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Bloom into EdTech: The Blog: July 2011

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Typing for Young Children: Dance Mat Typing

I firmly believe that typing is a necessary skill set that all children should achieve and think that it is never too early to start. Just how pre-writing and pre-drawing skills develop over time, typing should follow the same course. By second grade your students should begin to learn the correct placement of his hands on the keyboard.

I have used the  Dance Mat Typing Web site with my late first grade and second grade students for years. I understand that there are a lot of great typing programs out there-however,  I found this one to be very fun and exciting for the age group. It keeps them involved the entire time!

Grades: End of 1st grade- 2nd Grade

Class Time: Continuous

6. Technology Operations and Concepts
Students demonstrate a sound understanding of technology concepts, systems, and operations. Students:
a. understand and use technology systems.
b. select and use applications effectively and productively.
c. troubleshoot systems and applications.
d. transfer current knowledge to learning of new technologies.

Prep: If you have headphones handy, get them ready for use with this FREE program! It's fun- but has a lot of interactive sounds and music.

1. Introduce typing to your second grade computer class. Use the PowerPoint as your guide. Discuss Homerow keys and proper placement of his fingers and body position.
2. Introduce and demonstrate Dance Mat Typing Web site.
3. Allow the students to explore the typing program. Complete Level 1. Each Level has 3 stages. Some students may type faster than others. Allow those students to move onto level 2.

Tips & Suggestions:
  • After this program is introduced, use as a warm up in the beginning of each computer class.
  • Makes a great "filler" for in-between projects!

I generally do not count words per minute or errors when it comes to teaching young children how to type. I suggest grading based on form, keeping their tiny hands on the home row keys and participation. Each typing lesson starts out with 10 points. I simply deduct a point each time I find a student not following directions. And yes, I watch them like a hawk!

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Saturday, July 2, 2011

Introduction to the Letters on the Keyboard

Younger children who have just learned their ABC's in order, may have a hard time understanding, let alone memorizing the QWERTY Keyboard. This lesson is a fun way to learn basic keyboarding skills while revisiting the letters of the alphabet. At this age, you only want them to be comfortable at the keyboard- they soon will be proficient typists!

For Grades: preschool-first grade

Class time: 1 Class

NETS Standards

"6. Technology Operations and Concepts
Students demonstrate a sound understanding of technology concepts, systems, and operations."



Prep: Print out and place the letters in QWERTY order on the floor in your computer lab. If you have tight space, a hallway would suffice. I would also suggest laminating the QWERTY letters.

1. Discuss the Keyboard while students are sitting at their seats. Point out that the letters are NOT in alphabetical order. If you have a child keyboard with different colored keys- use this to your advantage!

Ask: "Why do you think the letters are out of order?" {used to slow down typists} "Can you pretend to type the letters in your name?" Allow time for exploration and to ask you questions.

2. Have your students follow you over to the LARGE printed out keyboard and assign each student a letter of the alphabet. Please Note: depending on the size of your class, some children may have two. ****

3. Call the alphabet in order allowing each of the students to find their assigned letter. Once found they should stand on his or her assigned letter exactly where it sits in the QWERTY keyboard. Continue until all the letters are called.

4. Wrap up= Answer any remanding questions and collect all materials. Reinforce that the letters on the keyboard are not in order.

**** If you are teaching a really small group of children, or fear that they will not remember their assigned letter, you may have them raise his or her hand to find the corresponding letter and then return to his or her original seat once found. Optional: you can type each individual letter and project it on your electronic whiteboard to help with letter recognition.

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