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Take heart, you can handle this.  I teach programming and applications to
8th through 12th grades.  Word processing, spreadsheets, and data bases
are definately a good creative way to go.  South Western has some good
print workbook type resources for project ideas to get you started.  I
would order one copy to see if you like it.  One of the best ways I have
found to work with these ideas is to talk to 7th and 8th grade teachers.
Ask what social studies and science units they cover and try to pull data
base ideas from there.  Spreadsheet ideas can come from social studies (my
kids responded well to using a spreadsheet to graph survey-type info) you
can then print and post the graphs.  Talking to English teachers can get
you lots of ways to coordinate in the Word processing/Desk Top Publishing
area.  My students were working on a poetry book for their English class,
we coordinated an I taught them how to use our Desk top publisher to
"publish" their poems to make their book.  Desk Top publishing was a major
hit by the way.  One more thing you might want to try is LOGO.  LOGO is a
programming language (don't get scared) that is graphic oriented.  We use
LOGO Writer (we have IBM compatibles).  It is simple to learn so that all
kids can find success yet it has a lot to offer your brighter students.  I
have had my students design houses, street scenes, butterflys, etc.  The
LOGO Writer authors provide a LOT of print support material.  (a very nice
selection of Activity Cards as well).  I have taught "computer" for 11
years, feel free to write during the school year if you want to discuss

Judith Conway
Caravel Academy
Bear, DE
Computer Instructor

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