Welcome back to all our returning families and welcome to NES to all our new friends!
If your student is new to our school, you may have noticed that we use technology as a learning tool here at NES. We are fortunate to have an amazing computer lab that all classes visit once a week, several carts of laptops and Chromebooks to share as well as desktops in many of the classrooms and a new iPad cart! Especially if your student is in kindergarten or 1st grade, you may want to work with them on some of the basics of using a computer. In the computer lab, we focus on mouse skills and navigation skills during the month of September.
Mouse skills refers to the ability to manipulate the computer mouse to control the cursor on the computer monitor and to make choices by clicking items. Kindergarten students are taught to hold the mouse so that its "tail" or cord is pointing to the screen and to click the button using their pointer finger. We have painted a green dot on our left mouse buttons to help students make sure they are clicking the correct button.
The following are some great websites and games to help reinforce good mouse control:
Navigating the computer is another focus of September, in the early grades especially. This refers to the ability to open and close a browser or other program, using the back button to return to the previous page, and troubleshooting basic problems such as how to deal with ads or how to get back to the list of games easily. We also teach students how to use the headphones safely and properly during September.
In the computer lab, we have created a desktop shortcut to a "landing page" containing the links for a variety of games. This helps to limit how much typing and clicking the students have to do in order to find the assigned games for the day's lesson. In kindergarten, we use a web tool called Symbaloo to create our landing page; check our kindergarten page out HERE. Each little, colored tile can easily be changed and updated to link to any website or game we choose to provide access to. This "landing page" idea may be a useful trick you could use on your home computer.
I hope these tips and resources help to provide a bridge between the technology we have here at the school and the technology you may have available at home!