Beginning of the Year Information
*Please scroll down and fill out the brief survey about mini-workshop topics*

Welcome back everyone! I thought I'd include all the information on this page instead of sending multiple emails. When I add something, it will be at the top of the page and I will mark it in red.

World Book Online
This is a GREAT site for research! There are also many resources, such as World of Animals, Pictures, Maps, Compare Countries, Important People and more! You can have the children use any of the pictures on there and just cite because we have a subscription to the site.

Think Central
Think Central looks different-great for the projector or Polyvision board! You can go to the activities, focus skills, etc. and have it read to them. You can also highlight on it and add notes to the text (even without a Polyvision board!)


Custom Typing
Every student (grades 3-5) has an account with Custom Typing. This is the program that is computer guided and helps students learn and practice appropriate keyboarding skills. We used this program with grades 3 and 4 last year during Matrix classes. There will be no formal keyboarding classes, but you are encouraged to find time for the students to utilize their accounts. I already had one fourth grade teacher tell me that she started it and it went well. You could have them do it for 20 minutes on a day or two a cycle or a longer block once a cycle...whatever works for you. You may not sign out the computers for the whole year at the same time/cycle day in case they need to be used for integration. If you would like me to come in the first time they get on to do it let me know. I can help to be sure that it is all running smoothly. Third grade, I could do an intro lesson about it. Contact me to schedule a time. There will probably be some students in your class who need an account because they are new. If you need any accounts created, simply click on the link and add your information:

Students will be receiving a label during the second cycle of school. The labels are being generated at ACE and will include their username and password that they will use to access their server folder. They older shared server folders are not being used anymore. Let me know if you have any questions about how this works. I know that most of you used this server last year, so the students should remember it. They will have the same username and password to access Moodle and WSSD Wikis (
Directions for how students log onto the server:

The labels should have been passed around. If you did not get them, let me know. If you have student who are missing a label, simply click on the link below and add their information. I will create a label for them.

I will be planning many before and after school mini-workshops. I will focus on tools that you can use in order to integrate technology effectively. I will send out information about the dates/times soon. In order for me to make the workshops meaningful to you, please take a minute to fill out the following survey. Be sure to scroll down and click on submit when you are finished.

Technology Skill Levels
Please review the Technology Skill Levels.

You may find that you have done things in different levels. Please choose the level that best fits your level of integration and fill out the survey below.

Scholastic Literacy Event
A webcast with Taylor Swift will be held on Wednesday, October 27 at 1:00pm. This is a live interview in which students will have the opportunity to ask Taylor Swift questions. She will end the webcast with a live performance. There is also an essay contest that is optional. You only need your computer and a projector to participate. Click on the link for more information and to fill out the registration form:
Curriculum Connections:
  • NETS-Students
2. Communication and Collaboration
a. interact, collaborate, and publish with peers, experts, or others employing a variety of digital environments
and media.
  • Career Development/Awareness

Common Planning/Individual Planning
If you, as an individual, or your team would like to meet with me to discuss the curriculum and how you can integrate technology effectively, please let me know when we can meet. I can usually meet during common or individual planning times or before/after school. I would love to discuss ideas and help you plan.

Teacher Password Information from Dave Sweigert
A new Password Reset Service was created because many users were finding password changes to be very difficult. The service is very simple. You start by enrolling in the service and creating two Secret Questions and then saving them. Later, when you need to change your password and either can't remember the previous password or the system will not allow you to change your password normally, you can go to a URL and answer your two Secret Questions and then you can change your password to something new. Some caveats with passwords are that they must be between 6 and 8 characters, they cannot repeat within 365 days, you cannot change your password more than once in a 24 hour period. Never share your username or password with students or staff or websites/emailers. All that being said, we invite you to enroll in the Password Reset Service by going to the website below. You will have to put in your current username and password to access the site (this prevents other users or students from enrolling you).
Once you are done you will get an email stating that you have successfully enrolled. To later change your password you will find a link on the front of the Helpdesk website that will take you to the Password Reset Service.

The helpdesk is now completely online. There is no number to call. The link to the helpdesk is:
From Dave Sweigert:
So what should you do if you get an email from the Helpdesk with the word UPDATED in the subject line? Answer - The technician assigned to your request is merely trying to ask for more information. If you see such an email you will want to respond back to the technician by using the helpdesk website. Start by looking at the NOTES section in the email (as shown here)...

Once you are ready to respond simply click on the URL in the email (sample URL shown here)...
and it will take you to the Helpdesk website. Once you have put in your username and password you should find yourself looking at the request. Go to the bottom and click on the ADD NOTE button, type in your response and then click SAVE. An email will go to the technician alerting them that you have responded. They can then take action on the request. Using the ADD NOTES feature helps to create a threaded history and is useful if a new technician takes over your request.

New Image
All of the laptops were re-imaged over the summer. The purpose was to make sure that all the elementary images are the same. We want consistency with what is on them. The new image has some changes.
  • The homepage for Firefox and Safari will be the GO portal. It is not the WSSD page. If you scroll down on the page, you will find a place to click on West Shore School District Homepage. There are links to other websites on there also. To get to this page on your own computer, just delete the entire address and type go in the address section and press return. It looks like this:

  • Tux Paint is on the Dock. This is a great tool! It is similar to Kidpix. It has many options for creating and there are numerous stamps included. I'm sure the students will be able to figure it out quickly and easily.

Teacher Resource Page
This page has information about WEB 2.0 tools you can use, tips and tricks and many other resources that could be useful to you as you find ways to effectively integrate technology into your classroom activities.

I use Delicious to bookmark interactive sites that you can use with your students to make lessons more engaging and meaningful. You can visit my Delicious page in order to search for appropriate sites to mach your curriculum.
You can also visit the Delicious Page on the navigation bar on the left to learn more about how to use Delicious.

Google Calendar
We will be using Google Calendar to sign out the laptop carts again this year. Please be sure to sign them out when you want to use them. Even if you decide to use them and they are available, hop onto the calendar at some point to add it. We need to document that they are being used!!! I added new people to the calendar. Please get on and try it out soon. Be sure that you have access to the calendars for your school and that you are able to add events. If you have ANY problems or just need a refresher about how to use the calendar, let me know.

Assigning Computers
Please assign a number to each of your students for laptop use. I know many of you already do this. You could have it be the same number as their locker or any other numbers you assign within the classroom. If their number is in use or out for repair, they can just choose another one that is not assigned to someone else.

NETS (National Educational Technology Standards)
These standards are to be used when planning lessons that would incorporate technology. There are standards for teachers and students. Please review them.