Thursday, September 1, 2011

Creating a Mouse House!

No...not THAT kind of mouse house (although pet mice do generally make very good classroom pets)!  A house for the computer mouse, of course!  Recently, we've introduced a simple computer program for the children to try during small group time.  Have you ever seen the computer mouse travel across the table top and keep right on going since the children continue to move it in one direction as they are causing things to happen on the screen!? 


In reality, a touch screen would be the best possible idea for my classroom since many of the children in my room have difficulty understanding the relationship between the mouse movement and the action on the screen.  Given that a touch screen is not headed in our direction any time soon; I created a few other adaptations to assist the children with manipulating the mouse a bit.


First, we were provided with a small laptop mouse for the desktop computer.  Of course, an adapted "roller-ball mouse" would be even better...but, you take what you can get!  And this is better for the children to handle than a typical sized computer mouse. 


I attached a small foam sticker to the left click button so the children are able to easily click on the correct side.  Now came the fun part!  I used a $1.00 box from the Dollar section of Target for the actual mouse house.  I removed one of the short sides and used colored duct tape to cover the edges.  (I notice now, I may have to go in and add more tape just so it looks a bit better!)


I slid the cord for the mouse through the other handle and plugged it into the computer.  (Of course, wireless would be better...but, again, you take what you can get!)  I then used several strips of Velcro to attach the box to the table top.


Done.  Done.  And Done!  The mouse is now secure in it's little house and is only able to go so far on the table!  The children will be able to manipulate this within a defined area and view what happens on the screen!  So, while we wait for our touch screen computer... :) .... we will make use of our mouse house!

Grab the "How Long is this Hall" Button!

HowLongisthishall?!
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