Technology @ TAOTS

As we prepare our students to be college and career ready, our students continue to prove that the sky is the limit!  Our 5th graders have just completed their computer science study which required them to identify various types of operating systems and their characteristics in addition to studying the inside components of a computer, and describing the functions of these components (motherboard, RAM, and central processing unit (CPU)– just to name a few).  The students are currently working in groups to create their own games using the Scratch coding interface and designing circuited game controller remotes in order to play the games they created. GO TAOTS FUTURE TECHS!

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Grades 2-4 are building their coding skills via The students are given a multitude of challenges which require them to write algorithms for a given task using sequential steps. They count the number of times an action should be repeated and represent it as loops. The students are learning to analyze obstacles and employ a combination of sequential and looped commands to reach the end of given mazes.

Some of the challenges also require students to divide the number of degrees in a circle into even segments, and calculate angles in equilaterals and 30, 60, and 90 degree triangles.  In other instances, given a perimeter and one side of a rectangle, the students have to calculate the remaining sides, identify symmetrical shapes and decompose a shape into its smallest repeatable sequence. All lessons are leveled according to their grade.

Grade 1 is coding with PBS kids Scratch Jr. for a Digital storytelling/coding unit.  The students create their own stories beginning with characters, setting, a problem and a solution, and a beginning middle and end.  The students proceed to code their stories digitally via the PBS kids scratch interface with movements, character creations, math, estimation, and speech bubbles/ audio narration.

Kindergarten is coding with the app “The Foos.”   The students learn to construct an algorithm with a set of step-by-step instructions to be carried out by a character. They will implement problem solutions using a block-based visual programming language. They will also enhance their ability to describe objects in the environment using names of shapes, and describe the relative positions of these objects using terms such as above, below, beside, in front of, behind, and next to.




Above is our technology newsletter outlining the current topics for all grades in Media Literacy.  The last few months were comprised of lessons reflecting a full digital safety curriculum based on Common Sense media.  The students engaged in a variety of Digital Citizenship Awareness activities which included topics from Privacy & Security, Internet Safety, and Cyberbullying to Creative Credit & Copyright.  

Our school also participated in an Hour of Code week, Dec. 4th-10th, joining schools all across America in a united coding event encouraging exposure and engagement in problem solving and developing critical thinking skills.  Our 5th graders studied the parts and functions of the major internal computer parts as they gear up to actually build a computer in the second phase of our Computer Science focus in the coming months.

Lastly students, some for the very first time, logged into our I-Ready program to complete an ELA and Math Digital Diagnostic.  The purpose of the diagnostic and beauty of the program is that it will tailor lessons for each students based on their diagnostic results so that the students will be able to work on challenging activities independently and “Just Right” for their needs.

More information is posted on Ms. Marsh’s Website at