Computer Technology Concepts
Dennis Read
Zip Code: 20715
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Page Last Updated 10/23/2014
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***** Extra Credit Information *****

Separate extra credit assignments are not available. Throughout the quarter, I maintain 2 running-records (Classroom Learning Skills) that benefit the students who maintain and respect classroom expectations and guidelines. Following classroom rules is important, and students who do that earn extra credit throughout thd quarter. The CLS assessment is equivalent to a typical quiz grade.

*******Special Homework Information********

As a back-up to papers I distribute in class, I post the identical information on "". Use the links below to access Homework and other information. Once inside Google Docs, click on the link you need. Then, click File, Download, Open, and the document is ready to print. For Homework, you may also just view it, complete it, and return to me on notebook paper. Any Homework not returned = 0.

Week 1 (August 26, Start of Quarter 1)

Welcome to all students (and their families) for Quarter 1! I am very happy to serve as the Computer Technology Teacher at Samuel Ogle Middle School, in this my 18th year at Ogle.

After orientation classes (one each for A and B day students), we will be jumping right into Typing Lessons with the Mavis Beacon program. Students will be soon be taking notes from my reading using MS Word. I will read to them for 2 classes while they take notes, then they will take notes from their own reading for 2 classes. As their first paper, students will draft a summary of their Cornell notes, and then proofread the document in order to prepare it for grading. Overall, students will compose 2 papers during the Quarter in my class. Each grade level has specific Social Studeies content on which we focus: Grade 8, US Declaration of Independence; Grade 7, Geography of SW Asia; Grade 6, World Geography.

Grades will be appearing in SchoolMax soon after orientation and as assignments are given. We are just getting started, so it may take a little time to get up to our usual speed and pace with grades, assignments, and reporting. Be patient, please. Typically, I enter 2 grades or more for each student weekly once we are underway.

The Grading weights are: Classwork, 70%; Assessments, 20%; Homework, 10%.

My Homework policy is as follows: Homework returned on time can earn full credit. All late Homework earns 50 points (except for excused absences.) Homework not returned earns a zero. Parents - monitor homework! I type the assignment, copy it, and put it in student's hands every Thursday and Friday. It is due in their next class. I do not re-issue 'lost' homework papers. Students may get the assignment from a friend and submit it on notebook paper, or access it through this page (link at the top.) Late homework due to an approved absence is not penalized.

Be sure to read the 'Welcome Letter' that I will give to all students; it explains the course objectives and many other details that you need to know. Students also have a list of 'Classroom Learning Skills'; they are graded on their performance with these skills twice quarterly (before and after the Progress Report.) I finalize these CLS assessments just before the Progress Report and Report Card window closes, but I keep an ongoing checklist of infractions daily. CLS include basic but important rules, procedures, and skills that are important for a productive and safe learning environment, including my classroom and the hallway. All students will get 100 points on this assessment to start, but it is up to them to maintain those points throughout the quarter. Infractions cost them 5 points each.

If you do not receive the 2 handouts from your child, they are accessible through the link on this page, "Handouts for Parents".

Mr. Read

Computer Technology Concepts

Week 2 (Sept. 1 - 5)

All classes are underway with no apparent problems. 6th graders, especially, have adapted very well, it seems, to our wonderful school and to my class. While they may feel somewhat overwhelmed at first, they should calm down a bit once they fully understand my expectations, program, and procedures.

We are note-taking for 4 classes and then composing a 5 paragraph summary. Students may bring hand-written notes from home if they wish - it is optional. They can type them during class when they have time, but I am reading to them, and they will have time to research study questions for more notes. We will then draft, revise, and proofread our summaries to prepare them for grading. I estimate this paper to be complete during week 3.

The Progress Report window opens for teachers on Sept. 26; this is when we publish grades to schoolmax, and the written report goes home about a week later (first week of Oct., I think.)

Homework for week 1 was distributed Thursday and Friday, week 1, as announced earlier here. It is always due in student's next class with me, usually Monday or Tuesday (except for this week.) I accept late homework, but at a reduced score (see above.)

I have had technical problems with a new version of Mavis Beacon but I believe that the problem is resolved. In its place, student have used, which seems to be a decent free program. Between the 2 programs, students will type about 15 minutes daily as we develope this skill. If you create an account for this site, or have another site or program, students could practice at home, too!

Have a wonderful holiday weekend!

Mr. Dennis Read

Computer Technology Concepts

Week 3 (Sept. 8 - 12)

Tuesday and Wednesday (Sept. 9 & 10) this week are Back-to-School Nights - I look forward to meeting you!

Currently, we are note-taking in all classes; each grade level has a Social Studies topic (see above), and I have posted study questions for each grade level (see Classwork folder under Favorite Links on these pages.)

Students may do their own research, reading, and writing at home if they wish. This is optional, but if they bring hand-written notes to class then they may type them into their Cornell Notes during class-time. We spend 4 classes on notes, learn about our topic, and then summarize our findings in a 5 paragraph essay. I lead students through the entire process, and most of the paperwork, instructions, and rubrics are available in the Classwork folder here.

Homework #2, distributed on Thur/Fri Week 2, includes a list of Top 10 Proofreading Rules. These rules are for use on the homework, but students will also have a copy in class - on their computer - to use while proofreading their summary. It would be helpful for you to review these rules with them, please. The rubric for evaluatiing Paper #1 (the current summary) is based heavily on the technicalities of proofreading according to the Top Ten List.

Also, Quiz #2, likely to be given Friday/Monday, Sept. 12/15, includes several proofreading questions.

Students use Mavis Beacon Typing at the beginning of each class as a warm-up and graded activity; any practice at home with any structured program would be beneficial. No need to purchase Mavis Beacon - there are several free, web-based typing programs. Search Google.

Questions? Please contact me is I can help you.

Mr. Dennis Read

Computer Technology Concepts

Week 4 (Sept 15 - 18)

This week is short because of Professional Development for teachers this Friday.

Students in all grades for me are finishing their notes and will begin drafting their summary this week. I have instructions that we will download, save, and follow as we draft, edit, and proofread. I expect 2 classes for drafting/editing and 1 more class for proofreading. We will grade this paper with a peer evaluation tool later next week.

B-day students are taking Quiz 2 on Monday this week; Quiz 3 is coming next week, likely on Monday and Tuesday (Sept. 22/23). It is a fact-finding mission quiz about their Social Studies topic, and students will use the internet with selected websites to read briefly and quickly find information.

The Progress Report window for teachers opens Sept. 26; remind students to complete late Homework or else 'zeros' will remain in Schoolmax!

We will compose 1 more short research paper after grading Paper #1, then use Excel spreadsheets for about 2 weeks. PowerPoint will be the last program we use for the Quarter in which we create a slide presentation of all of our research findings.

Typing skills in my class are a daily warm-up activity and graded. If your student is not receiving scores of 80 or above routinely, I suggest practice at home using a web-based free typing site for improvement.


Mr. Dennis Read

Computer Technology Concepts

Week 5 (Sept. 22-26)

Thursday is Rosh Hashanah this week, and it is a school system holiday for everyone.

Students are taking Quiz 3 Monday and Tuesday this week, and then completing their summary from research notes. They will have had 3 sessions to draft/edit/proofread this paper, and they may budget their time as they wish in this process. Notes from home have been allowed throughout this assignment, but few have taken advantage. It follows that a student with few notes will have difficulty summarizing and meeting the requirements.

The Progress Report window opens this Friday, Sept. 26, and closes Sept 30. This is a snapshot of student progress, and there is still time remaining in the quarter for improvement. Homework, especially, needs to be returned (for all subjects.)

We will start Paper 2 soon; is is a shorter and easier research paper; notes from home are not allowed for this paper.

Mr. Read, Computer Technology Concepts

Week 6 (Sept. 29 - Oct. 3)

Students will finish Paper #1 by evaluating it with a Peer Evaluation tool this week. I lead students every step of the way, we take our time, and we do a thorough job of assessing each other's work.

We will download a Pictureboard template for Paper #2 this week, and work briskly on completing this mini-research paper in 3 classes. This, also, will be evaluated with a peer evaluation. Notes from home will not be allowed for this short project.

Excel spreadsheets and PowerPoint are on the horizon for us during the remaining few weeks of this quarter. If you are experienced through your workplace or elsewhere with these 2 programs, give your student a heads-up by showing them some basic maneuvers ahead of my instruction in class.

Progress Reports are completed this week and the paper reports will go home in about 2 weeks. Keep in mind that these are 'snapshots' of student performance; by the time you get the paper report, student gpa will have changed (up or down) in the meantime.

The most important thing is for students to return late homework and erase those zeros!

Questions? Contact me, please.

Mr. Dennis Read, Computer Technology Concepts

Week 7 (Oct. 6-10)

Students are working on a mini-research Pictureboard document; I have put together a grid which students will complete with graphics and text that further explain their Social Studies topic. This is a 3 class project; all work is done in class, and notes from home are not accepted for this work.

Homework #6 has a study guide at the bottom with Excel terms and definitions. This material will be Quiz 4, and will be given next Friday or the following week (wk 8).

The final weeks of the quarter (wks. 8, 9, 10) will cover Excel spreadsheets and PowerPoint. Students will finish with 5 quizzes, 8 typing scores, and 8 homework assignments in addition to the other announced graded work.

Questions? Please contact me.

Mr. Dennis Read, Computer Technology Concepts

Week 8 (Oct. 13-16)

This week will be short because of the Maryland State Teacher's Convention on Friday. Maryland Public Schools will be closed. The final homework (#8) will be distributed on Wednesday and Thursday of this week.

We will be beginning a unit on Excel spreadsheets this week. Homework #7 has a few questions about Excel, so if you are knowledgeable, please assist your child or give them some support on this homework. Read the introductory primer for basic information regarding cells, some math operations, and syntax.

There are 3 weeks left in Quarter 1; we will cover Excel and PowerPoint. Our final quiz - on Excel - will be week 9, likely Monday and Tuesday.

Mr. Dennis Read

Week 9 (Oct. 20)

The final date for all homework return is this Friday, October 24. Late homework has been accepted for the past 9 weeks, but this Friday is the final date to return late work. The quarter ends next week and grades are being finalized now. No late homework will be accepted after this Friday.

The final Excel quiz is this Friday and next Monday for all grades. It is an 'open book' test; students are allowed to use their classwork folder and all Excel work within that we have created in class during the test.

Remaining classtime next week will be spent on PowerPoint slide composition. We will not have adequate time to complete a final project in PowerPoint, but the practice and experience will be well-worth the effort.

Students may use flash storage next week to save their Classwork folder and its contents, if desired.

Mr. Dennis Read


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