St. Francis of Assisi School offers a comprehensive Computer Science program for Grades 3-6. This program is designed to provide students with an ethical and strong foundation in computer operations and technical skill. Our unique program also teaches students how to utilize the computer as a learning tool, and empowers all of our students to be good Digital Citizens.
During the spring, our 3rd grade students are introduced to the computer. They learn the brief history along with the basic components of a computer. Students begin to explore the QWERTY keyboard by understanding proper posture and finger placement. They finish up with an introductory to digital literacy.
Students take our typing program in earnest in the fall of 4th grade. Each student continues with building these skills throughout the rest of his or her St. Francis School education. Initially, students learn the home row and are able to identify proper finger placement without looking at the keyboard. The introductory level teaches students the correct finger placement for all letters and keys. Students work at their own pace and move up each level to build both accuracy and speed, with an emphasis on accuracy in the early levels.
Throughout the entire sequence of computer science classes, Grades 3-6 focus on the ethics of becoming Digital Citizens. Our students receive valuable lessons on subjects such as:
- Staying safe online
- Internet privacy
- Digital footprints
- Creating secure passwords
- How to cite other people’s work
- Writing good emails
- Conducting research online
All students utilize Chromebooks at St. Francis School. From there, they are taught Google applications, which allow them to access their documents anywhere in the world, especially at home. Classroom teachers work closely with our computer science instructor to incorporate the appropriate use of Google applications into classwork and projects. Applications that are taught include: Docs, Slides, and Sheets. In addition, students learn how to use Google Classroom to find and complete assignments.
Students are introduced to fundamental programming concepts through the use of a drag-and-drop visual programming tool. They are exposed to this through sites such as Code.org and Scratch. In the 6th grade, students transition to learning to write code to draw, animate, and color using text and strings as well as variables and other techniques.