Computer – Fourth Level

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Course Description — Students will understand basic computer and internet usage and obtain word processing skills as well as practice in-depth with the following: first grade, typing; second grade, Paint, Publisher; third grade, PowerPoint; fourth grade, Scratch (computer programming); fifth grade, WordPress blogs; sixth grade, HTML; seventh grade, graphic design including photo manipulation; eighth grade, spreadsheets; high school computer courses are listed on the high school page. (Equivalent free software can be used for any of the listed programs.)

Internet review + toolbars, applications

Week 1

Welcome to your first day of school! I wanted to give you one important reminder before you begin. Many of your lessons below have an internet link for you to click on. When you go to the different internet pages for your lessons, please DO NOT click on anything else on that page except what the directions tell you to. DO NOT click on any advertisements or games. DO NOT click on anything that takes you to a different website. Just stay focused on your lesson and then close that window and you should be right back here for the next lesson. Okay?

  1. If you didn’t get here through My EP Assignments, I suggest you go there and create an account.
  2. Test your typing speed. If you don’t know how to type yet, you should work on a typing course. Here are two that you could choose from: Dance Mat, Good Typing.
  3. Internet Safety Reminders: Do not download anything onto your computer without permission. Do not click on any advertising on a website, even if it looks like a game to play. You can also turn off advertising, so you don’t see bad images. Don’t give out your name, address, phone number, email address, photo, etc., online without permission.
  4. Use kid-friendly search engines that your parents choose for you. Search as specific as you can, so the thing you are looking for will come up and not other stuff you shouldn’t be looking at. You can also turn on Google safe search. Google’s works better than those of other browsers I’ve tested.
  5. This is the end of your work for this course for today. You are allowed to move at your own pace (this is homeschooling), but it’s intended you complete one lesson each week.

Week 2

  1. Create a “junk” email address for websites that require you give an address. With your parents permission, together create an email address at or (somewhere you don’t already have an address).
  2. Give this address to websites you don’t need to hear from. You can still check it if it’s a site that sends you coupons are something. Still always check or un-check boxes to let companies know you don’t want them to email you.
  3. One reason for a junk address is that companies sell your email address! Then you start getting many unwanted emails advertising things to you. If you don’t need to hear from a website, give them the junk address.
  4. Internet Safety Reminders, yes, again: Do not download anything onto your computer without permission. Do not click on any advertising on a website, even if it looks like a game to play. Don’t give out your name, address, phone number, email address, photo, etc. online without permission.

Week 3

  1. Find a website in your browser’s history that you went to yesterday for school. Find and click on “history” on the browser you are using. Find yesterday. Find a website.
  2. You hopefully have a pop-up blocker installed; most ad blockers would do it. But if something should pop up, just look for an X to close it down. It is often hidden. Look in the top right corner. Sometimes you have to click on “No Thanks.” It’s usually written in smaller letters and in a font that makes it harder to see. They don’t want you to close it and refuse their offer. But you can outsmart them.

Week 4

  1. Toolbars are the menus at the top of your browser. They give you quick access to different features. The two most common and useful toolbars are the navigation toolbar, which allows you to move around the internet, and the bookmark toolbar, which shows the websites you visit most.
  2. The navigation toolbar has a forward button as well as a back button. These are the arrow buttons let you go back and forth between websites.
  3. To add a bookmark to your bookmark toolbar you can click and drag the little icon (mini picture) next to the website’s address down to the bookmark tool bar and let go and drop it there. You can then right click on the icon and choose properties. You can shorten or erase the name of the website so that you can fit more bookmarks on the toolbar. Bookmarks that don’t fit can be found probably by clicking an arrow at the end of the line of bookmarks. Try and add this page to your bookmark toolbar, or if your family doesn’t use a bookmark toolbar, bookmark it in another way (ask your parents or an older sibling).

Week 5

  1. Sometimes when you are wanting to put a program on your computer, they will ask you if you want to download a toolbar as well. You most likely DO NOT!
  2. Don’t let companies force their toolbar on you. They want you to use their toolbar, so you use their company, so they’ll get more money.
  3. If you have too many toolbars, they can use up too much space.
  4. You can get rid of toolbars in two ways. You can click on “view” in your browser’s menu and then on toolbars. Un-check whatever toolbar you don’t want to see. Or to permanently get rid of a toolbar, you can “uninstall” it by going to your “control panel” and clicking on uninstall programs, finding the toolbar on the list and uninstalling.
  5. You should not install or uninstall without your parents’ permission. You can ask your parents if you can try uninstalling something. Chances are there is something on your computer not wanted or needed.

Word processing review + margins, spacing, page layout

Week 6

  1. Create a new document in your word processing program. Save it into a folder with your name on it.
  2. Insert an image and a text box.
  3. Change the color of the inside of the text box.
  4. Write in it. Then change the font style, color and size. Save!

Week 7

  1. Today I want you to play with margins. Margins are the space around the edge of your paper. The default setting is 1 inch.
    • Default means that it automatically chooses that for you. You don’t have to set anything, but sometimes you want a smaller margin to fit in more.
  2. Margins are very important in books. If there weren’t an inner margin big enough, the words would get swallowed up down the seam of the book in the middle.
    • Margins help us read by giving us “white space.” Our eyes would have trouble reading a page that was just all words with no extra space.
    • Unless you have a reason to, leave the margins set to the default.
  3. Type some jibberish onto a blank document in your word processing program. Find the margin setting on your word processing program and change the different settings. Watch how the text changes.

Week 8

  1. Today you are going to change the page layout. Find page layout on your word processing program. What are the two options (maybe under “orientation”)?
  2. Click on each one and watch the page turn. (Why don’t you see if you can “view” the page smaller, or “zoom in” so you can see the whole page at once?)
  3. Now fill two pages with jibberish. Your task is to turn one page sideways (landscape) and one page up and down (portrait). Can you do it?
  4. Use the help sections and online if you must. There is usually an option somewhere that lets you do things for “this section only” or “from this point on.” See what you can figure out.

Week 9

  1. Today your task is to change the spacing in your document. Fill a page with jibberish.
  2. Find spacing and change the numbers and see what happens. Can you change other spacing besides between the lines?
  3. Can you change the spacing between paragraphs?
  4. Can you make one part of your page single space and one part double spaced?
  5. Try all those things today.

Week 10

  1. Look at this logic puzzle. (You’re going to need logic to solve computer programming problems.)
    • Draw this grid chart on a piece of paper. (Or you could print it out.)
    • The first clue is Bob’s pet can’t fly. So you put your pencil on Bob and slide over to the box under bird. Put an X in that box because birds fly and Bob’s pet doesn’t. So we know that Bob’s pet isn’t a bird.
    • The next clue is Cal and Deb both have pets with hair. So you can put an X in the bird and fish box for both of them because those animals don’t have hair. Their pets do have hair, so they can’t have fish and birds as pets.
    • The last clue is that Deb’s pet doesn’t bark. Dogs bark, so her pet is not a dog. Put an X in Deb’s dog box. That leaves only one box empty, the cat. Put a check mark or a “yes” in Deb’s cat box. That means that no one else has a cat. Put an X in everyone else’s cat box.
    • That leaves one box empty for Cal. Put a check mark or “yes” in Cal’s dog box. That means no one else has a a dog. Put an X in everyone else’s dog box. That leaves only one empty for Bob. What animal does Bob have? Finish the puzzle.
  2. On Thinking days, try more logic puzzles. On your Thinking page, I have a link to suggested Logic Puzzles for getting started. Look for Logic Puzzles (alphabetical order) and then look what I have next to that. I wrote a note to Year 4 Computer Students. That’s you. Click that link for selected puzzles for getting started.

Week 11

Computer programming — Scratch

  1. Before we start this exciting new part of lessons, I want to make sure you know not to click on links that I don’t send you to. Some Scratch projects have a commenting area. That’s not for you. You don’t need to read comments, and never click on any links in comments. Scratch has users and profiles. This isn’t a place to make friends. These are strangers. You don’t need to visit profiles, and never click on any links in anyone’s profile. Got it?
  2. Take a look at these Scratch projects. Use the links I give you. Don’t click on other games. You will learn to make things like these. one two three four
  3. Take a look at Scratch. Read over the getting started guide.
  4. In the future if you want to check out more games, have a parent check them out before you use them. Inappropriate games can be reported, but I don’t want you to see them at all. Stay safe on the internet.

Week 12

  1. Today you will create sprites. Sprites are the characters that you will be moving around in your program. The little cat is your first sprite. Try painting a new sprite. Try typing a word as a sprite.
  2. You can import pictures.
  3. Save your project as “school.”
  4. You’ll need to create a free account and log in to be able to save projects as you work with this program.

Week 13

  1. Today on Scratch, open up your project and create and use different backdrops. The backdrop button is under “Stage” on the right in the Sprite area.
  2. Try drawing, importing, and choosing. Save them all.

Week 14

  1. Choose a sprite.
  2. For each sprite you write a “script” of what it will do. Today you will use the blue scripts. They move the sprite.
  3. Drag blue blocks onto the script board. Connect them like puzzle pieces. Go to the orange “events” and drag “When green flag clicked” onto the code area. Attach it to the top of your code. Then you can click on the green flag towards the top right and it will play for you what you told it to do.
  4. First try and make your sprite walk back and forth across the screen. Then you can experiment with other things if you like.

Week 15

  1. Keep using blue scripts.
  2. Make your sprite walk in a circle, turning its body as it goes.
  3. You need to have the orange event “When – green flag – clicked” piece at the top to start your code going.
  4. Test it by clicking on the green flag above your project preview.

Week 16

  1. Try any blue scripts you haven’t tried yet.
  2. Make sure you try them all.

Week 17

  1. Today use the pink sound scripts.
  2. Make it play a song–or a made up song.

Week 18

  1. Today record your voice and make it play back.
  2. Make it play different noises. Test out all the noises it can make.

Week 19

  1. Try all the sound scripts you haven’t tried yet.

Week 20

  1. Have two sprites moving together.
  2. Each sprite has its own script you have to write. Use the tabs at the top to switch between them.

Week 21

  1. Have your sprite walk to a certain spot on the screen (using the x and y coordinates).
  2. Then have something happen to it by another sprite.

Week 22

  1. Have your sprite walk to the edge of the screen and then have the background change and the sprite keep walking.

Week 23

  1. Use the purple look scripts today.
  2. Have your sprites talk and think. Make a conversation between them.

Week 24

  1. Change the size and color of one sprite.
  2. Do some weird effect on the other. Play around with the percentages.

Week 25

  1. Create a different costume for one of your sprites.
  2. Use the tabs at the top of the script box. Have your sprite change costumes.

Week 26

  1. Try the other Looks commands you haven’t tried yet.
  2. What do they do? Figure it out.

Week 27

  1. Play with the pen. What does it do?
  2. Make a script with motion, looks, sound and pen.

Week 28

  1. Plan a game to make or an ecard collection.
  2. Create the sprites and costumes you need.
  3. Start making your game or ecards. What do you need to do that you can’t do yet?

Week 29

  1. Use the top three “When” commands on the brown “Events” scripts. Make things happen when you click on things!
  2. Work on your game or ecards.

Week 30

  1. Use the “When…receive” command.
  2. Work on your game or ecards.

Week 31

  1. Add a wait command.
  2. Work on your game or ecards.

Week 32

  1. Add an if command. You have to place another command into the if command. If the sprite is at this location, then do this…
  2. Work on your game or ecards.

Week 33

  1. Use the sensing scripts now. Add a question and answer to your script.
  2. Work on your game or ecards.

Week 34

  1. Use a touching command. You will have to pair it with a control script like “wait until.”
  2. Work on your game or ecards.

Week 35

  1. Take a look at the guide cards. Choose one that you’d like to try.
  2. Work on your game or ecards.

Week 36

  1. Finish a game or ecard collection.
  2. Here are some more Scratch things you can add to your games or ecards.
    1. Add a timer.
    2. Add operators or use another guide card.
    3. Add variables or use another guide card.
    4. Add a “broadcast.”
    5. Here’s an example of using some of these things to make a game.
    6. Go to the “More Blocks” section and make your own.
  3. You can turn your Scratch game into an app. Kindle lets you upload apps to their store for free. I had to change this link, so I have not tried this version of getting an app made for the Kindle store. Here’s a link about getting your android app on the kindle store.

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