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>... Does anyone have any sources for ideas of what should be covered in a
>new Mac lc520 lab?  I'll be seeing about 700 kids in a year and have
>them for about 30 class periods each.

     Carrie: You have a tough road ahead, but everything is not hopeless!

     Try developing some creative writing prompts for them to use on their
word processor program (you need to learn it inside and out!)

     7th and 8th graders, like any other age kids can wear out (by that
I mean get tired quickly) software programs either on standalones or
networked systems. You can keep them going with clearcut expectations
of assignments involving the word processor. As you get better on the
computers you can incorporate database and spreadsheet lessons (probably
not until the second semester though).

     Don't worry, the kids will be a big help as you feel your way through
the first semester. I strongly advise that you really work hard on getting
them acquainted with the word processor (I start on day one in my Apple lab).

     I know you can do it... I threw the textbook away two years ago and
let the students really learn how to use the word processor, spreadsheet,
and database programs. If they finish the lessons for the day (and I
use differentiated lessons to help slower students) they can use any software
I have available (Print Shop, educational games, etc..).

     They are pretty enthusiastic and I reach out to the strengths
each students display and often use cooperative lessons (2 or 3 students
work together). I also work with teachers (science, English, reading,
etc.) and let the students substitute core subject homework typed on the
computers for the regular lesson (you have to supervise this carefully).

Good Luck!

Russell Smith
Computer Instructor

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