Many of my most popular articles are about mouse skills. Every year, tens of thousands of teachers visit Ask a Tech Teacher to find resources for teaching students how to use a mouse. No surprise because using a mouse correctly is one of the most important pre-keyboarding skills. Holding it is not intuitive and if learned wrong, becomes a habit that’s difficult to break.
The earlier posts are still active, but I’ve updated this resource with more websites and posters to assist in starting off your newest computer aficionados.
- Bees and Honey
- Drawing Melody–draw in many colors with the mouse and create music
- Hover skills–drag mouse over the happy face and see it move
- Left-click practice while playing the piano
- Mouse and tech basics–video
- Mouse practice—drag, click
- Mouse skills
- Mouse Song
- Mr. Picasso Head
Kids love puzzles and they are a great way to teach drag-and-drop skills with the mouse buttons. Here are some of my favorites:
- Digipuzzles–great puzzles for geography, nature, and holidays
- Jigsaw Planet–create your own picture jigsaw
- Jigsaw puzzles
- Jigsaw Puzzles–JS
Bookmark this page on Mouse Skills to stay up-to-date as I find more resources.
Track Pad Skills
I received this comment from a reader:
“We haven’t had “mice” at our school in quite a few years. I teach trackpad skills via Chromebooks which requires a different mind/skill set. Younger children need to press with the index finger on one hand and lightly drag with the index finger of another hand for optimum control. Right-click is the simultaneous two finger press. Paint programs are a nice way to develop these skills.
All of the aforementioned sites are certainly adaptable to trackpads. In keeping with the KISS principle, the attention to the fine motor-skill capability per age/grade is important. I’ve found it isn’t until the second half of the school year that first graders are able to attempt mastery of holding with one finger while lightly moving with the other for a drag and drop or selection [NOT highlighting]. The temptation to push with one finger while dragging doesn’t give young students control over the cursor, and thus, the beauty of practicing this via simple paint program lessons. The correlation is also made to first holding the shift key with one finger while capitalizing with another finger.
That is about as posty as I get if you’d like to use it.
I have been on the lookout for good trackpad skill sites. Let me know if you have any. Here are a few:
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.