Text, Shapes and Colors
When students have mastered the use of shapes tools in the PAINT program they are also accomplished in manipulation and control of the mouse, in navigation around the monitor screen, in clicking and double-clicking and they have even noticed and used the derivative menus system.
Now it is time to add letters and numbers to the mix! Also a good time to review the considerable number of vocabulary and computer terms the children have learned up to now: the mouse, cursor, monitor, screen, keyboard, drive, CD-ROM, icon, menu, scroll, highlight, double-click, etc.
Beginning to work with letters and numbers takes us into the wide vocabulary of the keyboard. As the focus switches from shapes to letters it’s exciting to see that shape drawing and coloring have become “second nature” to the children, it's so habitual that they no longer notice they’re using computer methods to do this stuff. Success!!
LETTERS AND NUMBERS
In the PAINT program the condition for making letters and numbers is set by clicking on the A task button, labeled 'Text' in the pop-up system.
To begin making text click on the A button and immediately draw a large box on the screen. This box will display with a dotted outline as shown and a flashing vertical cursor at the starting point of text entry. (At this point the text toolbar may be viewed and the font style and size altered.)
It's a good idea to pre-set certain opening conditions before the students begin .....
Begin the lesson by explaining the new vocabulary words which relate to the keys to be used; they are the SPACEBAR and the LETTER and NUMBER keys.
Tap the space bar two times then type an A, tap two more times then type a B, continue through the alphabet to the letter L. This is a sufficient keying challenge for kindergartners.
After admiring our typing practice computer skills along with letter recognition skills.
NUMBER RECOGNITION IS PRACTICED IN A SIMILAR FASHION.
The basic screen is now set up, you may want to save it at this point in its "untouched" condition before the various experiments described hereafter are visited upon it.
The joy of numbers is that there are so many recognition (plus computer skills) exercises to be concocted with simply a screen full of them!
Instructions for the first example below are:
The second example demonstrates computer coloring skills, instructions this time are:
Further numbers selection criteria could be -
EXTRA STEPSIn a final farewell to shapes offer students "free" drawing time with the conditions that each drawing must contain at least four black straight lines, two yellow boxes and three green ellipses (first example below}.
Then turn the offer around, put the students in charge by encouraging free drawing and asking each artist to describe the criteria used after the drawing is finished. In the second example below I am told by the artist that the compulsory contents are one purple box, three purple ellipses, thirteen lines and a bunch of other stuff.
Again my thanks go to my friend Anders, for his art work and continued inspiration.