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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Thanks for the inputs so far, I really appreciate them...please don't hesitate to suggest more :)

Yoke :)
Hi,

I've got a few other typing websites on my ikeepbookmarks account. I'll be adding some of the other suggestions as I thought they were great.

D
How did you decide kids of this age needed to learn to type? How long are you asking them to type in one lesson? Keyboarding in the US is often introduced in second or third grade, earliest, and 10- to 15-minute sessions are adequate.
The end goal is typing to communicate, right? I'd cut the keyboarding lesson time and then give them opportunities to write. Encourage good typing, but don't require perfect form-- they say hunt-and-peck typing doesn't get in the way of learning to keyboard effectively.
Jane - This is a really interesting point about communication.

I think there are three tiers of typing. The first is being able to master the hand-eye coordination and memorization of key-letter placement. The second tier is typing already written text (research paper for example). The third and perhaps most difficult is typing on the fly without scripted text. The second and third tiers aren't just about the typing (hand-eye coordination and memorization). I think it's just as much about the students' literacy and language abilities.

I saw this when our district implemented a research paper requirement in grades 4-8. The students really were getting proficient with typing. It wasn't until they had to type their actual papers did I realize that they were having some difficulty efficiently typing what was already written. It was then did I begin to focus also on building their typing ability to real-word projects.

I sometimes wonder if our expectations of typing are really expectations of students' writing abilities. For me to type this post didn't just require knowledge of keyboarding but required me to be able to write and construct ideas – however off base they may be :) It'd be an interesting study (maybe already done) to correlate writing and typing abilities.
Having keyboard skills frees up students to work more freely and easily. My Year 5 students have about 12 minutes keyboarding first thing every morning. First few lessons are slow explicit teaching... then students move to BBC dance mat typing. Our school has TypeQuik (an Aussie program) and I also get the kids to go to Power Typing for a change.... I can vouch that if you are lucky enough to have a lab, and can choose a time inconvenient to other classes,(the same time every day to make it easy for the kids to get into routine) you will have success and kids who are keen and not bored. With short bursts daily, on interesting fast moving programs which give instant feedback, the students do well. After two terms most Year Five's are typing quite quickly and accurately, using the correct fingering. It's my third year of doing it this way... works well! (Thanks for the qwerty warriors suggestion from a contributor further down the list here... sounds like a great game for those who are pretty accurate already)
I assume that it is mandatory in your system for students to learn to touch type at a young age. I don't have any great programs to suggest, because I believe at ages 5 and 6 students can use this type of program to orientate themselves and when boredom sets in, perhaps be permitted to 'play' at touch typing on their own in a program. You will soon find out who likes to persevere and who is not ready for it. So perhaps the time alloted to this activity could be flexible to allow students who want to stay on to do so and for others to practise writing a sentence or two using their skills.

Even at this age boys differ girls in how they learn. What are your observations on this?

Good luck,
Inger
I would highly recommend Jump Start Typing and once they know how to type, allow them to create group stories to stimulate creativity!! Another fun site once they can type is TyperShark. It also expands their vocabulary. It is really hard. Yet another is DanceMat Typing (really good for little ones!!).
Good luck!
Karen Fiorillo
Middle School Technology Teacher
Thanks, I really appreciate your inputs ;)
I'm so glad you asked this question because I am a typing teacher of 4th and 5th grade students. I have been looking for ideas, comments, feedback about keyboarding. I'm a new member and have just discovered this month old discussion tonight. Is this still an open discussion or is it closed? It looks like no one has written for a while.
This discussion is open, but it's pretty much an old post...I posted this about a month ago...but I'm still looking for more ideas. I really appreciate everybody for replying my discussion :)
Hi,
I have a simple game my 4th graders like. I call it musical chairs. Here's how it goes. I often play music for them and say a letter 4x; they 'echo' the letter back 4x as they type it. Then I go on to the next letter - all in rhythm of course.

So, with musical chairs, I establish 3 typing criteria that all students have to do while I echo letters to them. Usually these 3 items are that they have to keep their wrists off the table, have to type the correct letter, and can not backspace.

I choose 6 students to start the game, and they get out of their seats and roam around the room, watching the seated students type. Meanwhile I'm playing the music and echoing letters to them. When a roaming student finds a seated student not doing one of the 3 items, the roaming student sits in the chair of the seated student, and the seated student gets up - now there's a new roaming student.

They really like this game. In the end, I ask how many students never had to get up - in other words, they were the students who were not found to be making mistakes. I acknowledge these students for their good typing.
Hi. Popcap's Typershark game is pretty cool. It has a diver in the water with sharks approaching him. The sharks have letters on them, and will 'die' if their letter is typed. So the kids are typing to save the diver.

It can be adjusted at a variety of typing skill levels.

Popcap tries to get you to buy the games, but you can play online for free at:

http://www.popcap.com/games/free/typershark

Have fun!

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