A Teacher of Technology in Education

Touch Typing

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doctor ratingsI have been trialling a new introduction to my ICT lessons this new school year after reading a blog comment from Kathleen Morris (always giving me great inspiration)  from  July 2011 Learning To Type and this January 2012 post ‘Learning To Type‘ – Update
Kathleen has crated a sqworl – thanks Kathleen, a great idea to place all the different typing sites in one place and it’s easy for students to access as well! 

As I am an ICT teacher and have only one lesson with each class  per week averaging 35 – 40 minutes per week,  I have noticed that the students are taking much longer to complete tasks than I would envisage.  

Thinking of a new tactic to ‘tune in’ my students I decided to introduce to the students in Year 3 – 6 typing tasks.
Over the past few years I have used ‘Dance Mat Typing‘ to introduce typing skills, however I wanted to make it a more ‘formal’ part of my sessions as a couple of teachers had mentioned to me that I should be teaching ‘touch typing’ in my ICT lessons.

I spent some time in the holidays reading through Kathleen’s blog posts and searched in the Victorian Education Search Portal FUSE for some typing websites  and had lots of fun trying them all out to improve my skills!

When I learnt to type back  in high school I could type 63 words per minute, that was on an old typewriter.  I am happy to say that I can still type around the 50-60 word per minute .

Back to my students, I have decided to bookmark a variety of ‘typing sites’ on our school intranet.
I asked the students to explore them in our first session back this year. They loved trying out the different sites.

Like Kathleen did with her students, I decided  to step it up a bit by calling the typing tests ‘ challenges’ and having the students record their weekly scores.

These are the student tasks I have  included in my weekly lessons:

1.  complete a ‘warm up’ using the website ‘Keyboard Climber‘ for a couple of minutes

2.  complete 3 x 30 second ‘challenges’ using “Keyboard Typing

3. Record the date and score from the 3 x 30 second challenges in Microsoft Excel

4. Complete 1 minute ‘challenge’ using ‘1o Fast Fingers

5. Record the score for the 1 minute challenge in the same MS Excel spreadsheet

6. Highlight using ‘Auto Fill’ tool the highest score for each  day.

Some Student Comments: 

(on entering the ICT lab) *

  • Are we doing typing challenges NOW?….
  • Can I start my challenges  NOW?…… 
  • Can I do more than 3 challenges...
  • I know I can do better…..
  • Can I do more than one  10 fast fingers challenge AND record my score?…..

Comments from students after finishing their challenges…….
I’ve finished my challenges….
recorded my scores…….
highlighted my highest scores……
what can I go on with NOW…??

Fantastic to see the students so engaged and ready to tackle more… 

Note: For Year 5/6 students – students will begin to complete 3 x 1 minute challenges next term to step it up further!!!

Using Microsoft Excel, I hope to show the students later in Term 2 how to use their data, to analyse, average and generate graphs using real data!  

A few teachers at one of my schools has said she is including typing as a regular session and  part of her literacy sessions with her Year 3 students as it has been such a ‘hit’. Other students have been keen to share with me that they have been using the sites at home which is great to hear!

Like Kathleen, it will be wonderful to see the growth in student skill and success by the end of the year.
As I keep saying to my students, typing is a life skill, once you learnt it you will know it and use it forever.I am so grateful now that I learnt how to type back in high school (not that it was as exciting as the typing programs now are)  it certainly has been a well learnt  life skill and one that I continue to use everyday!!

My hope is that by the end of the year, students will have improved enough in their typing skill to enable them to complete more ICT tasks with greater proficiency, accuracy and speed.

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Comments on: "Touch Typing" (4)

  1. Kathleen Morris said:

    Hi Raff,

    I’m glad you have found a way to integrate typing into your schedule especially with such time restraints!

    My children really love the typing activities which is so pleasing. We only do the test once a term and the students can’t wait to be tested again after the holidays. Nice idea using Excel to have the students analyse the data.

    It’s just fabulous to see the students make progress with their speed and finger placement. I’ve already seen some “one finger peckers” start to use both hands throughout this term.

    Happy typing!
    Kathleen

    • Hi Kathleen,
      Thanks so much for your comment! I am not sure if I will continue to do typing ‘challenges’ for every ICT lesson next term, it depends on the amount of work I can get through!
      It has been great to see the students attempt to type correctly as much as possible, even two students who had their arms in a sling, still wanted to complete their challenges!!
      I like your idea of completing their challenges at various times of the year, that has given me an idea… next term I may do the challenges at the beginning, middle and end of Term Two, will be interesting to see how they improve in their speed.

      Dance mat typing is the best one I’ve seen that shows students exactly which letters/fingers should be used… will definitely revisit that as well in Term Two with the Year 3-6 students.
      Thanks again for your great comments and tweets.
      Have a wonderful last week of Term One!!
      Cheerio Raff 🙂

  2. I have only been at this job (K-5 technology teacher) for under 4 months, and I am madly collecting resources and ideas. Would you be willing to share the excel template your students use or post an image on your blog?

    • Hi Elizabeth,
      Thanks for stopping by to check out my blog! I am very new to blogging and am trying to learn heaps from lots of other ICT teachers out there!
      Absolutely can share a copy of the excel template. It is a very simple template as I have only just started it. I will put up a picture up for you to check out!
      Good luck with your new role and please drop me a line if I can help in any other way!
      Cheers Raff

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