You want to practice 10-15 minutes two to three times a week. Even for kindergartners. Choose a fun software program–whichever will keep their attention when they’re young. I use Type to Learn Jr. in my school until half-way through first grade, but there are other good ones. For the older children, I use Type to Learn. I have great results with it. Students are challenged, intrigued, motivated by the prizes and the levels.
Another option is online typing sites. Typingweb is good. It’s a graduated program that keeps track of your progress. If you’re picking an online program as an alternative to software, it’s important to log in so the software remembers what your child has accomplished. If you’re going to use online sites as part of an overall typing practice curriculum, here are some other good sites to try:
- Keyboard challenge—adapted to grade level http://www.abcya.com/keyboard.htm
- Keyboard practice—quick start http://www.keybr.com/
- Keyboarding Fingerjig—6 minute test of ability http://www.jonmiles.co.uk/fingerjig.php
- Keyboarding for Kids http://webinstituteforteachers.org/~gammakeys/Lesson/Lesson1.htm
- Keyboarding practice http://www.usspeller.com/keytutor.html
- Keyboarding—alphabet rain game http://www.powertyping.com/rain.shtml (more…)
Drawings are done in KidPix. Assign topics (me, my family, etc) for grades K-1 to reinforce the concept of following directions. With 2nd grade, use one picture for each of the parts of a story—characters, plot, setting, climax/resolution. Mix pictures and text. Younger students can show these to parents at Open House or a parent night using Windows slideshow function (something they can do without assistance after a bit of practice). Second graders can create a PowerPoint slideshow that will knock the socks off of their parents.
This is the first of about six projects in PowerPoint (see sidebar for more). Start with this one and build up to the last. (more…)