Key Components for Keyboarding Success!
- Pick your moment. Little kids may not have the coordination or hand size for true touch typing. Focus on activities like typing site words that can help them learn the keyboard while practicing other valuable skills. Give them frequent, relevant work that includes typing and you won't have to "teach typing" every year. By 5th grade students need to write more. 5th grade is a great time for an immersive touch-typing program!
- Cover the keys. Students won't effectively build their "mental map" of the keyboard if they can just look at it. Keyboard covers are one way, but you can also use boxer shorts (new ones); they put their hands up the legs)! This works great on laptops.
- Track progress. Some apps do this for you, but you can also use a free tool like typingtest.com and a Google form for students to submit their results.
- Incentivize growth. Even the best keyboarding program is kinda boring. Offer incentives to keep kids focused on improving their skills.
- Schedule for immersion. Typing is all about practice. You'll have better results with frequent practice, and at some point your students will reach their limits. 15-20 minute practice sessions, 2-3 sessions per week, for 1 trimester, will yield better results than 1 session a week for a whole year. Progress tracking will help you see when growth is slowing!
Typing.com - keyboarding plus tech literacy, coding, and digital citizenship
TypingClub.com - variety of courses (little and big kids), good teacher dashboard
All the right type - classic typing course
BBC Dance Mat Typing - silly and fun for little kids
Keybr - super simple, free app
TapTyping - Typing trainer for iPad
Keyboarding without Tears - program for computer readiness, keyboarding, digital citizenship, and more