Weekly PIT Happenings

November 11 - 15, 2013

Scratch

Last week, your students had their first taste of programming with Scratch, a web based program designed by MIT. While it is geared towards younger students, it does give a glimpse of thinking like a programmer. The students built a very basic video game and this will be a great introduction to our programming focus in the Spring. Ask them to show you the program they created. If you would like to check it out, you can make a free account at http://scratch.mit.edu/


PBL Chat

The students did an outstanding job on the PBL Twitter chat. I had so many educators email me afterwards congratulating me on how great your child was. I have to agree! They did FANTASTIC! For those who didn't join the chat, they will need to join one before the end of the semester. If you would like to read the archive, it is located here: http://storify.com/newtechnetwork/need-to-hear-student-voices-about-stem-look-no-fur/ The students are welcome to participate again, however, they will not have another required chat until Spring. I am very proud of them. They will have a blog discussion post on Schoology. I am doing this so I can show them how online courses tend to function and to "train" them to be successful in this kind of format.


UTT "Perks"

Your child is enrolled as a student at UTT and as such, they have some perks. We activated their Patriot account last week, and while I never advocate for "telling" passwords, I did allow them to keep their login details with me. Because they won't utilize this account often, it is easy to forget. Also, with them being minors, password resets are not always as easy as we would like them to be. Most took me up on the offer and for those who didn't, I stressed how important it is for them to make sure they remember their login details.



This week, we will go into how to access the UTT library. There are a lot of electronic resources and this will help them with their English project. I will explain to them the difference in full text articles and how to look at scholarly journals - this will serve them well as they advance in their academic careers.


Some of the students were very excited about the discounts they are eligible for as UTT students on software and hardware. Here are the ones we have covered (or will cover):


https://webstore.hied.com/cgi-bin/WebObjects/UTTYRetail.woa/1/wa/GoShopping?spsk=9RSJDJ3OoasR7uzGkwq9


http://www.journeyed.com/


http://store.apple.com/us-hed/findyourschool (enter UTT or Waxahachie ISD)


Just remember - any software purchased for your student to use with their discount must be registered in their name.


Let me know how I can help!

In class this week

  • We will finish our UTT LIbrary exploration
  • We will finish researching their Holocaust survivor
  • We will finish our Scratch video game
  • We will blog about our Twitter experience
  • We will start learning about the advanced editing features in Word as they begin to write their reports for English


Progress Reports

Will go home with your student on Thursday!