Category: Keyboarding

Tech Ed Resources for your Class–K-8 Keyboard Curriculum

I get a lot of questions from readers about what tech ed resources I use in my classroom so I’m going to take a few days this summer to review them with you. Some are edited and/or written by members of the Ask a Tech Teacher crew. Others, by tech teachers who work with the same publisher I do. All of them, I’ve found well-suited to the task of scaling and differentiating tech skills for age groups, scaffolding learning year-to-year, taking into account the perspectives and norms of all stakeholders, with appropriate metrics to know learning is organic and granular.

Today: K-8 Keyboard Curriculum

Overview

K-8 Keyboard Curriculum (four options plus one)–teacher handbook, student workbooks, and help for homeschoolers

2-Volume Ultimate Guide to Keyboardingkeyboarding

K-5 (237 pages) and Middle School (80 pages), 100 images, 7 assessments

K-5–print/digital; Middle School–digital delivery only

Aligned with Student workbooks

Student workbooks sold separately

__________________________________________________________________________

1-Volume Essential Guide to K-8 Keyboarding

120 pages, dozens of images, 6 assessments

Great value!

Delivered print or digital

Doesn’t include: Student workbooks

(more…)

When is Typing Faster Than Handwriting?

Most elementary-age students struggle with typing. This doesn’t surprise me. They’ve been handwriting since kindergarten. They’re proud of their new cursive skills. It’s easy to grab a pencil. Typing requires setting up their posture, hand position, trying to remember where all those pesky keys are (why aren’t they just alphabetized? Discuss that with students).

In third grade, we chat about why they learn to keyboard when they can already handwrite–faster. The discussion eventually ends up with a comparison of handwriting and keyboarding:scientific method

  • Discuss whether students handwrite faster/slower than they type. You are likely to get opinions on both sides of this discussion. If not, prod students with logic for both.
  • When it’s clear the class is divided on this subject (or not–that’s fine too), run an experiment to see which is faster—handwriting or typing.
  • Circle back to science class and engage in a discussion on the Scientific Method. Develop a hypothesis for this class research, something like: Third grade students in Mr. X’s class can handwrite faster than they type (this is the most common opinion in my classes).
  • Have students hand-copy the typing quiz they took earlier in the trimester for 3 minutes.
  • Analyze the results: Compare their handwriting speed to their typing speed. I encourage an individual comparison as well as a class average comparison to help with understanding the conclusion.
  • Discuss results: Why do students think some students typed faster and others typed slower? (In my classes, third graders typed approx. 10 wpm and handwrote approx. 15 wpm. Discussion was heated and enthusiastic on reasons. Especially valuable were the thoughts of those rare students who typed faster).
  • Students will offer lots of reasons for slower typing (they’re new to typing, don’t do it much in class, their hands got off on the keyboard). In truth, the logistics of typing make it the hands-down winner once key placement is secured. Fingers on a keyboard are significantly faster than the moving pencil.
  • One reason students suggest is that they don’t usually type from copy. Key in on this reason (quite valid, I think—don’t you?) and revise the experiment to have students type and handwrite from a prompt.
  • What is the final conclusion?
  • If possible, share results from 4-8th. What grade level do students consistently type faster than they handwrite? Why? Are students surprised by the answer?
  • Post a list on the wall of students who type faster than they handwrite. This surprises everyone.

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6 Ways to Make Classroom Typing Fun

learn keyboarding

When you teach typing, the goal isn’t speed and accuracy. The goal is that students type well enough that it doesn’t disrupt their thinking.

Let me say that again:

The goal of keyboarding is students type well enough that it doesn’t disrupt their thinking.

Much like breathing takes no thought and playing a piano is automatic (for some), students must be able to think while they type, fingers automatically moving to the keys that record their thoughts. Searching for key placement shouldn’t interfere with how they develop a sentence. Sure, it does when students are just starting, but by third grade students should be comfortable enough with key placement to be working on speed.

To type as fast as the speed of thought isn’t as difficult as it sounds. For students in school, ‘speed of thought’ refers to how fast they develop ideas that will be recorded. 20 wpm means they know most key placements by touch. 30 wpm is the low end of not interfering with thinking. 45 wpm is good.

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keyboarding stasges

Exercises to Strengthen Fingers for Keyboarding

Here are basic exercises that will strengthen fingers for keyboarding. Pick those that work best for your student group. Some are great for Kindergartners, others for olders:

  • Warming up Fingers
    Before exercising in the gym, you warm up. Typing is a workout for the fingers. Lay your hand flat on a table (or book) with all fingers touching. Spread your fingers apart as far as possible and hold for three seconds. Close fingers together. Repeat this exercise 10 times.

finger exercises

  • Stretching Fingers
    Stretching fingers is just as important as warming up the muscles of the hand. To stretch your finger muscles, hold your hands facing each other. Touch the thumb from your right hand to the thumb of your left hand. Touch the first finger on your right hand to the first finger on the left hand. Repeat until all fingers are touching.

finger exercises

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Keyboarding Basics Part 2

Keyboarding is a topic that most parents want their children to learn and many schools don’t have time to teach. Of all topics on Ask a Tech Teacher, keyboarding articles are the most visited. If you’re looking for a curriculum for your K-8 classes, here are two popular ones we offer:

The Essential Guide-a thorough K-8 curricula intended for schools that allot about 45 minutes a week to tech classes

The Ultimate Guide–a K-5 or MS comprehensive deep dive into keyboarding (optional student workbooks available)

If you’re looking for an overview, stick around! We are taking two weeks–two articles–to answer the questions that should help you as a teacher or administrator decide what type of keyboarding program is best for your school.

Week 1 (click for prior lesson)

  • Why learn keyboarding?
  • What is the best age to start teaching keyboarding?
  • How important is teacher knowledge of teaching keyboarding or can anyone teach it?

Week 2 (this article)

  • What is the best way to teach keyboarding?
  • What is the correct body position?
  • What about keyboarding homework?
  • Questions you may have

***

Today, we focus on:

  • What is the best way to teach keyboarding?
  • What is the correct body position?
  • What about keyboarding homework?
  • Questions you may have

1 What is the best way to teach keyboarding

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50+ Websites on Keyboarding

Here are a wide variety of resources that teach keyboarding–from games to drills to everything in between:

  1. ABCYa–Keyboard challenge—grade level
  2. Alphabet rain game
  3. Alpha Quick–how quickly can a student type the alphabet?
  4. Barracuda game
  5. Big Brown Bear
  6. Bubbles game
  7. Digipuzzles–6 keyboarding practice games for youngers
  8. Edutyping–fee-based
  9. Free typing tutorlearn keyboarding
  10. GoodTyping.com
  11. KAZ–speed typing in 90 minutes
  12. Keyboard practice—quick start
  13. Keyboarding—more lessons
  14. NitroType
  15. TIPP 10
  16. Touch Typing Progressive Program
  17. Typaphone–make music while you type
  18. TypeDojo — word lists, 10-key, and more
  19. Typesy
  20. Typing Arena–lots of games to teach typing
  21. Typing Mentor
  22. Typing Pal
  23. Typing Tournament
  24. Typing.IO–typing code for practice

Graduated programs

For iPads

  1. Ghost Type
  2. Tap Fun Lite
  3. Tap Typing
  4. Typing Tournament–with teacher dashboard; includes games; fee
  5. Typetastic–also for computers

By row

Software

  1. Typesy

For Special Needs

Typing test

Lesson Plans

  1. 4 lesson plans–bundled
  2. Homeschool Keyboarding Kit
  3. K-5 Curriculum
  4. K-8 Curriculum
  5. Keyboarding and the Scientific Method
  6. Middle School Curriculum

Jacqui Murray has been teaching K-18 technology for 30 years. She is the editor/author of over a hundred tech ed resources including a K-12 technology curriculum, K-8 keyboard curriculum, K-8 Digital Citizenship curriculum. She is an adjunct professor in tech ed, Master Teacher, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice, freelance journalist on tech ed topics, and author of the tech thrillers, To Hunt a Sub and Twenty-four Days. You can find her resources at Structured Learning.

Keyboarding Basics Part 1

Keyboarding is a topic that most parents want their children to learn and many schools don’t have time to teach. Of all topics on Ask a Tech Teacher, keyboarding is the most visited. If you’re looking for a curriculum for your K-8 classes, here are two popular ones we offer:

The Essential Guide-a thorough K-8 curricula intended for schools that allot about 45 minutes a week to tech classes

The Ultimate Guide–a K-5 or MS comprehensive deep dive into keyboarding (optional student workbooks available)

We are taking the next two weeks–two articles–to answer the questions that should help you as a teacher or administrator decide what type of keyboarding program is best for your school.

Week 1 (this article)

  • Why learn keyboarding?
  • What is the best age to start teaching keyboarding?
  • How important is teacher knowledge of teaching keyboarding?

Week 2 (click when available)

  • What is the best way to teach keyboarding?
  • What is the correct body position?
  • What about keyboarding homework?
  • Questions you may have

(more…)

shortkeys

Tech Ed Resources for your Class–K-8 Keyboard Curriculum

I get a lot of questions from readers about what tech ed resources I use in my classroom so I’m going to take a few days this summer to review them with you. Some are edited and/or written by members of the Ask a Tech Teacher crew. Others, by tech teachers who work with the same publisher I do. All of them, I’ve found well-suited to the task of scaling and differentiating tech skills for age groups, scaffolding learning year-to-year, taking into account the perspectives and norms of all stakeholders, with appropriate metrics to know learning is organic and granular.

Today: K-8 Keyboard Curriculum

Overview

K-8 Keyboard Curriculum (four options plus one)–teacher handbook, student workbooks, companion videos, and help for homeschoolers

2-Volume Ultimate Guide to Keyboardingkeyboarding

K-5 (237 pages) and Middle School (80 pages), 100 images, 7 assessments

K-5–print/digital; Middle School–digital delivery only

Aligned with Student workbooks and student videos (free with licensed set of student workbooks)

Student workbooks sold separately

__________________________________________________________________________

1-Volume Essential Guide to K-8 Keyboarding

120 pages, dozens of images, 6 assessments

Great value!

Delivered print or digital

Doesn’t include: Student workbooks

(more…)