Hello,

My Prep students (age 5-6 years old) get bored easily during Computer Lab time, where they learn how to type using the software called "Type To learn". I found out that even though it's very simple and combined with various typing games, the kids would easily feel bored and it doesn't seem to excite them. Can anybody please give some inputs, I'd be glad to hear from you guys

Thanks :)

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There are many online typing resources that you can use. After students complete their assignments, I let them choose from around 8 or 9 online typing programs. If they get bored with one, they can move on to another.

The most popular would have to be BBC's typing program. It's very animated and has lots of dancing and singing in there as well. There are many great websites out there.

I share these links with parents as well and many have told me that their children play these online games at home.

It's one way...I'm sure that others have other great ideas as well.
I remember trying a free online typing game over at popcap games - but it is likely too mature for 5-6 year olds.
http://www.popcap.com/games/free/typershark

Popcap designs entertainment, not educational software. Since it was designed with entertainment in mind, games like this could help motivate the students in conjunction with a more formal typing program. It certainly kept my attention:
I've been directing the kids to Super Hyper Spider Typing. It's fast paced and gets them in the competitive mood. Before that I used Fingerjig, simple but effective.
When I did a typing class the last few years with Grades 7 and 8 we'd sometimes zip over to typing games. One of my favorites (and theirs) was Qwerty Warriors. http://www.freewebarcade.com/game/qwerty-warriors/ It's a good typing lesson (it can get quite tough) but also has an arcade game feel to it.
Wow, I personally think 5 & 6 is too young to have extended keyboarding lessons. I only do small amounts of typing at this age and it's mostly things like their name or things that stress learning the letters and sounds, etc. rather than those that stress touch typing. The only things I try to start teaching at this age is the home row keys, using 2 hands for typing & using your thumb for the space bar.

My Kindergarten & 1st Grade students like key seeker - http://annrymer.com/keyseeker/ - I do something so that they know which is the purple hand and which is the green - stamps, stickers, bracelets made of pipe cleaners, etc. and then they "play" this for 5 minutes or so. We do this during the year to start teaching them to use 2 hands for typing. I don't stress proper fingers on this - just starting out in home row and then using the correct hand for each letter. Since they often don't even know right from left well yet starting them in home row and having the visual purple or green helps them to figure out which side of the keyboard they should be looking for the letter on.

They also enjoy the typing at http://www.growing.course.com/index.html for the appropriate grade level. And, my 1st graders really enjoy Super Hyper Spider Typer that was previously linked. My 1st graders also enjoy some of the games at http://www.freetypinggame.net/play.asp - lots of ads here though so turn on your pop-up blocker and ad blockers before going here. You can set the level of play and I just use the beginner & home row typically.

The attention span of the younger ones just isn't that long and to require that they type for any extended period of time will bore them and probably frustrate them too. Heck, it can frustrate my middle schoolers to have to just use a typing program for an entire class.
Is there any research out there about what is the age-appropriate time to start? Does anyone have a continuum of these skills? Just curious.
Yoke, I really congratulate you on teaching your kids to learn at this age. The ability to think at the same time as you type (which non-touch typists can't do) will stand them in good stead all their lives.

I learned at the age of 27, my excuse being that the computer typing tutor had only been invented that year. I discovered two things:
1. 10 minutes was my max concentration span, even with regular changes of exercise. At 5, I'm quite sure it wold have been shorter still.
2. Totally impossible to learn if you can see the letters on the keyboard. If you don't have blank keyboards, do what I did and build cardboard 'hutches' to sit over them. It's the only way I know to teach you to trust your fingers to know where to go.
With 5-6 year olds in the computer lab, we change activites every 10 minutes or so. Alternating with active moving, individual computer, and taking turns on the SMARTBoard (or even at the teacher's computer with projector) helps keep the class going.
Nimble fingers has exercises and we talk about not staying at the computer for long periods.
They enjoy the online Dance Mat Typing from BBC as mentioned above too.
Type to Learn, Jr teacher's edition manual has many off line large and small group activities to help students with letter recognition, right/left orientation, ect. They do not like any more than 10 minutes of TTL, Jr at one sitting.
I agree with others here about not starting small hands too early. This age is not ready and will turn them off to keyboarding. Type to Learn Jr shows red and purple keys, so we just encourage right side/left side of the keyboard.
Hi, I would say that they are too young to focus on keyboarding. Get them to do other computer activities using the mouse, with little keyboard input (if they do have to use keys, don't worry about correct fingers at this stage). I would not attempt taking a keyboarding class with young students till they were at least 8. For one thing, it is hard for their fingers to reach all the keys any younger. They don't have the concentration and if they have good reading skills it will be easier for them (being a bit older). There are lots of other activities (learning programs, online learning) kids can do in your lab time for the duration.

Marie

PS I have written a post on this: Keyboarding: a vital skill
In the post, there are some great guidelines suggested by Linda Starr for when, why and how.

Hope this is helpful.

Marie
I don't think they're too young too learn - IMO, just too young to have focused touch typing lessons. There are 5 year olds that don't even know all their letters yet and the I on the keyboard isn't like the "I" they're used to seeing so it can be hard for them to even find the letters let alone learn touch typing. Even my Kindergarteners like to play on the keyboards and love to spell out their names. But, IMO, they're young for focused lessons on touch typing.
Indigo, you may be impressed with our web stats..You can see the dashboard at http://areallydifferentplace.org/ The kids were impressed with the number of visitors +3500 and the number of countries 68! Not many people would care so, I thought you might. :)
Try Tux Typing. They will have a blast finding the letters while playing simple games. Any keyboard will work.
Free software for Windows. I've used it with my kids since they were 5 and even my college computer intro class thinks it's a blast.

http://tuxtype.sourceforge.net/

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