Monday, October 10, 2011

This Week in the Preschool Computer Lab: Animals!

Age: 4 Year Olds (Pre-K)
Themes/Topics: Animals on the Farm

Make It! Make "Your Wild Self" and print out your creation.
Share It! Bring home printed copies of your creations to share with parents.
Solve It! Decide which animal parts to include on your wild self. Why did you choose the parts you did?
Protect It! Follow the teacher's directions and only go to the site that you are supposed to visit.
Use It! Double-click to open the file; use scrollbars to see all choices.

Websites / Software: Build Your Wild Self! by New York Zoos and Aquarium

Once again this week we begin our lesson on the carpet with a review of computer lab rules and the parts of the computer. It's especially necessary this week since our students did not have computer lab last week due to conferences. We have been using the interactive whiteboard each week to find and sort out photos of one given computer part each week. This week we will answer questions like "Which one is the keyboard?" I'll then model the activity we are doing today for the students, talking about some of the animal parts that we see.

At the computers, students will visit the website and create a wild self. The adults will circulate and read the names of the parts to students or answer their questions. Students will print a color version of the "wild self" at the end, which includes a description of each of the parts and how the animals use them. I'll encourage the teachers to discuss these further in the classroom, and encourage students to take it home and read it over with their parents.

Students with motor difficulties may use the touch screen to choose the animal parts. Alternatively, we could have an adult move the mouse while the student makes the selection using a switch. It's nice that the printed creation includes text explaining the picture so that nonverbal students' parents will understand what the activity was about. Severe / Profound students may do an activity with Intellikeys or a capability switch that deals with animals. Here are some examples:

Zoo Virtual Field Trip
Match the Farm Animal to His Home
Barn Scene

 What are you doing in the lab this week? How do you use technology to help teach about animals or farms?

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