Category: Kindergarten

mouse skills

14 Websites to Teach Mouse Skills

1183938_stylized_mouseI repost this article every September because I get so many requests for mouse resources for those youngest keyboarders. For an up-to-date list, click here. Enjoy!


One of the most important pre-keyboarding skills is how to use the mouse. The mouse hold is not intuitive and if learned wrong, becomes a habit that’s difficult to break. Here are some images to assist you in setting up your newest computer aficionados:

Here are 16 websites student will enjoy, including 4 for adults new to computers:

  1. Drawing Melody–draw in many colors with the mouse and create music
  2. Left-click practice while playing the piano
  3. MiniMouse1183938_stylized_mouse
  4. Mouse and tech basics–video
  5. Mouse practice—drag, click
  6. Mouse skills
  7. Mouse Song
  8. OwlieBoo–mouse practice
  9. Wack-a-gopher (no gophers hurt in this)

Puzzles

  1. Digipuzzles–great puzzles for geography, nature, and holidays
  2. Jigsaw Planet–create your own picture jigsaw
  3. Jigsaw puzzles
  4. Jigzone–puzzles
  5. Jigsaw Puzzles–JS

Adults

  1. Mousing Around
  2. Skillful Senior

Trackpad

Many of these are simply repurposing mouse skill sites to the trackpad. 

  1. Basics
  2. Practice
  3. Touchpad vs Mouse

If you’re looking for more, Internet4Classrooms has a long list you might like, and these fun sites from minimouse.us.

More on mouse skills:

Dear Otto: Should Lefties Use Right Hands for Mousing Around

Tech Tip #61: How to Get Youngers to Use the Right Mouse Button

Dear Otto: Should I fix ‘Thumb clicking’?

 

[gallery type="square" ids="50137,28323,28324,50140,50139"]

 


Jacqui Murray has been teaching K-18 technology for 30 years. She is the editor/author of over a hundred tech ed resources including a K-12 technology curriculum, K-8 keyboard curriculum, K-8 Digital Citizenship curriculum. She is an adjunct professor in tech ed, Master Teacher, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice, CSTA presentation reviewer, freelance journalist on tech ed topics, contributor to NEA Today, and author of the tech thrillers, To Hunt a Sub and Twenty-four Days. You can find her resources at Structured Learning.

Hour of Code: Primo–Programming

codingProgramming in the classroom is hot. It’s become the software equivalent of iPads–everyone has to try it and missing Hour of Code risks losing your Tech Teacher stripes.

Who would think the geeky cousin of math and science would become so popular? Thanks in equal parts to Khan Academy and Common Core, the fundamental core of programming–students as problem solvers–has moved from theory to practice. Common Core provides strategies in its Standards for Mathematical Practice and Khan Academy provides the mechanism in its highly-popular (free) computer programming courses.

This follows such worthy programming adventures like Scratch and Alice, originally geared for Middle School, but their immense popularity and intuitive approach inspired games like Tynker, Blockly and the wildly popular Robot Turtles for youngers, each more fun and simpler than the last. We’re not talking C++ or Fortran or DOS. These offerings are intuitive, forgiving, and emphasize observing, testing, thinking, trying, failing, and trying again.

Traditional programming, with formulas and symbols and frightening words like ‘algorithm’ and ‘script’, is mostly relegated to fifth grade and up.

Enter Primo.

“We are working on a tool that empowers children to become creators, and not just consumers within the digitalised world we live in. Programming is an incredible tool that empowers people, it changes the perspective on problem solving and logic in general. … Mastering logic from an early stage of learning creates the right mind set to assimilate more notion-related content. … Skills are mastered gradually. … Think of Primo as the very first step in a child’s programming education. Primo provides the very basic ABC of programming logic.”

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thanksgiving

The Power of Symbols–What does ‘Turkey’ mean?

Here’s an authentic use of technology to support discussion on math, language standards, and the holidays. As a summation to your discussion with students on symbols, idiomatic expressions, geography, farms, or another topic, post this on your Smartscreen. The poll includes lots of definitions for the word ‘turkey’–from objective to idiomatic. Have each student come up some time during the day (or class) and make their choice.

[polldaddy poll=7398424]

Did your students come up with other definitions I didn’t list?

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12 Websites to Teach Mouse Skills

Please see the update here with more websites, puzzles, adult-friendly sites, trackpad skills sites, and posters!

Resource list constantly updated here

One of the most important pre-keyboarding skills is how to use the mouse. The mouse hold is not intuitive and if learned wrong, becomes a habit that’s difficult to break. Here are some images to assist you in setting up your newest computer aficionados:

[gallery type="square" ids="28323,28324"]

Here are 12 websites students will enjoy including 3 for adults new to computers:

(more…)

tech q & a

Dear Otto: How do I teach Google Drive to K/1?

tech questionsDear Otto is an occasional column where I answer questions I get from readers about teaching tech. If you have a question, please complete the form below and I’ll answer it here. For your privacy, I use only first names.

Here’s a great question I got from Lois:

I’ve been teaching computer technology for 6 years now. The first four years, we worked with Microsoft Office – Word; Powerpoint; Excel. The last two years, we went to an Apple platform and now we use iWorks Suite: Pages; Keynote and Numbers. So far so good – but I feel like I have to “double teach” some things: use this for Word (at home) and this for Pages (at school). Students have not been able to work on projects at home because of the compatibility issue. Not much of an issue for my little ones – we don’t send home much homework – but I would love for them to take these skills and run with them while at home. I teach from the menu and do not introduce shortcuts so they are forced to learn the “mechanics” of a program. Now I’m being asked to use Google docs next year. I’m on the fence when it comes to google docs for several reasons: It requires a username and password and email (which we don’t introduce until middle school) so my young students will now spend more time just “logging in”. I’ve heard there are ways to have the “email” go to the teacher – but I’m not sure how this works. The other issue is that I feel like Google Docs is “restrictive” when it comes to formatting.

..
Over the years, I have taught file management and how to save documents to file folders with correct titles. Students learn how to take ownership of their work. Google Docs automatically saves work in a cloud. I’m wondering if they will work on google docs at school (and have their work saved automatically – a good thing) and then work on Word or Pages at home and forget to save (a bad thing).

..
While I review the ISTE standards, I have not come across cloud computing and I wonder if I would be negligent if I didn’t teach students how to properly save their work, or use a particular type of software that is prevalent in higher education and the workforce. Am I behind the times? I feel like I’m going from one issue to another. Should kindergarteners and first graders have email accounts (and the issues that come with that responsibility) but be capable using the cloud, or should I continue to focus on core software and file management?
I’m dancing as fast as I can…..

..
Thoughts????

Hi Lois

Great questions. Tech changes so rapidly, unlike most other core subjects. It’s quite a challenge for us to keep up. I sometimes wonder if Admin considers the repercussions and implementation needs of their latest ‘great’ idea.

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34 Categories–Over 500 Links–of K-8 Links for Your Classes

I’ve spent a good chunk of time this summer updating my link collections so they are easier to wander through and reflect more topics you’re interested in. Here are 34 categories. K-MS are also subdivided by topics with age-appropriate links. The themed categories mix all ages together. I’m not sure which is better. It’s awfully difficult to differentiate by age considering the varied skill levels of students. Please forgive me if the grade-level categories don’t always hit the mark for you!

Remember: Any time students visit the internet, remind them of their rights and responsibilities, and the obligation to be good digital citizens.

Enjoy!

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Tech Tip #61: How to Get Youngers to Use the Right Mouse Button

As a working technology teacher, I get hundreds of questions from parents about their home computers, how to do stuff, how to solve problems. Each week, I’ll share one of those with you. They’re always brief and always focused. Enjoy!

Q: Kids always get confused when I’m explaining directions that require the right mouse button. I’ve found an easy way to clarify:

“Right click with your mouse”

Student promptly clicks with their left mouse. I know–doesn’t make sense. It does to them. They’re happy to focus on the right hand and have no idea they need to go one level further. My comeback:

“The other right.”

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