What would you say is appropriate for Kindergartners to learn/do with or on the computer?

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Why not teach your Kindergarten students the location of the letters on the keyboard? I have devised a fun game where early elementary school students take it in turns to be "fingers" and jump on a body-sized keyboard on the floor when their letter is called out. The students use mnemonic words and actions to memorize the keys. Feel free to "pilot" free Lessons 1 and 2 (www.nailitnow.com.au/typingtutorlicence/elementaryschool/how.html) and, at the same time, teach your students the letters on the whole LEFT side of the keyboard and correct finger use

If you and your students enjoy the Nail It Now keyboarding game (am sure they will), we would be happy to give you a 50% discount on a Multi-User Licence in return for some kind of feedback publicity, say, you write a review in your blog (total honesty is what we are looking for). The Multi-User Licence includes the game lesson plans 1 to 4 for early elementary school students, a PowerPoint slide presentation classroom version for higher grade elementary school students and a self-teaching PDF version for teachers, parents and older students

Kindergarten may be a tad too young (the game has been very successful with Grade 1 students), but lessons 1 and 2 are free, so it could be worthwhile giving them a go. One teacher commented: "It went nicely; the kids have been walking around saying "animals in the snow dig for food" like a chant. It is very sweet. The parents are thrilled, even to just introduce keyboarding to them. They are 4 years old. Before I got there, the teachers turned on the computers with no keyboards and the kids just shared a game. Now that I have started this, they actually are typing letters. No major words yet since they can't really read, but they can type aaaaa sssss ddddd fffff, etc with the right fingers"

Georgina Farmer
Nail It Now
I'm a preschool teacher of 4 years old. I work a privite school in Istanbul at Turkey. We have a computer lesson that lasts 40second in a week in the computer lab. They learn to open computer, doing some thing on it. They use kidpix program. They make some pictures on the computer. Also the learn some concepts via games.My children are very happy during computer lesson.
Wow! These are all great suggestions.

Surprisingly, I've seen a lot of amazing Kinder and first-grade blogs. Seriously! The kids write what they'd write in their writing journals, and create pictures on a progam like TuxPaint (free!) to go with them. It's so cool to see kids' entries go from jibberish, at the start of the year, to two or three coherent sentences by May! Plus, they get so excited when people read and comment on their writing -- it's very motivating. Here's a cool first-grade class's blog (the students are listed on the right -- click on any name to see each students' personal blog). It was created with classblogmeister, a free and easy site created specifically for teachers.

I think there are also a lot of options if you're able to partner your students with older kids. I once had fifth graders work with kinders to create podcasts. All the content was from the kinders -- the fifth-graders just helped with the tech side. You could also have older kids help your students create video lab reports.

Here are some elementary lesson plans that might help (just scroll down to find ones appropriate for Kinder -- the screencasting example might be a good fit for your class).

Good luck!
Katy, your link to Kathy Cassidy's first grade blog page is awesome. I love the whole concept of having children write to communicate their thoughts at an early age (I was brought up to be seen and not heard!!). Blogs, wikis, web pages, videos in Grade 1 are fantastic

I am also excited about first grade students blogging because they have to use the keyboard to blog and why not teach them the letters on the keyboard and correct finger use NOW before they get into the bad habit of typing with two-fingers, so long as it’s a fun, non-pressure way of learning like the Nail It Now fun game (see post above)

Of course, grade 1 students won't keyboard enough to achieve automaticity like older students who IM and blog constantly but, if students forget the location of a key, it takes 5 minutes for a teacher or parent to verbally revise the whole keyboard (unlike traditional typing software where they have to go back into a program to learn 2 keys per lesson)

I believe blogging by grade 1 students will open doors for the Nail It Now method (the repetitive random letter typing of traditional software programs is not especially suitable for young children) and that’s why I have decided to go one better than my offer above: for the month of April, I will charge Australian $100 (on today’s exchange rates, US$91.63) for a School License and, for a School District License, Australian $100 for the first school and $10 each for all the other schools. This special is only for the month of April, for credit card orders and you need to type in the Comments box at the bottom of the Secure Order Form at https://mmm1420.sanjose14-verio.com/nailit/secureorderlicence.html “School $100 special” or “School District $100 first school, plus $10 each for other schools special” and where online you found the special offer

Georgina Farmer
Nail It Now
I must recommend Ozge Karagolu for KDG technology needs. She is a teacher in Turkey who is one of the leading pioneers in integrating technology, contact her here...

Hi All,

I am finding all your comments so interesting :) !

For me, working with technology and young children starts with the understanding of what technology is all about. We basically start by discussing what "tools" are, who created them, and what tools are for. Even a spoon is a major technological artifact. Kids get fascinated with all these discussions.

We use smart board (mimios!) with children three years old and older. The ideas of using these boards are not only to engage children in the projects, but to promote collaborative work. They document what we are doing. Print their work to be displayed on the documentation boards. E-mail work to parents (with our help of course) re-visits their work and learn that computers are an amazing tool that responds to many needs.
In addition to that we use some software to extend our curriculum through games.

I guess for me the hardest part is being up to date with all the amazing games, creative projects and websites there are.

Thanks to all for sharing, we will implement the classroom blogs, I found those great!
I find appropriate for my kindergarten classes to learn the basic computer terms, how to turn computer on and off, how to move the mouse, use the keyboard to use basic keys and commands, how to type using online software (link below), and how to type list of names( Microsoft Word), cards, and simple books.
( Typing Games
Book Making )
In addition, I use Starfall.com for early literacy, and many other resources I linked on my school resource page.
Hello PGarcia :)

Here's a little online activity for young spellers

Talked about in Keith Jarrett's blog at http://www.ncs-tech.org/?p=5354
Hi, I teach esl in Kindergarten and have noticed the computer curriculum is squeezed between so many other activities. It's just once a week and the kids begin by learning the names of all the parts of the computer. Most already know but they love to show off what they know and can do. They are given turns to practice using the mouse and taught what is a good distance for viewing and what not to do too - pulling on cords, jerking things, picking up the keyboard, etc. Then they are given some simple activities and stories to watch. I haven't seen what they do next, but it is just about their favorite lesson of the week. There's very good kindergarten level stuff on cee bee bees, the BBC network for children, and also many children's websites with very colorful and educational games that kinder kids could use and work on in pairs or groups. Control at this age with computers shouldn't be too difficult. Even the very active kid seems to be able to sit still with a computer. I know it sounds mean, but if you simply remove a kid who is not behaving as you'd like once, that's all it will take to have them eating out of your hand! They really don't want to miss computers, and if you are as good as your word with discipline, you'll only need to do that sort of thing on rare occassions.
Here's a link to the BBC Science clips http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/scienceclips/ages/5_6/science_5_6.shtml for students aged 5-6/6-7. [These activities have not been moved to the KS2 Bitesize collection and can be hard to find without the link.]

Activities for 5-6 year olds include dragging and dropping labels on parts of a horse, fish, ant and boy [Ourselves]; Growing plants, Sorting materials, Pushes and pulls, Light and dark, Sounds and hearing. I did use the labelling activity with Kindergarten students and they loved it.
Visit www.wired.com/geekdad/2010/01mrs-cassidys classroom-media-literate-6-year-olds/
and also http://2mgems.blogspot.com
These teachers are incredible. You can find most of the websites they use on their wikispace http://loginforliteracy.wikispaces.com



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