Keyboarding Class in Middle School
This is my third year to teach keyboarding to middle school students. I have probably not done a very good job at it really until this year. There was an emphasis put on teachers to be able to show growth and progress in our students this year. This made me reevaluate what I was doing with my students. I am happy to say that I’ve made definite progress in helping my students learn a valuable skill that will help them the rest of their lives. I’d like to share that experience with you here.
Type to Learn 3 Keyboarding Software
In my first year to teach keyboarding we used the old Type to Learn 3 software in my computer lab. I simply did what the previous teacher had done in this class. I showed the students a Powerpoint show about proper posture and arm, hand and leg placement. After that, I made them log into the software and get to work through the lessons at their own pace with their hands not covered while they typed. Obviously, the problem with this strategy is that it is too tempting to look down at their hands while working on their lessons on the software program. This caused the students to pick up bad habits of looking at the keys while typing and thus use whatever finger they wanted to type the needed key, Telling them to try to not look down at the keyboard was almost pointless for many of the students as most would look down. Only my most dedicated and mature students were able to work the lessons without looking down the whole time. I’d would say that a small percentage of my students actually learned how to type properly with my classes conducted this way.
Adults That Can Not Type
I felt as if I was doing a disservice to these kids for them not learning how to type properly as opposed to the hunt and peck method which I myself had relied on most of my life. I knew that I had talked my way out of switching into the typing class that was offered to me in high school. I was all lined up to take it and I convinced my guidance counselor to let me stay in my art class. I had a lot of fun in art class but in hindsight that was a mistake. I never learned to type properly. Now as an adult, here I am being in charge of teaching kids how to type. One thing is for certain, I can certainly tell them that they will regret not learning to type properly from my own experience. I have to type much better since taking the time to practice typing lessons in my lab class. I have gotten much better and I am excited about my new skills.
Keyboarding and Typing Poll
Type to Learn 4 from Sunburst
Teaching Kids to Type
Now in my third year with 6th graders in keyboarding class has changed for my students. First of all, the students start out from the beginning in not being allowed to look at their keyboards. We do this in my lab with the use of cut cardboard boxes placed over their hands from the very beginning. I place an emphasis on them not peeking under the box and learning to not worry about looking down. During the lessons, there is actually a keyboard diagram on the screen that they can look at to help them as needed. So from the beginning I stressed to the kids that they needed to learn how to type without looking down at the keys and it seems that the vast majority of my students have gone along with the program so to speak. I also began for the first time getting more involved with the kids by having them practice a new keystroke each day and logging into Microsoft Word as I called out letters and keys for them to practice. This got me more involved and actually being able to teach them as opposed to just monitoring them while they work. It has worked well. We also have worked away from the keyboard by taking the time to fill out a blank keyboard in order to show a knowledge of where the keys are on the keyboard. We have taken this numerous times for practice and will take it a final time for a grade for a final exam before they switch out of my class after the semester break after the holidays. After we practice together on Word, the students them log into their Type to Learn 4 account and work their way throught the lessons at their own pace. Students that finished all 34 lessons were instructed to go to www.typingweb.com and work the lessons found on that site, I really like that site and spent a lot of time working the lessons on that site myself. I serves as a nice change of pace for the kids and they seem to like having something new to work on.
The Alemna Method - Learn the Keyboard Keys
Another thing I did differently with the kids this year is I used a jingle to help them remember the keyboard. This was very helpful to them in their efforts to fill out the blank keyboard. I came across something called the Alemena Method while I was searching on Google to find better ways to teach keyboarding to middle school children. It turns out that this lady named Alemena came up with a method to remember the keys by using jingles. The row that has the Q, A, Z is remembered by saying the phrase “Quiet Aunt Zelda.” The next three letters W, S, X are remembered by the phrase “Want Something eXtra”. The next row for E, D, C is “Every Dollar Counts”. Do you get the idea? It was very helpful in getting the kids to learn the location of the keys. The Almena lady had a whole website and system in place that is available for purchase to learn to type, There is a program also just for schools. We did not buy it but I used her jingles and I found them helpful.
Almena Method Jingles
Well after one semester or half of a school year I can say that with the help of the Almena Method jingles, the practice on Word, hiding their hands from the start, Type to Learn 4 and www.typingweb.com, my students have learned to type quite well. I couldn't be more pleased with their hard work and progress. There are a few slackers but overall, the vast majority of my group of about 85 sixth graders have learned to type very well. I send my students out of the class this semester knowing I have served them well.
Terry Hoover (author) from Denham Springs, Louisiana on May 29, 2015:
Thanks for reading jandirk. I recommend the free lessons at typing.com which was formerly typing web.com.
JanDirk from Cape Town on May 29, 2015:
I'm currently learning to type and I too use the Alemena Method. It really helped me. I've also used "dance mat typing" as a start it's childish but really entertaining. You can go have a look at it at http://www.bbc.co.uk/guides/z3c6tfr#z2sjq6f maybe it's something the kids will enjoy at home to practise.
Terry Hoover (author) from Denham Springs, Louisiana on June 26, 2013:
Thank you so much Carly. I talked my way out of my typing class in high school and that was a big mistake. Typing is of utmost importance in the world we live in and I try my best to convince my students of this. Thanks again.
Carly Sullens from St. Louis, Missouri on June 25, 2013:
I like how you outlined this hub with visuals and important information. My son is now 10, and I feel it is time to begin to teach him how to type. I think in this day and age it is invaluable to learn how to type correctly.
I took a typing class in high school, I think so I could get out of physics. It was the best class and I am so appreciative of what I learned. I can assure you my typing class is something I use every day, probably would not of said the same thing for that physics class.