It all begins with the parts of a computer in my kindergarten technology class. My dilemma? Where do I begin? How do I teach parts of a computer and how to use them to forty squirmy, uncontrollable, and sometimes inconsolable tots? I remember student teaching 8 weeks in a kindergarten classroom…couldn’t get out of there quickly enough! I don’t connect with 5 year olds. I don’t get how they learn. I can’t keep them focused long enough to complete a task. But, I would not be discouraged.
My first thought was to begin teaching the QWERTY keyboard by re-purposing some dead keyboards…cords cut off, of course. Pretending to type didn’t equate to real interaction with a computer. The lesson was as defunct as the equipment. It didn’t take long before I realized that they MUST have interaction. As well intended and ingenious as it seemed at the time, re-purposed keyboards are NOT interactive nor do they give any kind of feedback.
Painful lesson learned…the best way for me to engage the minds of my kinder kiddos is to occupy their hands. Give them a task…they will play. Start with using input devices and find a fun way to do it.
Super Hyper Spider Typer solved my QWERTY quandary. Students learn in game format, and the interface is colorful and simple. There are 3 levels of difficulty, but kindergarten begins at the beginning…the Easy level. Cute little chameleons crawl across a tree branch in pursuit of a fuzzy spider climbing his way to safety. The task: type the letter seen on the chameleon to shrink him and return him to the tree. Save the spider…earn points and move up.
Their attention and eagerness to learn was secured by starting my instruction and demonstration on our ACTIVboard using the floating keyboard. More than a few students offered to assist at the board which led the way to an easy transition to computers for independent practice. Hunting and pecking at its funnest!
- Kindergarten…still not my forte’. However, it has become much more fun and productive at the beginning of every new kindergarten year. Click the hyper-linked image above, and enjoy learning with your class!