Computer Skills (Technology) with Mrs. Branch
We are working on our mouse skills and learning how to navigate on the desktop and within a program.  We are learning the difference between a right click and a left click and how to open and close windows.  This works well with the development of fine and gross motor skills that students are working on in their classrooms.  We are also working on reinforcing reading readiness skills and numeracy by using learning games on sites like ABCYa, Sheppard Software, Soft Schools,Kid Pix and PBSkids.
First Grade
In First Grade we have our mouse skills set, and are able to navigate within and between programs.  We are working on typing words and sentences, as well as reinforcing our math and reading skills.  We are using learning games found on sites like, ABCYa, Sheppard Software, Soft Schools, Kid Pix and Kidspiration.  We are still developing our fine and gross motor skills and continue to work on navigation within and between programs.  Some interesting things we do are: drawing on the computer using KidPix, making Word Search puzzles using ABCYa, creating story boards using Raz Kids and Kidspiration, inserting pictures using Kidspiration and Microsoft Word.  
Second Grade
In Second Grade we begin working on our keyboarding skills.  It is important to get students working on these skills early, before they develop bad habits.  Sitting up straight with hands on the home row and eyes on the screen is a constant reminder.  We are using a program called Typing Club..  I have also started using How to  Both programs are fantastic to develop the skill of keyboarding, but without constant practice the skill of keyboarding is difficult to master.  I would encourage parents to have students keyboard daily using the same level and repeating it 2-3 times. That's all.  It would take approximately 6 minutes.  The site can be easily found by Googling Typing Club.  Your child will be able to log in using their own account. Keyboarding really is a hand-eye coordination. I explain to students that keyboarding is a skill like hitting a baseball or putting a puck in the net.  Check out this video to see how: Muscle Memory Video Here. We also begin working with Google Docs, and Gmail.  We extend the navigation of programs to the point of logging in and out of our network using our passwords and user names as well as in and out of our Google Docs and Gmail.
Third Grade
In Third Grade we continue the lessons in Keyboarding using Typing Club and HOW TO TYPE.  This is the grade where I expect students to really hone their keyboarding skills. Again, I encourage students to work at home as often as possible.  Each level is two or three lines long and takes less than 5 minutes to do. (See the site in yellow above to see how "muscle memory" impacts learning this skill.)  I would encourage parents to have students keyboard daily using the same level and repeating it 3 times.  The site can be easily found by Googling Typing Club.  Your child will be able to log in using their own account. We also start using Slides and sharing documents with other students, as well as continuing to learn how to use our Gmail accounts.
Fourth Grade
In Fourth Grade we try to refine keyboarding skills by increasing speed.  This is the level where typed documents become more important and the skill of keyboarding is a necessity. We use Google Docs, Gmail, and Slides, and review keyboarding skills and try to build speed through timings.  We spend more time with inserting pictures and saving pictures and documents to the appropriate drives so we can find them again later.  We also spend time with file organization for our files using folders and sub-folders.
Fifth Grade
In Fifth Grade we try to focus on skills needed in Middle School.  We work on documents, presentations, and merging slides for presentations.  We also try Google Sheets for the first time at this level.  When students leave the Fifth Grade they should be able to complete full page assignments with efficiency and a keyboarding speed of approximately 20 words per minute.  Students should be able to organize files, save work to the appropriate drives, and cite sources.  They should also be able to create Microsoft Publisher documents and use photographs within their documents.  Finally, they should have a good understanding of how to use Google Docs and Slides and how to send and receive email and attachments as well as share documents with their teachers.