Welcome 2012!  Hope everyone had a safe and happy holiday. 
I have attached an article I found on the "Power to Learn" website.  It is very interesting and should be read by all.  Power to Learn is a website powered by Cablevision and has lots of information.  We use this often, especially when working on Internet issues. 
This article is about Computers and Writing: Enjoy!
Here is the link:
Write Right: Choosing the Correct Code
by Hilda & Henrietta, 11/01/11

Note: Why not ask your parents to go through this article with you? They know you are excited about learning how to text and how to use shortcuts when you text and chat, and they will want to make sure you know when you can use those shortcuts.

How You Talk

Think about it. You talk with your friends differently than you do with your teachers, and you talk with your grandparents differently than you do with your brothers and sisters. You've learned that rules vary depending upon where you are and the people you are with.

How You Write

It's the same with writing. Writing is like a code. You may have already learned how to text or chat online with others. To have a good conversation, you need to be able to type your words as fast as you can. That's why computer slang, expressions, and abbreviations came about.

So, when you are texting a friend, you use a certain code-a fast way to write on the computer. When you write a thank you note, you use another code. It's all English, but it's a different kind of English. One of the big problems of knowing two codes (regular English and text code) is that sometimes when you are writing, the wrong code slips into places where it shouldn't be. While your grandmother would love to get an email from you, she probably wouldn't appreciate a note that said, "i think u are the greatest gm your jokes make me lol". Besides the computer slang/abbreviations, which she may not understand, you haven't used proper grammar and punctuation, which she might not appreciate.

Finding Out What's Acceptable in School Texting, Chatting, etc.

Let's suppose your teacher lets you do some school projects that require texting or chatting. You'll need to find out whether you can use text code for this type of work, for many teachers will want you to use proper English even when chatting and texting.

What's Never Acceptable

Homework, reports, essays, stories, presentations, and projects should never include texting code.  You must write all of these in your best English. Don't include any computer slang or abbreviations, make sure you write in good sentences and paragraphs, spell correctly, and add punctuation.

Keep in mind that when you email your teacher, you'll want to use proper English. Teachers won't appreciate receiving an email that's written in texting code.

Checking Your Work

Because you may be spending more and more time texting, it will be very easy for you to make a mistake and put texting code into your regular schoolwork. You probably won't put in the abbreviations because you'll notice that mistake quickly, but make sure that you are putting capital letters at the beginnings of your sentences, periods at the end of sentences, and adding proper punctuation and spelling everywhere.

To make sure you don't get lower grades because you accidentally use texting code, you'll need to proof-read carefully. Don't hand in anything without giving it a thorough check. Read your work slowly word by word, and ask your parents to look it over, too.

Mrs. Kossowsky, our wonderful Librarian, and myself have completed our Internet Safety lesson with all students. We introduced them to various terms used in computers and on the Internet. We then spoke about how important it is to be safe on the Internet. We used a website called. "NetSmartz" for third and fourth grade students. It is very "kid friendly" and contains enough information on Internet Safety. For our fifth grade students we used "Power to Learn", a website powered by Cablevision. There are several case studies about Internet Safety, and the one we chose was entitled, "Keeping Personal Information Private". This is an intensive interactive study which is followed by questions. We take this issue very seriously and review e-mail, IM and "My Space". A review of school rules concerning the use of computers and the Internet followed. The students were issued an Elwood Internet Use Policy. We reviewed the importance of having a policy. The students will bring the policy home for their parents. Please read and review the policy with your children and send the student's contract and the parent's contract back to your child's teacher. Students will not be permitted to use the Internet until these forms are signed. It is for their protection. Any questions, please do not hesitate to call me. Thanks in advance for your cooperation. Mrs. LoPipero


 I have taken the initiative to list several websites for parents and students to research the topic of Internet Safety. We are all interested in the safety of our children and we will continue to speak to all the children about how to stay safe while using the Internet. I have listed various sites for you to check out. If you have any other questions, please do not hesitate to contact Mrs. McCabe, Mrs. Greene or myself. We will be glad to assist you. http://www.netsmartz.org/ http://kidshealth.org/parent/positive/family/net_safety.html http://www.safekids.com/ http://www.wiredkids.org/ http://ikeepsafe.org/--index.php http://www.fbi.gov/kids/k5th/safety2.htm http://wiredkids.org/resources/documents//interactive_contract.html


Please check out BrainPop and BrainPop Jr. at home.  There are wonderful videos for children to watch in many subject areas. For your information, please check out the site. www.brainpop.com Username; elwood1 Password: elwood1


Internet Smarts is a program found on the Power to Learn website.  These scenarios are wonderful tools to teach children about the Internet and all it has to offer.  It deals with many current issues pertinant to elementary, middle and high school students.  We currently use the "Keeping Personal Info Private" with the fifth grade students.  It is a very good resource, especially since these students will be in middle school next year.  It certainly doesn't hurt to go over these issues every year.  Parents can take a look at it, as there is a parent version available within the Internet Smarts section. 

Hopefully, what we go over with the students they will take with them as they move on.  Our goal is to keep all students safe and aware.