Over the last few weeks, the K5 students have been studying the five sense so I thought it would be a good idea to have them make a poster in Tux Paint, about the five sense. Tux Paint is free drawing software that can be downloaded for free and we have installed on all school machines. I use it a lot in kindergarten to develop hand eye coordination.
The problem that I saw was that there was no way I could get them to finish a whole poster in 30 minutes. So I decided to be a bit more ambition and with the help of the PE teacher, managed to get them for a whole hour. This gave us lots of time to make our posters just right!
The students did all of this by themselves, all of the typing and drawing is all theirs. The students got extensive practice with the text tool and became a little more familiar with the keyboard. You can see one of the students results below.
This week I worked with the K5 Bears, next week I will work with the K5 Penguins for an hour and they will also have their own posters to display. Here is a collection of the work, by next week K5 Penguins work should be in there too.
K5 have been learning about celebrations so in ICT class I had them draw their favourite celebration. An overwhelming majority loved Easter but I’d have to say my favourite celebration is Christmas.
The student are learning to refine their fine motor skills and develop hand eye co-ordination through the use of the trackpad and typing their own name. The students made the drawings on Tux Paint which is a free download for Mac or PC so you can install it on your own computer and let your children draw to their hearts content. Letting your child use technology at home will give them confidence in class and allow them to develop their hand eye co-ordination and fine motor skills. Here is their work from this week, if you enjoyed it leave a comment of encouragement!
The youngest class I teacher is a K4 class which means I have students that are 3 turning 4 and I have to teacher them ICT lessons. I’m not going to lie, it’s very challenging but it’s also very rewarding. The students are adorable and they love the lessons, it’s so an incredible feeling to see how excited they know they have a lesson.
The first lesson I have with them is always my most exciting because a lot of the students are using a computer for the first time. It’s such an honor for me to be the one that introduces them to their first experience with a computer.
I have one 30 minute lesson every week with them and in the first few lessons we review the rules and procedures of the computers a lot. We also learn the names of the parts of the computer and we learn which fingers we much use on the trackpad. Here they are demonstrating their ‘pointer fingers’.
The first few lessons we do a lot of games that help develop trackpad skills like moving the cursor, clicking, click and dragging, etc. In today’s lesson I integrated technology into the units they are doing in class which is what I like to try and do. The topic K4 are currently covering is ‘Family and Friends’. So I asked them to draw me a picture of their family. It was rather challenging having to click and hold while they made drawings and a lot of students ran out of room, but I’m confident by the end of the year they will be able to master these skills. The students used software called Tux Paint which is free on Mac and PC, you can download it here and install it on your computer for free. Letting your child use technology at home will give them confidence in class and allow them to develop their hand eye co-ordination and fine motor skills. Here is their work from today, some didn’t have time to finish but I’m sure they will have something to share by the end of the year.
After students had completed the drawing, they had some time to explore on some iPod Touches. One of my students was showing me how to use it, she told me she has one at home. It’s amazing to see them pick up technology and be so comfortable with it!
Kindergarten have been having a great time on their new Macbooks this year. K4 have especially been having a blast, with myself have the honor of allow some students to use a computer for the first time in their life which was quite a trill for me and the students.
My main objective for the first few months of a student using a computer is to develop the fine motor skills and hand/eye coordination between their finger on the trackpad and their cursor on their screen. So to develop this, we do a lot of basic websites that require the students to move their mouse, click, double click, drag, etc. As we well doing a lot of drawing on the computer to link their learning back to the topic they are covering in class.
There are many options for drawing software, with some great examples popping up online (I have a large list here www.delicious.com/misternorris/drawing), as well as paid software, but I have found what works best for our needs is Tux Paint (www.tuxpaint.org) which is an open source drawing software, especially designed for children. It’s also cross platform, so it can be used on Mac and PC and can be downloaded for free at their site.
So if you would like to develop their children hand/eye coordination, entertain them and introduce them to computer use at home, download Tux Paint for free, they should slowly get to know their way around and will have a great time doing so with the supervision of their parents.
The portfolio of Mitch Norris
International, ICT educator and Apple Distinguished Educator.