Tuesday, August 19

Google account changes

Today we are going to start with making two changes to your Google account.  Actually, we are going to add two things to your Google account.

First, we are going to add a contact in your Gmail.  You need to have at least one contact in your Gmail account, and that is me.  My email address is included below.

Here is how you create a contact in Gmail:
  1. Click on "Gmail" in the top left.
  2. Choose "Contacts"
  3. Click on "New Contact"
  4. Fill in appropriate information
  5. My school email address is dpardoe@dist228.org

The next thing we are going to accomplish is to create what's called a signature.  The purpose of the signature, in terms of an email account, is that you can automatically add your signature to every outgoing email message that you send.  This is useful because you should always include your name at the end of every email.

Here is how you create a personal signature for your Gmail account:
  1. Click on the settings wheel in the top right.
  2. Choose "Settings"
  3. Scroll down to "Signature"
  4. Fill in appropriate information
  5. Format as you please
  6. Click on "Save changes" at bottom
If you have a signature and choose to include it with your emails it is going to include it every time you send an email.  

Anytime you are required to send an email in this class you will need to make sure that you include the 5 parts to a correct email.  That will almost always be a part of your grade.  They are listed here:
  1. Email address
    1. Username (what comes before the @ symbol)
    2. the @ symbol
    3. email server (gmail or yahoo, for example)
    4. the period
    5. the top level domain (.com, .net, .org)
  2. Subject line
    1. explains to the reader of the email what the email is about
    2. not typed in all caps
  3. Greeting
    1. include the name of the person you are sending the email to
    2. depending on your relationship with the individual, it may be "Dear Mrs. Smith" or you might enter "James"
  4. Body
    1. Write in complete sentences
    2. if you want your email to be professional, avoid texting language (LOL, OMG, B4, etc.)
    3. spell check!!
  5. Signature
    1. create a signature using features in Google (done!)
    2. eliminates having to remember to type your name at the bottom

Review all keys learned (home row + H/E); learn I and R

Today we are going to review all of the keys we've learned so far.  We'll do that by working in Word and typing from page 5 in the book.

After spending some time reviewing we will add two more keys to our "repertoire" - the I (R2) and the R (L1).

Generally speaking, if you miss a day when we learn new keys the next day we will spend some time reviewing the new keys we learned.  So for those who are gone you can use the following day, during what would be a review time for everyone else, to learn the new keys. This should be beneficial in that if you miss a day you won't need to come in before school to make up what you missed - you can just use the "review time" to make up learning the new keys.

Monday, August 18

1st full week - learning new keys


Learn the following keys on the keyboard - H, E, I, R, O, T
Google - Add a signature and add a contact
Technique grade sheet

We will spend the beginning of the hour reviewing the home row.  After reviewing we will then add 2 new keys - the H and the E. 

What we are using is called a QWERTY keyboard (you should be able to find where QWERTY is on the keyboard); there is another keyboard called the DVORAK keyboard, but it is very uncommon (designed in the early 1900's; see image below).  The QWERTY keyboard has been in existence since 1870, but didn't become really popular until about 15 years later.  Ever since that time, however, it has been the standard for keyboard layouts.

The purpose of the QWERTY keyboard's layout is to avoid having keys stick together as they were being typed - the idea was to have a layout in which you alternated using your hands often while typing - this helped to eliminate having the typewriter arms get stuck.  The DVORAK keyboard's purpose was to have the most commonly used keys on the home row - thus your fingers moved less while typing, but the problem was that the keys got stuck more often.

Just a few things to keep in mind as you are keying:
  1. When keying your forearms should not be resting on your thighs.  Remember that your fingers are the only "things" touching anything - everything else on your lower arm should not be touching the keyboard, countertop, or anything else.
  2. If you keep your keyboard at the edge of the countertop you will avoid having issues with #1 above.  This will also be a benefit when it comes to the technique sheet and grading.
  3. The speed skins will move slightly as you are typing - I understand your frustration in this regard, but do the best that you can.
  4. In order to be able to key at a proficient level you need to fight through the urge to constantly look at your keyboard (that's part of why we have the speed skins).  This will probably be a "weird sensation" - you are used to using your visual senses to help you accomplish what you do on a daily basis.  However, we want to get to a point where looking at your keyboard is not necessary.

Friday, August 15

Welcome to 2014-15 school year!

Today we are going to start with learning the keyboard and how to key correctly.  You should know that you will be learning the touch typing method - that means that you will be learning to key without looking at the keyboard.  That is why we use the speed skins - they are to be on your keyboard at all times throughout the entire semester.

The biggest factor in learning to key successfully is learning, and using, the correct technique (we will cover what you need to do correctly in terms of technique today in class).  Most people want to type fast right away - I think that's human nature, but it just doesn't work that way.  Being able to type efficiently and at a fast pace takes a bunch of practice, but you have to use the correct technique.

Our concentration as we begin to learn the keyboard will be on technique - speed will come later.  It is important that you concentrate on doing things right first, and usually that means at a slow pace as you begin, rather than worry about your speed.

That being said, as we move through the semester those who concentrate hard on using the correct techniques (and don't worry about speed) now and will have a much easier time later in the semester.  Those whose technique is poor, or those who do not use the correct techniques now will struggle later in the semester when we are moving at a much faster.

Thursday, May 22

Pizza Menu

You will be given all day today and tomorrow to submit the Pizza Menu assignment - it will be due Friday at the end of the hour.  Here are a couple of things to keep in mind:

  • you should have two pages when you are done
  • print the two pages and put in order so yours looks like a pizza menu
  • you are NOT required to have a watermark, but it is ok to include one (if you don't know how to do this or haven't added one yet I would recommend you don't include it)
  • don't forget to include the 6 small graphic images (step 7 of the inside left and right panels)
  • you'll need to have a border around each different category (step 10 of the inside left and right panels)
When you are done you might want to check to see if you have any missing assignments - if so you need to work to get them done ASAP - they are due tomorrow!  If you do not have any missing assignments you may play the typing games on the blog, work on homework from another class, or read.

Wednesday, May 14

Pizza Menu due today!

You'll have the entire hour to work on the Pizza Menu today.

There are a couple of reminders about the menu - remember to include the following:

6 images; colored text boxes around the categories; you should have 2 pages - one page will have the menu and prices, then the other page will be the front and back of the menu. 

When you get done entering the information for the menu and prices you will just move to the next page and start working on the Outside Back Panel (remember that you might have part of the menu that spills over to this part - that's ok!).  The Outside Back Panel will be the left side of the second page.  Once you get done entering your information here you will then move to the right side of the second page (or to the second column of the second page) and enter the information for the Outside Front Panel. 

When you get done I would like to see you print out your two pages so you can see how this looks like a menu.  Staple the pages together and hand in the gray tray on my desk.

As a last resort, if you do not get done today you can still work on this at home or during Study Hall, lunch recess, etc. and then turn it in late.  Obviously turning it in late will not earn you full credit, but you will at least get some credit.  Also remember we have next Thursday and Friday (May 22 and 23) that we will have all class hour to work on missing work...but again if you wait until then to hand this in you will not get full credit.

Tuesday, May 13

Updated Schedule

I have updated the schedule for the rest of the year.  In terms of what you need to get done not much has changed, but originally I was not thinking I was going to be here at the beginning of this week, and that has obviously changed.

May 13 - Pizza Menu (formatting changes)
May 14 - Pizza Menu due
May 15 - Our town (with House 2 teachers)
May 16 - Our town (with House 2 teachers)
May 19 - Our town (with House 1 teachers)
May 20 - Our town (with House 1 teachers) in the morning; Olympiad in the afternoon
May 21 - Our town field trip in Geneseo
May 22 - work day - get any missing work submitted
May 23 - work day - get any missing work submitted; LAST DAY ANY ASSIGNMENTS MAY BE SUBMITTED FOR COMPUTER APPLICATIONS!!!

May 27 - regular day of school
May 28 - 1/2 day of school (watch video)
May 29 - 1/2 day of school (last student attendance day)

Thursday, May 8

Vocab Quiz 10; Pizza menu

As is the normal procedure on vocab quiz day you will be given several minutes to review for the vocab quiz.  You will not go to Classmarker until told to do so.

Once you complete the quiz you will have the rest of the hour to work on the pizza menu.  A couple of things to keep in mind:

  1. The set of sheets you were given yesterday is the same set you should be using today (you were told that yesterday).  Use it to keep notes, write on, mark off steps you've completed, etc.  Bring it to class and take it with you when you leave.
  2. Go through the instructions in order.  You will be much better off if you do!  Step #6 on page 2 is where you will start entering your information (the pizza menu item and prices).
  3. Save to your Google Drive or to a flash drive frequently!  
  4. Read all of the instruction before you work on doing what it tells you.  Many of you read the first sentence, or just the first part of a sentence, and then start doing something.  This causes you to leave something out at the end of an instruction or sentence that may be important for a future step.

Flash video; Design a Pizza Menu formatting activity

Here is the last video of the year:


After watching the video we will begin working on our last formatting activity.  I will spend some time today explaining the formatting activity - I actually have one part that I need to show you how to do.  Once I get done going through the activity you will be able to begin.  This will be due next week.

Pizza Menu Design.pdf

Wednesday, May 7

Java video; finish Funspots Excel formatting activity

This video explains what Java is:


After watching the video you will have the rest of the hour to work on completing the Funspots formatting activity in Excel.  Once you complete the activity look to see if you have any missing assignments, and if you do get those completed and handed in.

If you have everything done you can either go to the practice websites, work on homework from another class, or read.