Classroom teachers have to use computers for PreK and Kindergarten kids, but how? The premise here is to show teachers about the use of some great websites to assist them in teaching computer skills to their students.
Lessons and Websites
Have you considered the basics of teaching the parts of computer to your younger students? You can utilize computer games to support their learning. Bookmark this page as it will provide you with the kind of rationale your administrators are looking for when using computers in your class.
Cue the Keyboard
Several years ago, I saw this wonderful lesson idea and adapted it to my kindergarten classroom. It is a fun and interactive way to teach elementary students how to use a keyboard. I have also included some websites for teachers to use to promote learning about the keyboard.
Use this lesson to teach kindergartners:
To start, teach them to know where the letters are on a keyboard. Show them a poster size keyboard that is enlarged on a poster maker (or this can be done at an office store) and laminate it. Show them where the letters, numbers, backspace and enter keys are on the poster.
Warm up by saying the ABC's and touching each letter on the keyboard.
Next laminate a photocopy of a small version of the keyboard
Write each students' user name at the bottom of the small version and practice typing user name on the paper (laminated) keyboard. If desired, scaffold the learning by providing them with a copy that has the keys highlighted of their user name, then give them a blank copy once they have learned it.
After several practices, put the laminated keyboards into a pocket folder next to the computers. Students find their user name and login.
Let them practice keyboarding skills at this website: Literacy Education I love the computer activities for beginners on this web site. It teaches students to use capital letters, lowercase letters and numbers on the keyboard. First they have to click on the letter, and then find it on the keyboard.
You will also find the typing games I have selected in the article Get Typing with Keyboard Practice to be very useful for your repertoire. In particular you want to use the AvensWorld site as it will provide students with practice typing their names.
Meet the Mouse
Both literacycenter.net and starfall.com websites will help students to practice navigating with the mouse. Here are some ideas on how to introduce the mouse:
Give a class introduction on how to hold the mouse. Show them what it looks like and how it is to be handled carefully.
Practice holding the mouse and clicking with index finger.
I put a star sticker on the left for younger students to remind them where to left-click. Also introduce the terms click, double click and drag.
Starfall has great theme related activities where students can practice click and drag. They can make a jack-o-lantern or snowman, for example.
This website allows you to download CyberStart to your computer for drag activities (can be started as young as 18 months old). It may be too basic for some, depending on their computer experience.
ABCYa is another great resource for students to get mouse practice and practice in the concepts they are learning in class. I am showing here the Kindergarten page, but there are games for all ages.
Another site recommended is Jump Start for 3-10 year olds. To play independently, children will need some prior knowledge in how to use a mouse. If you don't have this software program in your school, request it because it does have a cost, but is worth the investment.
Help With the Headphones
I fully recommend headphones as it can get loud with several students or a whole class using the computers at the same time. Proper handling of the headphones must be demonstrated, or even reviewed for older students.
Teach children how to handle the headphones properly
Demonstrate where the headphones get plugged in. (A star on the port may help young computer users).
Demonstrate where to store the headphones when finished.
Overall, using these tips will get your students using the computer independently. In kindergarten you will get students coming in at all levels of computer literacy and letter/spelling knowledge.