Thank you to everyone who attended the Principal’s Coffee Talk earlier this month with Brian Dino from Common Sense Media.
I encourage all parents to sign up for the Common Sense Media parent newsletter. Just click on the link below to begin:
Parent feedback I received at the coffee indicated a need for more information about all of the rich learning in our tech lab with our outstanding technology teacher, Katie Ray. Below is a brief description of some of the skills learned in the Polaris Tech Lab as well as resources that parents and students can access from home.
Typing is a very important skill. All testing starting this school year will be done online. We want to make sure that our students are prepared and that the typing does not interfere with their test performance. It is also an important skill that they will need in future grades. To support students in their learning, we provide an online program called Learning.com. This program tracks student progress and can be accessed by any computer that has Internet access. There are also free apps for both iPads and Android devices. Mrs. Ray asks that those students using a mobile device, use an external keyboard as typing is very different on a screen. Mrs. Ray suggests that students practice weekly for 10 minutes for every grade they have completed. So if a student is in first grade, they complete 10 minutes a week, third-graders complete 30 minutes a week, etc. Students earn typing badges for completing milestones. If your child has not received their username and password, please ask your child’s teacher.
Additional information about current school projects and links to additional resources may be found on Ms. Ray’s website: polarisstars.weebly.com/links. This includes links to a variety of databases that Denver Public Schools has purchased for student use at school and at home. Simply click on the Lion’s head (polarisstars.weebly.com/links). Students can login to most of these databases with their last name and student ID. I would like to highlight BrainPop and BrainPop Jr. These sites are great resources for our students to use when exploring a specific topic. BrainPop has an Android and an iPad app. Username: dpspolaris. Password:dpsbrainpop.
Computers at Polaris
As with art and science, technology is integrated into the curriculum at Polaris. The intent is to enhance and extend the content areas in an engaging and motivating manner, while learning new skills and using 21st-century technology tools. We have one computer lab, two mobile labs with laptops, one mobile iPad cart and computer stations in every classroom. Second through fifth graders use Google Apps for education to create and collaborate on projects that integrate learning from their classrooms.
Thank you for supporting 21st-century learning,
Principal Karin Johnson