I think that there is a lot they can do. Logging in to computers, typing words, drag and drop, creating pictures, using websites like starfall.com, and so on. Many teachers don't give them enough credit or opportunity to do what they are capable of at this age. Yes, I know that they can be difficult in a computer lab, but there are ways for dealing with the crowd control issues like having 5th graders buddy up to supervise. Experiment, and you may be surprised at what you can achieve with them. It only makes other teachers jobs easier if they are exposed to technology in Kindergarten.
I am teaching a 4th grade class of students with discipline problems. I planned to create an environment where they can feel comfortable. Because I noticed they did not find any thing to do on the computer other than watch videos, listen to music, and look at photos.
I introduced ePals and the projects as well as creating videos, sending and writing messages, uploading pictures, and more. They became excited. I distributed the consent forms, created the accounts on ePlas, found some projects and reply to them. The objective is to increase writing fluency and interest for writing. Now this class is one of the best and want to sit and send messages to their friend in another country. I even have them working in groups representing an area of their culture, example, sport, fashion, music, and food.
I think these activities motivate students and enhance academic skills.
I work as an Instructional Technology Specialist in a K-8 school and work with all three of my kindergarten classes every week. I agree with all of the skills Jonathan listed. I'll add that they love using Kid Pix (drawing program), and use this tool for several integration projects.
We've been working this year to take some of their units and publish them with Web 2.0 tools. Here's one example on bookr. Next week we're starting a math related Voicethread.
I have to give credit to the teachers I work with. They are totally on board with collaboration which makes working with Kindergarten students extremely successful.
We started working on a draft of the curriculum integration we do throughout the year. This is a work in progress, but a good start.
Please let me know if you have any questions. Good luck!
I am a technology K - 4 teacher. I want tell you that I planning to create one curriculum integration. I really like that idea. The curriculum will assist you in writing the unit plans and creating a databank for the online activities.
I am the Library Media Specialist for our school and teach technology to all k-5 students at our elementary. I think it is important for K's to get mostly hands-on activities, but I think there is a need for computer introduction as well. In Kindergarten I start out teaching the names for the parts of the computer in a Simon Says mode: (mouse, keyboard, monitor) and start using them--I watch how they use the mouse and adjust their hands if needed, we talk about posture, stretching, headphone etiquette, how to be gentle with computers and what NOT to do. We practice clicking and dragging, opening software from the dock (we have all Mac's). We use Starfall, Kidpix, and other online software for numbers, shapes, colors, letters. I use a projector hooked up to a student machine, and a laser pointer to show students what to click on, where to go, to talk about the desktop screen and explain what is on it. Some get it better than others, and some are a challenge to manage, but it is amazing what they can accomplish. I only see them once per week for 1/2 hour, but the two kindergarten teachers do have five laptops to share between them for choice time.
For management when I need to show them where to go click or explain how to do something, I use a little rhyme to get the attention of all 20 kiddos--I say "slip, slap, hands in your lap" and have them repeat it while clapping their hands, clasping them and putting them in their laps. Then I make a big deal out of whether each row actually has their hands in their laps. Once they do, I then say "red, blue, green, all eyes on the screen" and wait until all are looking up at the projected screen. I then give them one or two instructions at a time. Very energy intensive to keep them all together, but it works! They absolutely LOVE computer time. In first grade they are ready to fly with it and we make Kidpix slideshows, visit many curriculum-related sites to reinforce what they are doing in the classroom, and many other activities.
I did a similar job to you for a year, (teaching technology K-5), and the one thing I remember most about teaching Kindergarten was their enthusiasm for learning new technologies and computer skills. They loved it! Some of the older kids are taking technology for granted now because they have been using it for so long, but the innocence and wow factor for K kids is hard to beat.
What great rhymes! ... thanks for sharing them. As a STEM trainer I worked with a couple of Kindergarten teachers in the Bronx, NY and used a laptop cart in one of those classes. The students were very excited. We visited a site where students listened to the sounds of the different animals they were reading about by clicking with the mouse. They also dragged and dropped animal puzzle/name pieces. Except for typing in the web address, It was very intuitive for them. Their enthusiasm was truly a teacher's delight.
I work in the Bronx, New York, 09X230, near Roberto Clemente State Park. I use a mac lab to teach lower grade students different subjects. The K students work mostly learning how to use the mouse and learning the location of some the keys on the keyboard. In addition, they use some of the activities I linked to the resource site.I have created a resource site that has become the backbone of my online activities . When I plan my monthly unit, I select the desired activity from one of the academic areas on the school site.
My first grade class uses laptop computers approximately once a week to play online games related to our current learning. Because navigating to web sites is a huge challenge for little kiddos, I created a google site to use for easy links to the online games.
I type a name that is easy for them to read, then create a hyperlink that goes directly to the game I have selected for them to play. Sometimes I color code the text (green for easier games, yellow for average, red for challenging). Then I put an alias of the URL address on each computer screen. That avoids a lot of navigation challenges for the kids who are emergent and early readers. It's fun to change the games often, so their "play" closely matches the skills we are currently working on.
Thank you for replying! I like the idea of using a school page to enhance instruction. I tried to create a site on Google Sites, but I found too limited and purchased a Yahoo space to store my resources and post student work among other things. I also use the site for student to learn the skill or concept presented on the lesson. I believe every I.T. person should use it.
I have 5 desktops in my room that are used on a daily basis and access to a lab once a week for about 40 mins. I have created a wiki using hyperlinked images to web based programs for skills practice-this avoids the need to navigate by reading-eventually it will be subject based and levelled for ability. I want to include smartboard lesson recordings, screencasts and audio- some of which can created by the children. Any work we do using Web2.0 (Voicethreads, slideshows etc.,) will be embedded too.
I have an iPod Touch with apps loaded but would love more mobile technology however I do not have any wireless access from my building!
We've only been at school 5 weeks but this year I did not have any children who, from day one, could not use a mouse to navigate their way around. In the first week I deliberately gave them few instructions and let them loose on Poissonrouge.They all mastered it quickly and soon found their favourite activities. They instinctively communicated and shared their discoveries with each other.
They are now ready to learn how to login to our intranet using their username and password but locating their folders on our confusing network and saving their work is always a step to far for most even by years end.