In the first grade computer classes, it's all about practicing mouse control and finger placement on the keyboards. Usually during class I open up Microsoft Word for them and review over the home row keys (ASDF JKL;) by asking them to do specific sets of letters (aaa, ddd, fff, sss, etc). I then have them spell easy words that are on the homerow keys, such as DAD, SAD, FAD. To challenge them, I will have them spell words such at HAT, CAT, SAT, MAT--these words require them to reach with specific fingers while still being on the home row keys. The words are short enough to practice keeping your fingers on the home row keys--which is important!! To really challenge them, I ask them to spell their names (first and even last if they know it), their pet's name or if they don't have a pet, I ask them to spell a pet they might want. Some of the answers are pretty creative ("How do you spell unicorn?")! This gives them an opportunity to explore the keyboard and to learn how to spell new things.
Next, I send them to a website called Starfall. This is an educational, reading based website. The site is designed for K-2nd grade and allows the students to learn how to read and to enhance their reading skills. It also re-enforces mouse control. With their hands being so small sometimes it's hard for them to control the mouse properly. Starfall has them click different things during the activities which strengthens their hand and finger muscles. Another mouse control website that I send them to is a pumpkin carving website. This website has them "carve a pumpkin" using their mouse. Once they are done, they click the appropriate button and their creation turns into a jack-0-lantern. The students really enjoy watching their creation come to life!! I have inserted these two websites below and encourage you to use them at home! They are a lot of fun and your child will really enjoy them!
This week we...
HAVE A WONDERFUL AND SAFE SPRING BREAK!!!!!
*We went onto Microsoft word and practiced our homerow keys. Then we spelled some words from a grade appropriate spelling list that I got off the internet. They had fun doing that!
*Then we went onto Starfall and read about penguins in the story Penguin, Penguin. I let them go on whichever activity that they wanted after that!
*We went over the home row keys on Microsoft Word. I had them show me where all of their fingers go on the keyboard and then had them type certain letters five times each (aaaaa, lllll, jjjjj, fffff, etc.).
*I had them go on the Starfall website and choose the letter that their first name began with. After they finished learning more about that letter, I had them go on any activity they wanted on Starfall.
*We went over our home row keys on Microsoft Word and spelled different age appropriate spelling words (an, man, can, fan, ran, etc.). I was super impressed by how well everyone did on the spelling!
*We then went to the Starfall website. I allowed the students to choose whichever activities they wanted to do. A lot of the boys had a running competition on an activity that involves the tongue twister "Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers." At the end of the activity, it has you gather as many peppers into a jar as you can. The boys thought it would be fun to see who could get the most. Even the girls got into it!