Early Childhood

Read here for ideas to help your child on the computer at home, and what we are doing in class this quarter.

Mouse Games for Young Children:

If your child has difficulty using the mouse, then here are some websites that have great games for mouse practice:

http://jacksonpollock.org/

Click on the picture to start on a blank page. Move the mouse to paint. Click the mouse to change colors. This is a website that we are using in class for most grade levels, so your child may already know what to do. Be careful – it’s quite addictive, even for adults! 🙂

http://www.headsprout.com/code/launchMA.cfm
This is a story that the children listen to and follow the instructions. It is important to have sound so they can hear what to do.

http://www.tvokids.com/framesets/bby.html?game=66

This ‘Bees and Honey’ site could be good for CDC or KG1 kids. It teaches moving the mouse to an object, clicking on an object, and dragging and dropping. It can be a little bit tricky as the objects are slowly moving.

http://www.learning.luton.gov.uk/l2g/custom/resources_ftp/netmedia_std/ks1/ict/mouse/index.htm 

Please note that a ‘single click’ is introduced in CDC. ‘Drag and drop’ is introduced for KG1 students, but some do require assistance with this. ‘Double click’ is not introduced until KG2, and some children are still working on this skill.

The above games might be fun for any child to play, even if they are already skilled at using the mouse! We have not necessarily played these games in class, so they will probably be brand new to your child.

Read on to find out what computer games we are currently playing in class…

KG2 – Let’s Go Read: An Ocean Adventure is our new game in KG2. In this game the students use their computer mouse skills to identify, match, sort and build letter blends and middle vowel sounds. Robbie the raccoon and Emily the squirrel are there to help guide the students for each activity. This program is also a test of patience for the students, as each mini-activity within the game has a lot of repetition, and children only progress to the next activity once they have mastered the previous one. The early reading skills of this program are very valuable, and there are a variety of books to read along the way in this adventure.

In this part of the game, students must build the blends, and 'feed' them to the puffer fish until they explode!

 How can I help my KG2 child at home?

This game is not available online unfortunately, but www.starfall.com has some excellent beginning reading activities for your child to enjoy at home. It is expected that KG2 students should all be able to track with the mouse correctly, point, click and drag. We have just introduced the ‘double-click’, and some students do require assistance to master this correctly.

KG1 – Let’s Go Read: An Island Adventure is the game we are playing now in KG1. Students are using the mouse skills of pointing, clicking, and dragging, to identify, match, and sort, beginning letter sounds. Robbie the raccoon, and Emily the squirrel help us on our adventure. 

We need to decide if the coconut Robbie is holding makes the 't' sound. If so, we click on the 'T' basket. If not, we click on the other basket.

 How can I help my KG1 child at home?

Can your child use the computer mouse correctly? Our game requires the students to track with the mouse across the screen, and to point and click to select items. The more difficult skill of ‘clicking and dragging’ the mouse is also used in this game. Some students require a little assistance for this. When observing your child at the computer, do they move the mouse in the correct direction that they want the cursor on the screen to move? This can be tricky for some children, but a little individual help at home could really improve their success and enjoyment in class!

CDC – Starfall and Winnie the Pooh

CDC students have come a very long way since the start of the year! Most of the students needed a lot of help to use the mouse, but now they have almost mastered the skills of pointing and clicking the left mouse button. Some children are beginning to make choices about which parts of a game they want to play, and to navigate www.starfall.com. We always start by choosing a letter on the ABC blocks page, but then students may choose a digital story from the ‘Learn to Read’ page. Zac the Rat is a favorite!

Part way through each session, students are given the option to change to the Winnie the Pooh game, where they have a blank picture to ‘paint’. (Sorry I cannot get clear screen shots from this program to post here).

How can I help at home?

It is not essential for CDC students to use at computer at home, they are still very young. But if they have an interest in doing so, and you have one you don’t mind them using, then it is a good idea to observe how they use the mouse. Sometimes it helps if an adult or older sibling can place a hand gently over the top of theirs, to guide them to click and move the mouse where appropriate. Allow the student to move and click the mouse independently whenever possible.

January 2011:

www.starfall.com

This site is fantastic for early reading skills. Check it out!

ABCs – fun for CDC and KG1

Learn to Read – great interactive stories for KG1 and KG2

It’s Fun to Read – some games with lots of reading, suitable for KG2 and Grade 1

As well, the rest of the links on the site are suitable for any age with a little adult assistance. The above grade levels are just a guideline, as every child is different.

Happy Reading!

Ms Morrison  morrisona@ask.edu.kw

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