Methuen Students Learning Technology in Early Grades

D.J. DeebBy: D.J. Deeb – January, 2015

Methuen Public Schools is fortunate to have such a strong and proactive Technology Department. At our December School Committee, Director of Instructional Technology Ed Lussier reported on a variety of activities and projects currently taking place in Methuen Public Schools involving students utilizing technology to complete academic tasks. When used appropriately, technology applications motivate students to work harder, master essential skills, and greatly improve academic performance.

Kindergarteners at Timony Grammar School have started learning about Microsoft Word by creating a document and typing the alphabet. Grades One and Two are learning about cutting, copying, and pasting items into Microsoft Word. Grade Two students have also been using the program to copy and paste math problems into a template using their cumulative and associative math skills. Grade Seven students are working on a historical fiction Google Presentation.

Kindergarten students at the Comprehensive Grammar School are learning how to log into the Methuen Public Schools network and have been completing lessons in the computer lab to increase proficiency in keyboarding and mouse skills. Grade Six students at the CGS have been working on a geography project that requires them to import, export, and graph data regarding continents, countries, states, and precipitation trends.

Grade Two students at the Tenney Grammar School have been using real-life data to create pictographs in Microsoft Excel. Grade Four students have been learning how to insert a border, use WordArt, and insert a personalized photograph into their project in addition to learning how to use Google Docs to answer practice composition questions from MCAS. Upper students at the Tenney are learning to use several extensions and applications that can be added to Google Chrome. One of these extensions is the Read and Write for Google. This extension helps to increase reading and writing proficiency for students.

Grade Four students from the Marsh Grammar School have been working on an immigration Project with the Google Presentation program. They are tracing a character from his/her country of origin to America.

At Methuen High School, students have all been provided IPads to help complete assignments and to access textbooks electronically. In addition, the National Honor Society (NHS) inducted 55 new members on November 25. The NHS participated in caroling at a nursing home in December and are participating in the Adopt-A-Family program. On another note, The Methuen High Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC) had approximately 80 cadets march in Methuen’s annual Veteran’s Day Parade. The Drill Team attended its last competition in December at Brockton High School. Finally, congratulations to our Methuen High cadets for being designated as a Junior ROTC “Honor Unit with Distinction” during the 2014 School Year by the Department of the Navy on November 29, 2014. The Department of the Navy presents this award to the JROTC units that maintain an exceptionally high standard of performance. Methuen High School was awarded a certificate by the Department of the Navy reflecting this achievement.

That’s all for now. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all! I wish all my readers a happy and prosperous 2015!

 D.J. Deeb is a Methuen resident and member of the Methuen School Committee. Deeb is an Adjunct Professor of History/Government at Bunker Hill Community College and an Adjunct Political Science Instructor at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. He teaches Social Studies full-time at Reading Memorial High School. He is the author of Israel, Palestine, and the Quest for Middle East Peace (University Press, 2013) and The Collapse of Middle East Peace (IUniverse, 2003).