Word Processing

Does Word Processing have a place in the computer lab?

Any tips or tricks to teaching word processing?
- I use everyday items (newsletters, menus, Ten Commandments)
- Students create their own school newsletter (fictional)
- Students learn how to create charts in word using the school menu
- Students learn bullets and numbering when retyping the Ten Commandments
- I teach students the following shortcut keys: ctrl c, ctrl v, ctrl z which they can use outside of Word processing
- I've been using this format as low as 1st grade regularly: double-clicking to open, click and drag to select, change size, color, font, assignment formatting with specific information (name, class, date, assignment),save to personal folder, find and open their files, insert shapes (then formatting shapes with resizing, rotating, and color) and create a picture of themselves using only shapes, insert clipart, shortcut keys for copy and paste, WordArt, spelling lists and find clipart to illustrate them, next is paragraphing in upper grades, and all grades developing various products (age-appropriate reports, flyers, etc)

At what age should Word Processing first be taught?
  • Second grade.
  • I have been doing it in 1st grade for several months and just last week tried kindergarten on it - they did great!

What are some suggested software/tools? For which age(s) are they most appropriate?

I have used web based programs like Study Island Middle School Technology, Teknimedia, Learning.com and Certiport -6-8th grade

Scholastic keys is a good elementary age layer for Microsoft Office.

In 7th & 8th grade, we are trending more and more away from Office and into internet-based resources, such as openoffice.org and Google's products. I hope the district does what necessary to allow everyone from 7-12 to have accounts.