Computer hardware / keyboard shortcuts / problem solving / Tech Tips

Tech Tip #46: The Easiest Way to Explain Right and Left to (Little) Kids

As a working technology teacher, I get hundreds of questions from parents about their home computers, how to do stuff, how to solve problems. Each Tuesday, I’ll share one of those with you. They’re always brief and always focused. Enjoy!

Q: I teach kindergarten. They don’t always understand the difference between left and right.

A: There are two times kids get confused about right and left when I’m teaching:

  • right mouse button
  • clicking in front of a spot (to edit, use the tab key, format–stuff like that)

I’ve found an easy way to clarify. Here’s an example:

“Right click with your mouse”

Student promptly clicks with their left mouse. I know–doesn’t make sense. It does to them. They’re happy to focus on the right hand and have no idea they need to go one level further.

“The other right.”

Always works. And, they don’t feel stupid (which they aren’t). They remember it.

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Jacqui Murray has been teaching K-8 technology for 15 years. She is the editor of a K-8 technology curriculumK-8 keyboard curriculumK-8 Digital Citizenship curriculum, and creator of technology training books for how to integrate technology in education. She is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy. She is webmaster for six blogs, CSG Master Teacher, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, Editorial Review Board member for Journal for Computing TeachersCisco guest blogger, a columnist for Examiner.com, featured blogger for Technology in EducationIMS tech expert, and a monthly contributor to TeachHUB. Currently, she’s editing a techno-thriller that should be out to publishers next summer. Contact Jacqui at her writing office or her tech lab, Ask a Tech Teacher.

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3 thoughts on “Tech Tip #46: The Easiest Way to Explain Right and Left to (Little) Kids

  1. What I have done in the past with younger students is to put a small sticker on the left button. Then I tell them to click with the sticker button. It works really well at the beginning of the school year before they get left and right figured out.

  2. Pingback: Your Questions About

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