Computer Class!

I thought it was time to give ya'll a little update about how my computer teaching job is going. In a nutshell, I love it! I still really miss being in a regular classroom with my very own group of students to love, but teaching every kid in the whole school definitely has it's perks. If I ever walk into the lunch room while the kids are eating, I feel like a celebrity with everyone yelling my name and waving to me. Same goes when I pass classes walking down the hall. Overall, I love my job in the computer lab!

So, what have we been doing in computers? A whole lot of keyboarding techniques, internet safety lessons, Google Apps, and some fun writing projects. Today I'm going to share 3 things I've found great success with.

1. Power Position

One of my pet peeves is when I have kids sitting in their computer chairs incorrectly. I see them come in, kneel up on their chairs, sit with their chairs crooked or tangled with their neighbor's chair, etc… and it drives me bonkers! It's my job to teach them correct posture and somedays it's like they walk in and forget the correct way to sit in their chairs.

This year I finally started something that has made all the difference! It's called "Power Position" and we do this little cheer when my students come in and sit down in their chairs at the very beginning of class. Anytime I see anyone sitting with their feet up on the chairs or have their chairs scooted back, I just yell out, "Power Position" and they all straighten! Sometimes I can just privately walk up to individual students and remind them politely to sit in "Power Position!" It's worked wonders in my classroom!!

Here's how it goes:

(For younger kids, I usually just yell out the first three lines and stop there. I use all 5 lines with my 3rd-6th graders.)

Download the free printable HERE!

2. Home Row Chant

I'm trying to drill the importance of keeping your fingers on home row, but my kids have some really bad habits. It seems like whenever I turn my head, I see a handful of students picking at their keyboards again. 

I started using this chant with my students every day before we start typing as a reminder to keep their fingers on home row. I yell each line really loudly like an army cadence and then the students repeat each line after me.

(Sometimes I actually make my students type the letters as we say them, other times they just place their fingers over each letter. When we do the space bar, I have them click it twice with their thumbs on the "bump, bump" part.)

Download the free printable HERE!

3. Writing Projects

In October I had my group of students do a fun Halloween writing assignment. The project was adapted from one of my activities in my Halloween Writing Project book called Create-A-Story


I did this project with my 1st and 2nd graders and they turned out SO cute! First they brainstormed, then they typed, then they got to draw a picture on the bottom of their page. The kids were so proud of their work when they were done! As you can see from the picture above, I spiral-bound the pages together to make a book and gave it to their classroom teacher to keep in their class library for the students to read.

Now that it's November and I have a new batch of students, I am doing a Thankful Book. This one is based off of a product in my store called My Thankful Book.


I'm adapting this project so that my students are typing in PowerPoint. Each topic will be a new page. When they're done we'll have about an 8 page story that we can staple down the sides and they can take the books home to share with their families at Thanksgiving. 

Projects like these usually take 4 or 5 thirty minute class periods to complete. I'll introduce the project the first day and model how to get started, then they write for 2-3 days, and then the last day they finish, print, and can illustrate if they have time. I love doing these types of writing projects because not only are the students getting to practice their typing skills, but I'm also helping their classroom teachers with meeting some important writing standards! Win-win!

Does anyone have any specific questions about the way I run my computer lab? Would you be interested in the websites I use for Kindergarten or the Typing websites I use with my 3rd-6th graders? Do you have any questions about using Google Docs, Google Slides, or Google Classroom? Let me know in the comments what information you'd be interested in and I will try to answer them in future blog posts.

As always, thanks for reading and stopping by our blog! 


Yesenia said...

Great project ideas! I would love to know what programs you use. Kindergarten for my kiddies and 3rd for my son.

Toolboxsue said...

I teach computer skills to 3 yr olds all the way up to 7th grade. I am always looking for new ideas and would love anything you could send me. Thanks so much for the other info.

Sheryl Milne said...

Natalie do you come up with all the lessons or do teachers/grades tell you what they want you to teach? We have to tell them what we want but usually they show them different sites and I feel just play math games which is fun but I love your writing lessons!

Jennifer Kime said...

I am pretty much in charge of teaching my own computer classes. We do have access to the computer lab. We do keyboarding practice on What else do you teach them? Do you have some suggested activities on-line or software that would be good to order???

The Techie Teacher said...

You have the position of my DREAMS!! How much flexibility do you have with what and HOW you teach? I am an ITRT at four different elementary schools and I am going nuts trying to manage four staffs and having an inconsistent schedule. I would love for the kids to come to me each week! Do the teachers have to stay in the lab with you?

The Techie Teacher

Julia Moulton said...

The students in your school are fortunate to have this designated "computer time" starting in Kindergarten. This will benefit them in all subject areas. I love how you had the students create themed books that could be shared in their classrooms. What a great way to integrate technology with ELA!

The Meeks Family said...

I would love to know what you do with your kinder classes!

TammyD said...

I love your ideas and how you incorporate writing. I have a new assignment this year: I'll be teaching computers in 3 different buildings, 2-8 grades. The 2-4 grade assignment is the newly added on this year. My schedule with these young ones will be two classes at a time, every 4 school days. That will be approx. 50 students per class period. Any suggestions on lessons for large groups like this where they only come to my class once/4 days?
Then there's my 5th and 6th grade classes - they will come only once every 6 school days. This is a HUGE change for me from the way I've been teaching. Any help will be greatly appreciated.

Polina Krin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Polina Krin said...

No wonder the kids must love you! Surely, working in a computer lab with kids has its advantages, since computer is one of the things kids love most today. I admire the idea of not only giving the kids an opportunity to play on the computer but actually teaching them how to use modern devices for their own benefit. It’s just lovely, how much the kids are engaged in the learning process, when they take turn to yell out Power position they feel that they can control something and gives them confidence and motivation to do. Finally, it’s essential for the kids to able to work with computer at this early age, as later on they will need to find assignments writing service online to extend their knowledge gain.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...