Laurence students use technology to enhance and support their learning beginning in Kindergarten. We introduce Kindergartens to animation software, and they use educational, interactive apps on iPads to build logical thinking and reading skills.
Coding is introduced in 1st Grade and instruction increases in complexity as our students grow. By the 6th Grade, students are able to use real-world programs such as MIT Scratch, a tool for complex video game coding, and SketchUp, a 3D modeling software.
Beginning in Kindergarten, students learn how to:
- Master basics, including using a computer, mouse and an iPad
- Use the Internet by visiting educational websites
- Explore exciting educational apps on iPads, increasing classroom lesson interactivity
- Tell stories digitally using PIXIE 4, a creativity software program that allows students to create original artwork and combine it with text and images
- Animate stories using a stylus on Wacom Tablets and Animation-ish, developing fine motor skills and an understanding of sequencing
- Interact with classmates to solve logic puzzles using OSMO
By 2nd Grade, students:
- Learn the basic rules for responsible digital citizenship
- Play higher-level learning games with OSMO, including Newton and Masterpiece
- Continue to build coding skills using Code.org and TurtleArt
- Develop more complex animation and digital storytelling skills – projects include: Japanese Garden and Haiku, Comic Life Super Heroes, Online Maze, and Plant Life Cycle
Students in 4th Grade learn:
- Internet safety and higher-level responsible digital citizenship concepts
- Google SketchUp and 3-D design
- Arduino circuitry
- Basic multi-media presentations using Hyperstudio
- Google Docs
- Graphic design and typeface
California Mission Projects
As part of the 4th Grade's California social studies unit, technology is integrated into students' mission projects. Students review architectural plans and use Google SketchUp to create 3-D digital models of their missions, which requires and understanding of geometry, dimensions, and scope. They also paint their selected missions and attach Arduino programmable circuit boards to the paintings, turning their physical artwork into interactive display pieces with LED lights and sound recordings. Finally, students use HyperStudio, an online multi-media presentation tool, to showcase their historical research, allowing them to tell the stories of their missions through writing, graphic design, videos, and recordings.
Fifth Grade students learn:
- Cybersafety and responsible social networking
- Excel and intermediate presentation skills
- Intermediate graphic design, coding, game design, and animation/story-telling skills
- 3-D design and printing
LEGO Robotics Project:
Fifth Grade students learn robotics, including a variety of basic and complex programming skills, using LEGO EV3 WINDSTORM kits. At the end of the course, students present their "bots" at the LEGO Showcase, an event created by our Academic Technology Coordinator and her counterparts at two local schools.
Student teams build robots with a three-wheel base and program basic moves, including traveling forward and backward, making sounds, and performing turns. They also work with touch and infrared sensor technology to create robots capable of moving until they make contact with an object, and then reversing and changing direction.
Students are then challenged to program the robots to perform complex tasks, such as dancing to music, following colored a maze course, driving up a ramp, or kicking a ball. Some teams build sets for the robots to navigate, create props for them to use, and dress up their robots to give them character.
At the Showcase, each team presents its robot and discusses challenges and lessons learned.
In 6th Grade, students learn:
- Advanced communication and presentation skills, including spreadsheets, graphs, and charts using Keynote, Pages, and Numbers
- Complex game design and coding using MIT Scratch, Minecraft EDU, Gamestar Mechanic, and more
- Digital photography, including technical and editing skills
- Ethics and safety in Internet use