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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