There are many times in the year that students write stories and publish them by writing in the neatest handwriting on special or just neat paper. However, there are a few special occasions where publishing on a computer would on do.
In those times, its more than just sitting a student down at a computer and saying go. There are so many questions about formatting and so many exciting things that some students know how to do with the program that other students want to learn how to do.
To start, I have the students practice sitting on their hand (or hands on their lap). Its amazing how difficult it is for students to not touch a computer that is sitting right in front of them. When I ask for attention, they will put one hand on their lap and the other on the computer. However, it is important that they can listen closely to direction and instructions before they begin working. They understand more of what to do and are better equipped at figuring it out on their own. It is also better for you for them to listen completely otherwise, you will be running around answering questions about how to move word over, make it bigger, add a line, etc. the entire time.
The Common Core Standards state that students at this age should be able to type about one page at a time. If students are distracted by all of the cool stuff, they will not.
After I have student's attention, I show them on my document camera how to save, where to save, and what to save it as. This is definitely the first step to making sure no one's time is wasted when you can't find their work later.
After each tip that I model, I guide students through it again, answering questions while they do it on their own.
A few other tips I give is to just type all of their words out and format the words later. Formatting is such a time waster. Sometimes, students think that because their writing is double spaced, that they have to press the enter key at the end of the line on the screen, or worse the word that was last on the line in their handwritten story. Again, a time waster when you format it for printing.
Finally, another important tip is to show them how to undo something. Because inevitably, students will play around and something will happen before you can help fix the problem. Undo usually solves it.
I tell the students to save often and begin typing.