There are many important key combinations to know about when working on the computer. One of those key combinations that I teach to the youngest students (PreK, Kindy, First) right away at the beginning of the school year is ctrl+alt+del. They must use this tricky combination to log onto our school computers. The students practice pressing the keys on a keyboard that isn't connected to a computer before moving to their workstation to try on the real thing. I also stress that they make a V with the fingers on their left hand and use the pointer finger on their right hand to press the keys. I show this picture up on the wall as a reference:

Several years ago, I came across these cute USB hamster wheels at iwantoneofthose.com. I purchased 3 of them, we named them Control, Alt, and Delete, and they became our first Computer Lab pets. When they are turned on, they hamsters run in their wheel as the students type. The faster they type, the faster the hamsters run. Great incentive! Sadly, I don't believe they are available any longer.

The middle grades students (3rd, 4th, 5th) practice the all-important skills of cut, copy, and paste. There are multiple ways of accomplishing these tasks. Using the menus/ribbon, using the right-click menu, or using keyboard shortcuts. To help the students remember the keyboard shortcuts, we came up with little tricks. For example, the X in Ctrl+X for cut reminds us of a pair of scissors. The V in Ctrl+V for paste reminds us of the tip of a glue bottle. When I teach this lesson I wear this t-shirt:

I wanted to put posters on the walls of the Computer Lab that showed the keyboard shortcuts. As I looked around the room, I realized that the students would have a hard time seeing anything at eye level on the walls because the monitors got in the way. In order for the students to see them, I would need to put them really high on the wall. That looked ridiculous, so instead I pinned them to the ceiling tiles. What else are we going to put on the ceiling? Now all students have to do if they can't remember is simply look up!


  1. Where did you find the clipart for your shirt? I am making a set of student resource cards and would like to include something like this:)

  2. Mrs. D the shirt in the picture is from woot.com. I bought it a year or two ago, so I'm not sure if you can get it anymore. I thought it was perfect for a Computer Teacher!

  3. Mrs D the shirt is still available at woot.com