had students are doing a couple of things.

Since Mrs. Leal will be with us for the last time on Monday, the 15th, students are creating a special "Thank You" message.  They are using what they have learned about Microsoft Word and Desktop Publishing, to create a document with a special "Thank You" and "Farewell" sentiment so she will always remember the 6th Graders of Lytle Junior High.  We will present these to Mrs. Leal on her last day.  Next week, students will have one last opportunity to make corrections and get them ready for color printing and presentation.

This week, students took the first part of their MS-Word Table assessment.  Part 1 of this test had students answeing a 25 question test relating to the creation and modification of tables in Microsoft Word.  For part 2 of this test, students will create a table of their own design.  Students will select from a choice of table applications and are expected to demonstrate what they know about Microsoft Word, Tables and Desktop Publishing.  We will begin and hopefully finish this table by Tuesday or Wednesday.

Next week, we will begin our "All About Robots" Tri-Fold Brochure.



Sunday, November 30, 2014


Week 13

Mrs. Leal visited again Monday.  Her last day with us will be on Monday, December 19th.  Students enjoy the stories and activities she brings to class.

With a test coming up after Thanksgiving, students practiced what they learned about creating and using MS-Word Tables.  Students had an opportunity to follow a step by step handout creating tables of various sizes.  They followed detailed instructions as they created tables, merged cells, applied borders, added color, etc.  As a class exercise, students learned how tables can be used in creative ways.


For proofreading on Thursday, students started working on a special "Thank You" document to be given to Mrs. Leal on her final day.  Students will use everything they know about MS-Word and Desktop Publishing in this "Real Life" application.

Friday was History day.  Here are a couple of links to pictures and videos posted on our Junior High Website.

(Pictures)

(Video)

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Week 12

Students did a great job on completing their "Class Picture Project".  We have been working on this project two days a week for the last three weeks.  The project is now complete and students are taking home a color copy of the product they created.



To view a video of the many Basic, Intermediate and Advanced features learned in Microsoft Word, click on the following link:  http://youtu.be/RZqTzWWkLZ4

During our Proofreading day on Thursday students had an opportunity to play an On-Line game called "Kahoot".  This game consisted of 20 review questions relating to MS-Word and Tables.  Spelling, Grammar and Punctuation questions were mixed for extra challenge.

This week typing lesson was Lesson 10.


Friday, November 7, 2014

Weeks 10 and 11

On Mondays, students are in training with Mrs. Monica Leal of the Atascosa Probation Department as she works with students in a special "Positive Actions" program.  With the number of weeks remaining, training will continue to the last Monday before Christmas Break.

On these past Tuesdays and Wednesdays, students have been busy learning how to create and work with Microsoft Word Tables.  Our Class Picture Project allows them to create a Class Keepsake with a picture of every student in the class.  In this Desktop Publishing project, there are approximately 15 Intermediate and Advanced features of the Microsoft Word program to explore, learn and master. Soon, Students will have a color copy of their Class Picture Project to take home with them.

Last Thursday's Proofreading Exercise had student identifying mistakes in a passage of Math facts and information.  Upon finding all the mistakes, students are challenged to type the passage error free.  This Tursday, students played a fun game of Kahoot.  The game had students answering questions relating to grammar, spelling and punctuation.  The competition was tough and the winner in each class period received a certificate declaring them the winner of our very first Kahoot competition. Students had so much fun, we will do it again next week with questions relating to MS-Word and Tables.

Friday is always Keyboarding day.  With several interruptions of one sort or another on Fridays, students are just now completing Lesson 8 and 9 of the "Type to Learn 4" system.  Progress is slow and steady.  Students are showing signs of increased speed and accuracy.


Sunday, October 26, 2014

Weeks 8 and 9

Students have been doing well.  They continue their "Positive Actions"  training on Mondays with Mrs. Leal and Mrs. Stewart.

Students completed a MS-Word Desktop Publishing project.  Our 6th graders  learned to work with Beginning, Intermediate and Advanced features of the program such as Graphic Re-Sizing and Picture Styles, Text Boxes, Page Borders, WordArt and other Word features.

A video of there work can be seen here:  http://youtu.be/qbfYzjFhl20

This past week we started another MS-Word Desktop Publishing document; our "Class Picture Project".  This project will have students learning about Tables as they create a keepsake they will take with them.  This project will have them creating and modifying tables.  They will be inserting a picture for each student in the class.  Because we only work on technology projects 2 days a week, This project will take another 2 weeks to complete.

For Thursday's Proofreading Exercise, students used MS-Word Shapes to indicate where errors are located in a text passage.  Upon identifying all the errors, students are challenged to type the passage error free. Focus is on Spelling, Grammar and Punctuation as well as "Paying Attention to Details".

Friday's are designated as Keyboarding days.  Last week, students completed Lesson 8.  With each 4 lessons, speed and accuracy are increased giving students an opportunity to feel comfortable with the requirements. Students have commented they are glad we do it this way since they feel an improvement in their speed and accuracy with each passing week.


Saturday, October 11, 2014

(Week 7)

Positive Actions training continues.  Students seemed to enjoy the program as they learn and participate in various activities facilitated by Mrs. Leal and Mrs. Stewart.

Students have submitted the first draft of their "Computer and Internet Safety" Desktop Publishing project.  They will receive an evaluation from me for the purposes of making corrections and adjustments.  Next week, students will be involved in a peer evaluation.  next week students will have one last opportunity for adjustments and improvements before a final submission for a grade.

On Thursday, students had an opportunity to write and share things they are learning (about MS-Word) and how they feel about the project they are currently working.  There was on an overwhelming sense that students feel good about what they are learning and had some positive things to say about the quality of their work on the  project. 

As always, on Friday we practiced our keyboarding.  Students completed Lesson 6 of the "Type to Learn 4" program.

Students will complete their projects next week.  Students are excited about their work being showcased on the big screens in our hallway, the Junior High as well as the Joecorona.net Websites.

Stay tuned.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

This past Monday, the 6th graders are involved in a special program called "Positive Action".  Two trainers will be coming to our campus and engaging students in various activities to help them make good, positive choices.  This training will take place each Monday for 11 weeks.

In the meantime, our technology training consisted of a couple of activities to help students learn, understand and master various Microsoft Word features, such as:  WordArt, Resizing and Rotating Graphic Images, Text Boxes, etc.

Thursday we completed a Social Studies proofreading exercise relating to the U.S. Constitution. Students used Microsoft Word to insert "Shapes" to highlight errors in the passage.  Once all the errors were identified, students were challenged to retype the passages free of spelling, grammar and punctuation errors.  Students used their eBackpack accounts to submit their assignment for evaluation and grading.

On Friday, we worked on keyboarding by completing Lesson 5 of the "Type to Learn 4" program.

As another week comes to a close, I decided to show some student work.  Watch the video to see what has been happening in the class so far.  The video is also available at Youtube through my class website.  Click here.


Friday, September 26, 2014

It's Friday again and the kids are doing great.

We have been working on a project but it became evident we need to slow down as we learn a number of MS-Word skills.  We spent a couple of class periods just learning how to work with graphic images and the Microsoft Word WordArt feature.  Next week we will do one more short exercise to learn about Text Boxes and changing the Text Wrapping as it relates to graphic images. Once students learn these various features and what they do, they are expected to use what they know in the creation of a project. I am looking forward to all the great quality product these students will create.

For our Proofreading Exercise on Thursday, students completed a Formal Date exercise.  Students converted a wide range of Non-Formal dates into a Formal Format.  Aside for a few points being lost here and there for errors, everyone did a great job and earned high marks for their efforts.

Friday we practiced our Keyboarding Skills.  Students completed Lesson 4 today.  Students must have lessons 3 and 4 passed in order to earn 100 points.  Other grades are earned based upon individual progress.

Stay tuned.

Friday, September 19, 2014

On this wonderful Friday, I have good news to announce.  The 6th graders are Rockin-N-Rollin as they should.  All students have a complete set of grades and as a result, an awesome grade average. 

On Monday, we started our next Microsoft Word document but we were side tracked a little and did not make as much progress as we would have liked.  We will make more progress on it between Monday and Wednesday of next week.  The students and I are looking forward to that.

On Thursday, instead of a Proof Reading Exercise, students had a chance to write a little.  We will continue to use our Thursday's to sharpen our Proofreading and Writing skills.


Our Friday Keyboarding lessons are progressing as they should. Each Friday, we focus on a lesson from the "Type to Learn 4" typing system.  
Students were introduced to a grading schedule which will require increased speed and accuracy as we progress through the various lessons.

This week we focused on Lesson 3.  Next week we will focus on Lesson 4.  From the way it looks, students are meeting the speed and accuracy set and are on their way to earning a hundred points for the two lessons.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Our third week together was just as great as our first two.

This week, students learned to use their eBackpacks.  This is an on-line storage system allowing students to save all their documents, projects and other assignments.  Work is submitted through eBackpack for evaluation and grading.

On Thursday, students completed our second Proofreading Exercise to hone and polish their grammar, spelling and punctuation skills.

Friday's are designated for Keyboarding.  Students did well as they competed Lesson 2 of the "Type to Learn 4" keyboarding program. For this week, basic Speed and Accuracy requirements were met. Speed and accuracy will be increased over time as we progress from lesson to lesson.

This coming week, students will be taking a couple of baseline tests to assess previous knowledge and skills. One test will be a reading test, for our reading department, using our On-Line "iStation" system.  Another test will challenge students on a wide range of computer topics scheduled to be covered this year by me.  These tests will help teachers better understand student's weaknesses, allowing them to adjust and focus their training through the upcoming months.  We will also start our second Microsoft Word Project allowing students to practice what they have learned as well as learn additional features of the Microsoft Word program.

I am expecting great quality work, so stayed tuned.

Friday, September 5, 2014


6th Graders did well this week.  We completed our class "Social Contract".  This was our first document using some "Basic" and "Intermediate" functions of the Microsoft Word Program.

Here is a sample.

Once these are printed out in color, they will be signed by the students in each class period and put on display in the classroom.  For many students, this was a first experience for many of the Microsoft Word features we used.  They will add to their knowledge and skills as we progress through various and more complex projects to come.  

So far, in the first 2 weeks, students have earned 3 grades and I am really proud of each student for doing an outstanding job of staying on task and taking care of business.  In other words, their grades look awesome.   We also started our weekly proofreading exercises and Keyboarding lessons.  Next week students will be taking their first On-Line test. 

Stay tuned for weekly updates.



Thursday, August 21, 2014

This first week of school will have students learning about course content and class expectations.  When this week is over, students will have created their first Desktop Publishing document using MS-Word; our Class Social Contract.

Stay tuned for samples of completed projects.