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Daily Classroom Special
Bits & Bytes: Using Software

About this Daily Classroom Special
Bits & Bytes combines technology objectives, activity ideas, web sites, and resources in an effort to make it easier for everyone to incorporate technology into their instruction. Bits & Bytes is maintained by Barbara Smith, Magnet Coordinator at Harvard Elementary, Houston (TX) and Teachers Network  web mentor. 

To the Bits & Bytes Directory


Start and exit programs as well as create, name, and save files.

Let students write and save stories in files they create either on the hard drive or on disk. Let younger students illustrate new or familiar stories and save those. Use them to create a class book.

Let students work in teams to train each other in starting and exiting programs. Make a graphic organizer for display in the room, showing which students can independently navigate through each software program.


Save and delete files, use menu options and commands, and work with more than one software application.

Let students work at the computer and take notes about what the menu options and commands do. Then have them write "how-to" manuals for reference.

Challenge the students to find as many methods as they can for a particular task (use pull-down menus, Help notes, manuals, etc). How many different ways can you print? How many ways are there to save something? Award prizes for students who do research and come up with methods that are new to you!

Show students how to make folders on their own disk, where they can save their computer work (e-mail, Internet addresses/URLs, photos they want to download, graphics they make).

Make a list of commands found under pull-down menus. Let students do a scavenger hunt, noting where they found each hunted item.

Assign a step-by-step picture using a graphics program. Have students use a different tool for each element of the picture. (Example: Make a table with rectangle tool. Color it brown using Fill With Color. Draw a fishbowl on the table with the Ellipse tool, then Magnify and draw a fish inside with the Line tool.)

Have students write a story with word processing software, then capture pictures from a program or the Internet for illustrations.

Website Pick Of The Day:
Semantic Rhyming Dictionary Enter a word, then find perfect rhymes, homophones, synonyms, semantic siblings, or related words. Spell check, search for pictures, find other words with same consonants. Has links to reference tools and thesaurus. Brings up quotations once you enter a word.


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