Shake Hands with a Computer

Before we go any further, make sure your child understands the different parts of the computer. If they’re 1st grade or younger, have them touch each part as you discuss it. Chat about the part. Click both buttons on the mouse. Use the scroll–see how the screen moves. Change volume on the headphones. Turn the monitor on and off.

Next, show them where each part connects to the computer. Have them plug in and disconnect the headphones, the microphone (if available). Show them the icons that tell where the plug goes. Peek around the back of the CPU–see all the plugs and wires. Are they all plugged in? Point out the duplex where the system is plugged into the wall. That has to be connected to work (you judge if they can touch this).

For k, 1, that’s it. Remind them throughout the following weeks, but that’s it. Repetition is the key to learning. For 2 and up, review the worksheet on this page. Fill it out with them and then have them complete it by themselves. That’s it. From here on, just be sure to use the right words for each part and insist they do to. It’ll stick.


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.

Author: Jacqui
Welcome to my virtual classroom. I've been a tech teacher for 15 years, but modern technology offers more to get my ideas across to students than at any time in my career. Drop in to my class wikis, classroom blog, our internet start pages. I'll answer your questions about how to teach tech, what to teach when, where the best virtual sites are. Need more--let's chat about issues of importance in tech ed. Want to see what I'm doing today? Click the gravatar and select the grade.

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