In Grades 4-5, we focus on increasing both accuracy and speed - so that in later middle grades, students are fluent in keyboarding and able to write proficiently, whether working on an essay or a computer program.
At our keyboarding portal at http://piratetype.weebly.com, we have provided several tools that students can utilize:
Keyboarding Online (Grades 2-8)
This site offers 1-2 minute lessons where students begin with common key combinations and then complete words and sentences. It measures speed in words per minute, and accuracy, and tracks students progress through a helpful reporting feature.
Keyboarding Without Tears (KWT) (Grades 2-4)
During this weekend's parent-teacher conferences, Grade 2-4 parents will receive an email with directions on allowing students to practice KWT at home. The program guides students through correct finger placement, requiring use of the home row keys. The kids have really enjoyed this new program in class.
When students practice at home, it is important for parents to watch for posture and finger placement. Our students are working on a few videos aimed at helping parents watch for these things. In the meantime, look for helpful links in this section.
It's great to take breaks from the tools above and play these games, but the games do not remind students to use the home row or sit correctly. Watch for hunting and pecking when the kids play typing games - that's the last thing we want to reinforce!
Keyboarding is more relevant than ever, with an increase of technology devices in academics and the workplace. There is hardly a vocation where proficient typing won't be important. And while students are introduced so early to technology tools, it's important to "head 'em off at the pass" and show them the right way to use the tool in the elementary grades. I'd love to get your perspective on this too, or any stories of how typing has been important in your everyday life.