Class Announcements


Parent Open House 2015-2016

posted Aug 12, 2015, 6:20 PM by Paul Schwan   [ updated Aug 17, 2015, 1:26 PM ]

Welcome to St. Michael Fifth Grade, Mr. Schwan's Homeroom!

If you missed the orientation meeting, or if you would like to review what we discussed, here is my outline:

Audio Recording of Open House Session (goes with outline)

Getting Acquainted
    • father, husband, grandfather
    • technology enthusiast
  • Why I Teach
    • Educating for Life...Eternity
    • SMLS5 News - 2 ways I keep in touch with by email and/or text messages

Miscellaneous Items (principles that guide us)

5th Grade Year: THE Year For Students to Begin Taking Charge of Their Own Learning!
  • Friday Folder - weekly report of your child's academic progress and grades, including a weekly reflection on their learning
    • teacher role
    • student role
    • parent(s) role - make it a weekly event; close the loop by acknowledging receipt
    • "Point" Goals ... "Book" Goals
    • AR counts 15% of quarterly reading grade
    • My System: 100% for "AR Reading" (minimums)
      • 4 Books
      • 2 AR Tests; 85% average
      • Keep Track with Reading Log
      • 1 Book Review
  • Our Discipline (1, 2, 3 -and- Class DoJo) info in your handouts to sign up for Class DoJo updates
  • TEAM - Together Everyone Achieves More
  • 3-legged stool - student, parent, teacher
  • Homeroom - feel free to communicate with me and, when necessary, I will put you in touch with the appropriate instructor(s) for your child (math, social studies, band, etc.)
    • Posted to online calendar for students and parents.
      • assignments in black, repeated daily until due
      • turns red on due date 
    • Student Assignment Planner available for writing down assignments & planning ahead.
    • Students required to turn in work on time (see Homework Policy).
    • After-school Tutorial, 3:00-3:30 PM 
Online Activities
    • student writing posted
    • moderated by me to protect student privacy and safety
    • parent comments welcome!
    • are student blog posts graded? (read this article)
      • my answer: occasionally
      • it's all about the process of writing, not just the final product!
    • please USE IT!
    • Use the Search Box, too!

Space Camp

  • Feb. 4-5, 2016
Student Orientation
  • Tuesday, August 18 from 8-11 am
  • Bring all supplies to school
(Note: I'll provide a paper copy at the Tuesday student orientation)

Volunteer Opportunities
  • Wordly Wise grader (weekly)
  • Spelling grader (weekly)
  • Memory Verse grader (weekly)
  • Miscellaneous grader (weekly)
  • Computer Class assistant (occasionally; on-call)

Moms in Prayer (flyer)
  • 2 volunteer moms needed for 5s Class
  • Thursday, 8-9 AM in the little Chapel (within the sanctuary)

Software To Download and Install on Your Child's Netbook/Laptop

You'll need to download and install several programs (apps) to prepare your child's computer for school use on the first day of school. They're all free, so you should only need to purchase a netbook/laptop, a carrying case to keep your computer free of scratches or other damage, and we're asking all students to also bring an inexpensive set of earbud/microphones for their netbook. Make sure yours has the same plugs as your computer. Some have only one plug, and some have two (mic and earphone). Get one that matches your child's computer.

  • Google Chrome – click on the blue “Download Chrome” button). 
  • Open Office – click on “I want to download OpenOffice.org”. Uninstall any trial version of Microsoft Office on your netbook, as we won't be using it.
  • Avast – in the far-left “Free Antivirus” column, click on the grey “Download” button; then, the grey “No thanks, I want free protection” button (not the upgrade for $19.99). Uninstall any trial versions of anti-virus programs already on your netbook/laptop, as these will conflict with Avast.
  • Audacity – click on green download button
  • Dropbox (dropbox.com) - Students migrating from 4th grade at Saint Michael should already have a Dropbox account set up using their St. Michael email address and password for login. New students will receive an invitation to join Dropbox. All students should download the Dropbox program to their netbook/laptop and set it up by checking "I already have an account", then entering their school email address and password.
Online Software
  • Rosetta Stone (for Spanish)
    • Login credentials will be shared in class
    • Please try this out at home and make sure it works
    • Students will need an earbud/microphone set that works with their netbook
  • Smart Music (for Music)
    • Login credentials will be shared in class
    • Please download the free software
    • A subscription is purchased each school year; more details to come

Parent & Student Training for Netbooks

I've created a page with videos showing how to set up a student netbook. Feel free to use it as needed.

Parents, I'll provide you with ongoing orientation to all the new technology tools we're using in fifth grade so you can help your children at home and be involved in what they're doing. Please help them with these initial downloads of software. 

WiFi

If you don't have WiFi, try the FREE WiFi at McDonald's, Panera, etc. Students will need Internet access after school hours, and they can use the WiFi at school if necessary.

Parent Open House, 2014-2015

posted Aug 18, 2014, 10:02 AM by Paul Schwan   [ updated Aug 18, 2014, 11:23 AM ]

Welcome to St. Michael Fifth Grade, Mr. Schwan's Homeroom!

If you missed the orientation meeting tonight, or if you would like to review what we discussed, here is the list:

Getting Acquainted
  • A little about me - 33 years in education ministry; year #14 at St. Michael
    • father, husband, grandfather
    • educational technologist
    • How to reach me - I can be reached in several ways
    • SMLS5 News - 2 ways I send out periodic news and updates via email and/or text messages
Miscellaneous Items (principles that guide us)

5th Grade Year: THE Year For Students to Begin Taking Charge of Their Own Learning!
    • Friday Folder - my weekly communication link for academic progress, and the students' weekly reflection on their learning
      • teacher
      • student
      • parent(s) - make it a weekly event; close the loop by acknowledging receipt
  • Our Discipline (1, 2, 3 -and- Class DoJo) info in your handouts to sign up for Class DoJo updates
  • TEAM - Together Everyone Achieves More
  • 3-legged stool - student, parent, teacher
  • Homeroom - feel free to communicate with me and, when necessary, I will put you in touch with the appropriate instructor(s) for your child (math, social studies, band, etc.)
  • Assignments - all are listed online for students and parents to view each day. A student planner is available for writing down daily assignments and planning ahead. Recommended, but not required. Students are required to turn in all work on time. 
Online Activities
  • Our Blog - this is a place where we will post student work. It will all be completely moderated by me to protect student privacy and safety.
  • smls5.org - please USE IT! - Use the Search Box, too - smls5.org

Space Camp

  • Feb. 5-6, 2015
Student Orientation
  • Tuesday, August 19 from 8-11 am
  • Bring all supplies to school
(Note: I'll provide a paper copy at the Tuesday student orientation)

Software Programs To Download and Install

You'll need to download and install several software programs (apps) to prepare your child's computer for school use on the first day of school. They're all free, so you should only need to purchase a netbook/laptop, a carrying case to keep your computer free of scratches or other damage, and we're asking all students to also bring an inexpensive set of earbud/microphones for their netbook. Make sure yours has the same plugs as your computer. Some have only one plug, and some have two (mic and earphone). Get one that matches your child's computer.

  • Google Chrome (https://www.google.com/intl/en/chrome/browser/ – click on the blue “Download Chrome” button). I encourage my students to use Chrome because it works well with our Google Drive accounts. Student may use Internet Explorer, which should already be on their netbooks; however, it doesn't work as smoothly with Google Drive apps.
  • Open Office (openoffice.org – click on “I want to download OpenOffice.org”). Uninstall any trial version of Microsoft Office on your netbook, as we won't be using it.
  • Avast (http://www.avast.com/free-antivirus-download – in the far-left “Free Antivirus” column, click on the grey “Download” button; then, the grey “No thanks, I want free protection” button (not the upgrade for $19.99). Uninstall any trial versions of anti-virus programs already on your netbook/laptop, as these will conflict with Avast.
  • Audacity – audacity.sourceforge.net/download (click on “for Windows” 2.0.5, latest version for Windows 7 and 8 as of August 2014)
  • Dropbox (dropbox.com) - Students migrating from 4th grade at Saint Michael should already have a Dropbox account set up using their St. Michael email address and password for login. New students will receive an invitation to join Dropbox. All students should download the Dropbox program to their netbook/laptop and set it up by checking "I already have an account", then entering their school email address and password.

Parent & Student Training for Netbooks

I've created a page with videos showing how to set up a student netbook. Feel free to use it as needed.

Parents, I'll provide you with ongoing orientation to all the new technology tools we're using in fifth grade so you can help your children at home and be involved in what they're doing. Please help them with these initial downloads of software. 

WiFi

If you don't have WiFi, try the FREE WiFi at McDonald's, Panera, etc. Students will need Internet access after school hours, and they can use the WiFi at school if necessary.

Yippee! School's almost out!

posted May 14, 2014, 10:46 AM by Paul Schwan   [ updated Jul 25, 2014, 6:28 AM ]

We get excited thinking about the end of school for the summer!


Audio Recording Experiment #2

posted May 4, 2014, 6:44 AM by Paul Schwan   [ updated May 4, 2014, 6:47 AM ]

RSS Feed


Audio Recording Experiment

posted May 3, 2014, 12:04 PM by Paul Schwan   [ updated May 4, 2014, 6:43 AM ]

House Cleaning: I've Moved A Few Items

posted Apr 8, 2014, 2:38 PM by Paul Schwan   [ updated Apr 8, 2014, 2:38 PM ]

Today I moved a few items to places where they make more sense. For example: 
  • Back in the Day Introduction - moved to Language Arts Lessons
  • Several science class articles were moved from Class Announcements to Science Lessons
  • I added a Computer Lessons link and will put computer assignments and projects, plus info and video lessons, under this link
As always, you can search for what you need in the Search this site box, above. I hope this helps improve the organization of my website for my regular visitors.

Rosetta Stone

posted Aug 26, 2013, 2:00 PM by Paul Schwan   [ updated Aug 26, 2013, 3:15 PM ]

Mrs. Tritt has asked me to help you get the Rosetta Stone link in your "Bookmarks" in Google Chrome. The link is: stmichaelluth.rosettastoneclassroom.com/en-US/

Here's a video showing how to add a link to your Bookmarks bar. You can click on the "gear" to make the video HD, and also make it FULL SCREEN (lower-right corner of video): 

PTL Open House for Parents, Aug. 19, 2013

posted Aug 16, 2013, 6:08 AM by Paul Schwan   [ updated Aug 18, 2014, 9:59 AM ]

Welcome to St. Michael Fifth Grade, Mr. Schwan's Homeroom!

If you missed the orientation meeting tonight, or if you would like to review what we discussed, here is the list:

Getting Acquainted
  • A little about me - 32 years in education ministry; year #13 at St. Michael
    • father, husband, grandfather
    • educational technologist
    • How to reach me - I can be reached in several ways
    • SMLS5 News - 2 ways I send out periodic news and updates via email and/or text messages
Miscellaneous Items (principles that guide us)
  • The Story - our whole school and the Saint Michael congregation is
    The Story
    participating in this year-long walk through the Bible—God's Story of salvation through Jesus. Your whole family is invited to participate. Everyone will receive a family copy of "The Story" to share at home. (Login to Church is St. Michael and password is angel)
  • TEAM - Together Everyone Achieves More
  • 3-legged stool - student, parent, teacher
  • Homeroom - feel free to communicate with me and, when necessary, I will put you in touch with the appropriate instructor(s) for your child (math, social studies, band, etc.)
  • Assignments - all are listed online for students and parents to view each day. A student planner is available for writing down daily assignments and planning ahead. Recommended, but not required. Students are required to turn in all work on time. 
  • Friday Folder - my weekly communication link for academic progress
    • teacher
    • student
    • parent(s) - make it a weekly event; close the loop by acknowledging receipt
Online Activities
  • Our Blog - this is a place where we will post student work. It will all be completely moderated by me to protect student privacy and safety.
  • My Website - please USE IT! - Use the Search Box, too - smls5.org

Space Camp

  • Feb. 6-7, 2014
Student Orientation
  • Tuesday, August 20 from 8-11 am
  • Bring all supplies to school
  • Student Organization Checklist - download and print. Check off items as they're completed. Bring completed form to class by Monday, August 26. (Note: I'll provide a paper copy at the Tuesday student orientation)
Software Programs To Download and Install

You'll need to download and install several software programs (apps) to prepare your child's computer for school use on the first day of school. They're all free, so you should only need to purchase a netbook/laptop, a carrying case to keep your computer free of scratches or other damage, and we're asking all students to also bring an inexpensive set of earbud/microphones for their netbook. Make sure yours has the same plugs as your computer. Some have only one plug, and some have two (mic and earphone). Get one that matches your child's computer.

  • Open Office (openoffice.org – click on “I want to download OpenOffice.org”). Uninstall any trial version of Microsoft Office on your netbook, as we won't be using it.
  • Avast (http://www.avast.com/free-antivirus-download – in the far-left “Free Antivirus” column, click on the grey “Download” button; then, the grey “No thanks, I want free protection” button (not the upgrade for $19.99). Uninstall any trial versions of anti-virus programs already on your netbook/laptop, as these will conflict with Avast.
  • Audacity – audacity.sourceforge.net/download (click on “for Windows” 2.0.3, latest version for Windows 7 and 8 as of June 2013)
  • Adobe Flash – http://www.adobe.com/support/flashplayer/downloads.html - click on “Get the latest version”. (Note: if you download Google Chrome, below, it has Flash already included and you should get a message telling you this.)
  • Google Chrome (https://www.google.com/intl/en/chrome/browser/ – click on the blue “Download Chrome” button). I encourage my students to use Chrome because it works well with our Google Drive accounts. Student may use Internet Explorer, which should already be on their netbooks; however, it doesn't work as smoothly with Google Drive apps.
  • Dropbox (dropbox.com) - Students migrating from 4th grade at Saint Michael should already have a Dropbox account set up using their St. Michael email address and password for login. New students will receive an invitation to join Dropbox. All students should download the Dropbox program to their netbook/laptop and set it up by checking "I already have an account", then entering their school email address and password.

Parent & Student Training for Netbooks

I've created a page with videos showing how to set up a student netbook. Feel free to use it as needed.

Parents, I'll provide you with ongoing orientation to all the new technology tools we're using in fifth grade so you can help your children at home and be involved in what they're doing. Please help them with these initial downloads of software. 

WiFi

If you don't have WiFi, try the FREE WiFi at McDonald's, Panera, etc. Students will need Internet access after school hours, and they can use the WiFi at school if necessary.

Why Do We Use "Cloud" Computing?

posted Aug 10, 2013, 4:33 PM by Paul Schwan

At Saint Michael we use several "cloud" services — apps that reside on the Internet and allow us to share or collaborate with one another. Two of them are Dropbox and Google Drive. Watch and listen to why and how this all works.


Setting Up A Netbook

posted Aug 10, 2013, 12:20 PM by Paul Schwan   [ updated Aug 10, 2013, 12:57 PM ]

When I set up a new netbook I go through several steps. I begin by powering up the device and putting in my personal information. I also put my name and contact information on my netbook and any accessories like the charger.

Screenshots (COMING SOON)

Next, I download and install software. Here are some videos to demonstrate the process. This is the order I follow with a new netbook:
(I did this first because I needed it to record the other videos)

Students may use this screencast software later in the year. You do not need to install Screencast-o-matic when you first set up your netbook.
(I like to do this first so I can use Chrome to download all the other software.)
Not needed for Google Chrome or Internet Explorer 8. Flash is built-in to these browsers.
(only for Asus netbooks)

Run this update whenever it pops up on your Asus computer screen.

Setting Up Dropbox
(Includes How to Make An Account and How To Install Dropbox)
(without downloading the software)

This is a special case where you need to set up a Dropbox account and you have not received an invitation to do so. I stopped short of downloading the software because it was already installed on my netbook. MOST OF MY STUDENTS WILL NOT USE THIS APPROACH BECAUSE THEY RECEIVE AN INVITATION FROM ONE OF THEIR TEACHERS.


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