Friday, December 12, 2014

Celebrating Computer Science Education Week with the Hour of Code

Dr. Grace Murray Hopper

This week is Computer Science Education Week! CSEW takes place this week to honor Dr. Grace Murray Hopper, a pioneer in the field of computer science and who was born on December 9, 1906. celebrate Computer Science Education Week, we will be participating in's "Hour of Code" program that has taught almost 70 million students world wide how to write computer code to program a computer. Listen to President Obama deliver the opening remarks for the 2014 "Hour of Code" challenge.

To get started, go to and join Ms. Kline's "Hour of Code" class. After you have joined Ms. Kline's "Hour of Code" class, you will be in your "dashboard" area and you will be able to see all of the coding classes that are available to you. For the Hour of Code during Computer Science Education Week, you may do either the "Coding with Anna or Elsa" of Frozen or the "Hour of Code" with Angry Birds project.

Remember the advice: "Ask 3 then ask me". Try to problem solve with your table team, then ask Ms. Kline if you still can't figure it out. Have fun!

Tier III Vocabulary:
computer programming

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Introducing Google Classroom

For Ms. Kline's Technology program this year, we will be using Google Classroom to communicate, learn, and share ideas during our class.

Follow these steps to begin using Ms. Kline's Google Classroom:
  1. Click the Apps launcher on the lower left of the desktop
  2. Select the Classroom app from the Apps list 
    1. If you don't have the app, search for it in the Chrome web store
  3. Pin the Classroom app to your shelf at the bottom of the desktop
  4. Click on the Classroom app to start the app
  5. For the first time, you must click, "I'm a student"
  6. Click the + on the upper right to add a class
  7. Enter the class code that Ms. Kline shares for your class
Please take this short survey for some background information. Click on this link to take the survey:

Labels: , , ,

Friday, October 03, 2014

Online Digital Literacy

We are living in a digital age, and almost every aspect of our life involves digital technology.

Communication, digital media, science, medicine, finance, etc., every one of these areas in our lives is touched by digital technology, and we use the Internet to access every one of these areas of our lives.

So what does it mean to be a digital citizen? Today, you will begin an online program that will lead you through multiple elements of digital literacy and responsibility. Best of all...this program is a lot of fun!

To use "Ignition Digital Literacy and Responsibility" program:
You will now begin the program which will take you on an animated journey through an imaginary digital world to teach you how to be a responsible digital citizen. You will work on each module until you complete the program and then you will be able to organize a visit to your school from an imaginary rock band. After each module, you will discuss the topic with your table team and give feedback in your Google Classroom.

To use the program:
  • Click Log In in the right hand upper corner.
  • Enter your user name and password.
  • Check your progress bar.
  • Click "Continue" to begin the course.
  • You will complete the "Welcome to Ignition" module first.

  • You will then begin Modules 1-7.
  • After you complete all of the activities, you will receive a completion certificate for digital citizenship.
  • Don't forget to log out before you leave every day.

Labels: , , , , ,

Thursday, May 08, 2014

SBAC Testing is Complete - Let's Write Our Podcast Script!

Let's Write Our Podcast Scripts!

This week you will write your script for your podcast. I am going to share my Google Doc with the class so that you are able to make a copy of the document, and write your script. Log in to your SAUSD Google account then click on the following link to fill out the form. After I have everyone's data, I will share the podcast script document with you.

Labels: , ,

Monday, April 28, 2014

SBAC Testing Has Begun

2014 SBAC Testing Is Off to a Great Start!
On Monday, April 28, Spurgeon students began the much anticipated SBAC testing. Our Spurgeon Cougars were well-trained by Mr. Zamudio and the Spurgeon science teachers, the labs were well-prepared by the SAUSD and Spurgeon technology teams (we miss you Mr. Ellison!) and testing began without a hitch! All students were able to log in and begin testing immediately. Students reported that although the SBAC exam covers difficult material, the testing system was not difficult to use. It was almost as if the students were born to test online! We will be on the special SBAC schedule through Tuesday, May 6, for 7th and 8th grade testing. 6th graders will begin testing in May.
 What does it look like when 160 students take the SBAC all in one lab at the same time?

Labels: , , , , ,

A Funny Thing Happened During SBAC Testing... iTunes

During our SBAC testing today, one frustrating occurrence is the spontaneous (apparently) opening of iTunes. Since it is disabled it as a login item, it must be something else that is triggering it. Thankfully, the Interwebs have the answer! Because the F8 key on a modern iMac keyboard is also a keyboard shortcut to open iTunes. Since the SBAC secure browser will not run with iTunes open, the easiest way to avoid this is to:
  1. Open System Preferences
  2. Select Keyboard
  3. Select the Keyboard sub menu
  4. Check the box "Use All F1, F2, etc. keys as standard..."
Be sure the volume control is visible in the menu bar so that students are able adjust the volume without the keyboard:
  1. Open System Preferences
  2. Select Sound
  3. Check the box "Show Volume in Menu Bar"

Labels: , , , , , ,

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Podcast 101

Let's Make a Podcast!

A podcast is a digital recording that is shared on the Internet. You are able to download these digital files to your mp3 player, such as an iPhone, iPod, Droid, etc. You can also subscribe to a podcast that is updated on a regular basis and listen to them with a web browser such as Firefox or Google Chrome at a website like Free Music Archive, with a podcast aggregator such as iTunes, or on a media website such as YouTube.

Today you will use the program Garage Band to create a musical introduction to your podcast. On Thursday you will use Garage Band to create your podcast.

Labels: , , , ,

Creating a Musical Hook with Garage Band

In your podcast you will be able to open and conclude your podcast with a  musical hook, just like you hear in a professional broadcast on the radio or  the Internet. Here's a quick way to create your own piece of music that is uniquely yours, so you don't run into any copyright issues. You will then export your new musical hook to iTunes so you can use it in your podcast.
  1. Open Garage Band from your Applications folder.
  2. Select Magic Garage Band.
  3. Select a musical style: funk, reggae, blues, latin, etc.
  4. You are able to choose each instrument. Click on an instrument, click on the drop-down arrow, click on the headphones so they turn yellow to isolate the instrument, then choose which type of the instrument you want to use. After you have chosen the instrument, deselect the headphones (they will turn gray) so that you can hear the entire band. You will do this for all instruments or part: (melody, rhythm,  guitar, bass, drums, and keyboard) in the musical piece. You are also able to add your own instrument, such as your voice, if you plug the input to your computer.
  5. After choosing your instruments, click "Open in Garage Band" at the bottom right of the screen.
  6. You are now able to hear your new musical creation/ You may make any additional changes.
  7. Export your song to iTunes:
    1. Click "Share" in the menu bar.
    2. Drop down to "Send Song to iTunes"
    3. Name your song: "Period# + FirstName + LastName" in all four boxes.
    4. Click the "Share" button in the dialog box.
    5. Your song will open automatically in iTunes!
  8. Close your Magic Garage Band project after you have exported your song to iTunes.

Labels: , , ,

Monday, April 14, 2014

Total Lunar Eclipse Tonight

Get ready to view the first total lunar eclipse of 2014 tonight beginning at approximately 10:40PM with the eclipse at approximately 12:07AM!

The April 15, 2014 Total Lunar Eclipse will be the first of two lunar eclipses for 2014. Tonight's lunar eclipse is also the first lunar eclipse in a tetrad, or a series of four lunar eclipses, with no partial eclipses in between.

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Writing a Script for Our Podcast

Today we will write a script to use when we record our podcast!

Do you know what a script is? That's right! As 8th Grader Mario Chavez shared in period 1, it is "something that you read for a movie."

I want you to think about your topic. Please tell your elbow partner, what you want to talk about in your podcast.

Now that you have your topic, we will create a Google Doc to use to type up our scripts.

First, please type the name of your topic in the title box at the top left of your page. Please type the title on your document and center this title.

Now you will write a short script about your topic. Please left-align your script and add numbered items for each separate sentence you will read on your podcast.

Your first sentence must be your introduction, the rest of the sentences (minimum four) will be about the topic, and your final sentence will be your conclusion.
  1. "Hello, this is ____________________ and I am going to talk to you today about _________________________."
  2. Topic
  3. Topic
  4. Topic
  5. Topic
  6. This wraps up my podcast today. I hope you enjoyed the show!
Because this is a spoken piece of work you may use colloquial or "everyday" language when you write your script.

Labels: , , , , , ,

Friday, March 21, 2014

Common Core & Keyboarding Skills

Common Core & Keyboarding Skills

This 15 - 20 minute CUE Tips session will offer a brief, yet comprehensive look at the options available to educators who need to rapidly, easily, and inexpensively improve student keyboarding skills. Come learn about various keyboarding instruction options and see how a Career and Technical Education NBCT teaches keyboarding in her classes.

Keyboarding has long been an essential 21st Century skill. With the advent of Common Core and Smarter Balanced Assessment requiring students to test online, this has become even more apparent. Keyboarding skills are necessary at an earlier age than ever before, necessitating inexpensive, high-quality, and easily accessible skill-building curriculum to train students. Web-based programs make the most sense in almost every classroom allowing ease of instruction and student management. Online keyboarding instruction can be implemented from elementary to adult level classes and offers an intrinsically motivating way to quickly build speed and accuracy while keyboarding.

Programs we use at Spurgeon Intermediate School

Keyboarding Online

I use their Keyboard Mastery full web-based keyboarding course, appropriate for secondary (intermediate and high school), as well as for adults, (used at a local community college). It is based on the Ellsworth Publishing’s renowned business technology textbooks series. The program allows complete monitoring of every keystroke, and can be modified fully by the instructor. Tech support emails immediately if you have an issue, and implements suggestions from instructors, such as exporting data, and migrating to HTML5 precluding the need to run Java. They also have a program for younger grades K-5. Additionally, they offer a free Office Suite curriculum. This program is very affordable, and is the program I use for my keyboarding instruction.


Typing Club

Typing Club promotes itself as a “free touch typing tutorial” and pledges to be free forever. Instructors may purchase upgrades which allow more management options such as multiple classes, and access to the grade book. But, the bottom line is the exceptional lessons are totally free. They just rolled out a school portal that I signed up for this past week, and it is wonderful! It is web-based through a browser, but it also is available through a Chrome app.


I was introduced to this wonderful online multi-user typing game by a dear colleague, Tim Byers at Villa Intermediate School in the Santa Ana Unified School District. Tim opens his classroom at lunch, and students pour in to challenge each other to a friendly game of Keyboarding Skills! Tim is the teacher I want to be when I grow up!

My only rule for my students, well, two rules, are:
Home Keys
No Potty Mouth when chatting or choosing an alias


Programs for Younger Students

BBC’s Dance Mat Typing
Free, fun, and very wacky!


K-12 Office Suite application curriculum. Several attendees at my session inquired about training for MS Office programs. The "Techno Kids" curriculum is wonderfully engaging, and age appropriate. Like NitroType, I learned about the Techno Kids curriculum from my colleague, Tim Byers!

Labels: , , ,

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Create a Video Game Using Tynker Coding

You have already learned how to program with the visual programming editor, Blockly, during's K-8 Computer Science Course. Every Spurgeon technology student has completed the entire course and received a certificate...great job!

This week, you will begin a coding project using Tynker. This is another web-based visual programming editor like Blockly and Scratch. You will group the coding blocks to create a game just like you did with your projects.

To begin your Tynker coding projects:
  1. Go to
  2. Click the green "Sing in" button at the top right of the screen.
  3. Click the blue "Student" button to sign in.
  4. Click the red "Sign in with Google" button.
  5. Click the blue "Accept" button.
  6. Enter the class code that Ms. Kline wrote on the board.
  7. Click sign in
  8. Click the green "Go to Class" button
  9. Click the orange "Start Lesson 1" button
  10. Don't forget to sign out when you are done!
You will now complete 8 Tynker lessons!

Labels: , , , , ,

Monday, March 10, 2014

Doodle 4 Google 2014 Contest

If I Could Invent One Thing to Make The World A Better Place...

Try Out Google's Interactive Doodles!

Labels: , , , , ,

Monday, March 03, 2014

Flappy Birthday! Create Your Very Own "Flappy Bird" Game & Share it With Friends! is 1 Year Old!
Celebrate by creating your very own "Flappy Bird" game and share it with your friends!

Use the amazing Blockly coding skills you have developed over the past several weeks to create your own version of the popular video game, "Flappy Bird" and share your newly-created game with your friends.

After you have completed the lessons teaching you how to program your Flappy Bird game, you will create your own game, just the way you like it! When you are done, you will copy the URL of your game from the address bar in your browser. Paste that URL in Ms. Kline's Flappy Bird Google Doc so that your friends will be able to play your version of Flappy Bird, too.

You can also create your own Google Doc and share it with your friends. 

Don't forget to have fun!!

Labels: , , , , ,

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

African-American History Month - The Tough Little Boy Who Became an Astronaut

When NASA astronaut Dr. Ronald McNair was a little boy, he yearned for knowledge, and at only nine years old walked a mile to his local library to check out some books. The library in his hometown, however, was not open to people of color, and the librarian called the police to send him away. Little Ron was not to be dissuaded, however, and he stayed until the police and his mother arrived.

The rest, as they say, is history...

Labels: , , , , ,

Monday, February 24, 2014

Celebrating African-American History Month

In honor of African-American History Month 2014, we are going to work in an interactive, online digital learning project called:

306: African-American History

306: African American History by EverFi

  1. Log in to your EverFi account (the same account you used for your Digital Literacy program).
  2. Click "Add a Course".
  3. Type in the 306 course code (on the board).
  4. Take the survey.
  5. Begin the 306 program to learn about African-American History!

Labels: , ,

Monday, December 16, 2013

An "Hour of Code" and Beyond...

Last week Spurgeon Technology students participated in's global Hour of Code project, with a goal of 10 million students writing a billion lines of code. By the time we jumped in to participate, around noon, there were already 3 million students participating.

Spurgeon Technology Students "Writing Code" using Blockly for the Hour of Code Project

Today, only one week later, there are 16 million students participating, and we are half way to achieving the goal of ONE BILLION lines of!!

Every Spurgeon technology student participated, and every single Spurgeon technology student was, most importantly, successful. Every student wrote 20 lines of code, using the visual editor, Blockly, to complete the various projects in "The Maze." many blocks am I supposed to use?

This week we will continue the programming lessons using Blockly and we will tackle Hour of Code project called "The Artist." Let's see what cool things we can draw by coding!

Our Tier III Vocabulary for the week:

Tier II Vocabulary for the week:

Labels: , , , , , ,

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Spurgeon Students Enjoying "Hour of Code" Project!

This week we have been working on the lessons from the "Hour of Code" project.
The students are completely engaged in the lessons, are enjoying the exercises, and are truly pleased when they successfully complete a coding exercise!

When we started the Hour of Code project on Monday, there were already over 3 million students writing code with the goal of having 10 million. By Wednesday, we were already at 9.5 million!

Labels: , , , , , ,

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Hour of Code - Teacher Set Up Directions
Teachers who wish to "jump in" and start teaching students to code, will find that the "Hour of Code" project is incredibly easy to teach! There are informative videos, and engaging coding lessons for all ages of students.
We are using the middle school lessons at Spurgeon which includes 20 separate "hour long" lessons which can be taught over several weeks.

To get started, you will first need an account. Click "Sign In" at the top of the web site, then click "sign up" but don't fill in the form until you click on the "Are you a teacher" link on the right. Create your teacher account, and sign in. From here you are taken to your teacher dashboard. Teacher Dashboard
 This is the teacher dashboard. Click "Manage Students" and "add a section" to generate a class code to give to students as they log in the first time. Students will go to to fill in their name and choose a password. Teachers can manage the student accounts, and change passwords. Teachers can also monitor student progress in the program, in addition to being able to complete the lessons themselves.

The student dashboard displays the lessons that are available, and gives the student feedback about his/her progress through the 20 lessons. The dashboard also displays trophies the student earns along the way.

By clicking on the "Progress Dashboard", teachers can check students' progress in a very detailed manner including progress in the last hour. A dark green square means that the student completed the exercise correctly. A light green square means that the student used too many blocks of code to complete the exercise and may do it again. A white dot means that the student completed the exercise in the last hour. The teacher dashboard displays student trophies as well.

To see the educational resources available, go to:

Labels: , , , ,

Monday, December 09, 2013

Computer Science Education Week & "Hour of Code"

Dr. Grace Murray Hopper

This week is Computer Science Education Week! CSEW takes place this week to honor Dr. Grace Murray Hopper, a pioneer in the field of computer science and who was born on December 9, 1906. celebrate Computer Science Education Week, we will be participating in's "Hour of Code" program that seeks to teach up to 10,000,000 students world wide how to write computer code to program a computer. First we'll watch this introductory video about the "Hour of Code" challenge.

To get started, go to and join Ms. Kline's "Hour of Code" class using the code on the board. After you have joined Ms. Kline's "Hour of Code" class, you will be in your "dashboard" area and you will be able to see all of the coding classes that are available to you. Start with Course #1 by
watching the video and completing the accompanying exercises.

Remember the advice: "Ask 3 then ask me". Try to problem solve with 2-3 nearby students then ask Ms. Kline if you still can't figure it out.

Tier III Vocabulary for the week:
computer programming

Tier II Vocabulary for the week:

Labels: , , , , , ,

Thursday, December 05, 2013

Farewell Nelson Mandela

The world lost a great man today.
We are fortunate to have had him for so long.

Nelson Mandela Archive


Fun with Keyboarding!

We use the Keyboarding Online program for our keyboarding lessons.
 Keyboarding Online

However, there are many different fun keyboarding activities that can be found on the web! Here are several websites you can visit to improve your keyboarding skills:
Dance Mat Typing 
Dance Mat Typing is an introductory program for beginning typists.

Typing Club

Typing Club is a wonderful program that teaches the basics of keyboarding, and allows you to set goals to increase your speed.

Nitro Type
Nitro Type is a fun, fast-paced keyboarding race game. Players compete against each other while typing paragraphs. You need to have basic keyboarding skills to start this game.

Labels: , , , ,

Monday, December 02, 2013

Computer Basics

What do you know about computers? Do you know the difference between hardware and software? Do you know what an operating system is, a computer application, or an app?

Well, not to worry, you are in the right class! This week you will be exploring these and other "Computer Basics" in a series of lessons that include videos and interactive activities.

Let's get started!
  • Log in to your Edmodo account
  • Go to the Computer Basics assignment
  • Follow the instructions for Lesson 1: "1: Getting to Know Computers" under "Introduction"
  • Take the quiz in Edmodo
After you have completed the first lesson, and you have taken the quiz, proceed to the next lesson until you have completed all of the required lessons under Computer Basics.

Good luck!

Labels: , , ,