It's funny how we all sort of use the holidays to punctuate or lives. After Fall break, though we love our work and our time with your children, many of us teachers set our sights on Thanksgiving break, a holiday where family is of the essence, and we use that deadline as a target mark for what we need to have accomplished with our students.
Most recently, I have begun working on actual skills, specific ones that your children will need to have as they begin to use computer programs for which these skills are real time-savers.
Last week with my 3rd and 4th graders we began intentional instruction and practice with Microsoft Word's "copy-paste" keyboard shortcuts, and this week we expanded to "cut and paste." These actions are controlled by key combinations, and it's easy to forget that they need to be learned. Not having had a computer lab last year, and with dubious skills instruction prior to that, it's been a real eye opener for me to introduce the specifics of the key combinations and then to have students work in documents I have prepared for them to copy and paste color names and item pictures into matching fields and then to "Save As" in a folder on the desktop.
Try it yourself! Do it with your child on your computer! Here's the link: http://bit.ly/warnercopypaste .
For cut and paste, I made another document just for words to copy in beside their pictures, using Ctrl-X and Ctrl-V. Try that one.
With K and 1st graders, we're venturing into ABCMouse, a very cool experience that's packed with grade appropriate activities. Students can customize and recustomize their avatars, and as they progress through My Learning Path they are awarded "tickets" that they can go on to trade for digital merchandise--clothing, pets, all sorts of things. Each child in each of these grades has his or her own account. Once it's selected, your child is on the way to a love of learning and a fun time in computer lab!
2nd graders are playing Thanksgiving games at Interactive Sites for Education. Go ahead, try that, too!
The Code Club goes apace, our Ronald McDonald House pull-tab challenge has been won by Ms. Wolfe's 1st graders, and yes, we are rolling into Thanksgiving break next week. Have a great one!!!