K-12 Teaching and Learning From the UNC School of Education

LEARN NC was a program of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Education from 1997 – 2013. It provided lesson plans, professional development, and innovative web resources to support teachers, build community, and improve K-12 education in North Carolina. Learn NC is no longer supported by the School of Education – this is a historical archive of their website.

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Related pages

  • Computer alphabet: Students will use the computer to create, save, open and print a file called "ABCs." For each letter of the alphabet the student is expected to create a capital (using the shift key), a lowercase, insert a picture that begins with the corresponding letter, and press the spacebar before repeating this process for the remaining letters of the alphabet.
  • Keys on a keyboard: Kindergarten students learn five keys located on a computer keyboard: the space bar, the enter key, the shift keys, the number keys, and the letter keys. Each key is identified by the teacher and the children are asked to color the key or keys a particular color on their paper keyboard. Students are also asked to locate the letters that spell out their name on their keyboard.
  • Hello, friend!: Writing a friendly letter: Students will apply their knowledge of a friendly letter to compose a letter to send to their pen pals. Students will then type up their letters using the Kidspiration program.

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Learning outcomes

Students will reinforce reading, fine-motor, visual-motor and behavioral skills through concentration on individualized exercises designed to introduce and give students access to the school’s technological resources.

Teacher planning

Time required for lesson

55 minutes


  • Reading material specific to individual student ability and attending levels. For a Level IV classroom, this material is most useful if it is adult-oriented, pertaining to activities as written in the student’s Transition IEP (i.e., jobs and job-training, shopping, living independently, etc.)
  • Template of student’s personal information.

Technology resources

  • Access to computer with word-processing software and printer.
  • Adaptive keyboard or monitor equipment as needed.


  • Some knowledge of computers/keyboarding skills
  • Introduce reading material (story, word list, personal information, etc.) 1-3 days before computer use.
  • Have students practice specific, related words, phrases and/or sentences through class participation, small-group participation or individual instruction as needed.
  • Use reading material as “homework” to facilitate parent interaction in the practice of material.
  • Instruct students in the behaviors that are expected of them while using computers. (Frequent reiteration of the behavioral expectations may be necessary.)


  1. Students use reading booklets/lists/personal information as a reference while typing.
  2. Teacher assists with accessing word processor (if needed).
  3. Teacher assists with changing format (or applying adaptive equipment)if needed (i.e., size of letters if student has visual disabilities, etc.)
  4. Direction is repeated as to specific material to be typed, such as page numbers or specific lists from their reading material. Students should enter their name and the day’s date as part of the requirement for following directions. The entire process of “setting up” may need to be assisted according to students’ ability levels.
  5. Students are to enter material as directed, as teachers monitor (or instruct) basic word-processing skills (space-bar, enter, proper finger placement on keys, if appropriate, etc.).
  6. Students with limited fields of vision are to assist the teacher or assistant in the spelling and letters to enter for basic name recognition, etc.
  7. Direct students to compare material typed with template used for accuracy (if appropriate for functioning level).
  8. Students are to indicate when they are finished.
  9. Teacher assists with having material printed out for student’s concrete example of their work.


Assessment is by data taken according to student’s individual goals and objectives in their IEP. This may include:

  • Following directions
  • Attending to task (time referenced if needed)
  • Using appropriate social skills
  • Asking for help
  • Use of computer (as reading supplement)
  • Use of computer (as job skill)
  • Developing visual-motor skills
  • Increasing sight-word abilities
  • Functional academics--reading, spelling, etc.
  • Using/identifying personal information (job applications, etc.)

Supplemental information

Most of the material used in the Functional Academic area of the Trainable Mentally Disabled Level IV curriculum reflects areas of knowledge needed for independent living. This requires using academic material from various sources and with various levels. These are not always easy to find! There are several programs that have proven useful: Reading Power (Cass, Arco Publishing), Reading For Today (Steck-Vaughn Co.), My Job Application File (Janus Book Publishers), material from the Attainment Company, etc.


The use of very large and/or bold fonts has been found to be (successfully) helpful with many of the students, especially those with visual difficulties.

REMEMBER! The idea is to allow the students to experience an alternative in a reinforcement activity. Students can see their names at the top of the print-out and have concrete, visual feedback on the lesson being taught. These students are very proud of the results and enjoy taking the paper home to “show off”!

As in most activities involved with the Trainable Mentally Disabled curriculum, many different aspects of the major Goals and Objectives categories can be incorporated into this lesson, easily individualizing the data being taken.

  • North Carolina Essential Standards
    • Information and Technology Skills (2010)
      • Grade 2

        • 2.TT.1 Use technology tools and skills to reinforce classroom concepts and activities. 2.TT.1.1 Use a variety of technology tools to gather data and information (e.g., Web-based resources, e-books, online communication tools, etc.). 2.TT.1.2 Use a variety...

North Carolina curriculum alignment

Computer Technology Skills (2005)

Grade 2

  • Goal 2: The learner will demonstrate knowledge and skills in the use of computer and other technologies.
    • Objective 2.07: Identify and use correct finger placement for home row keys. Strand - Keyboard Utilization/Word Processing/Desk Top Publishing
    • Objective 2.08: Identify and use menu/tool bar features/functions in word processing documents. Strand - Keyboard Utilization/Word Processing/Desk Top Publishing