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Building Keyboarding Skills with Young Ones
Technology advances in today's society have influenced the teaching techniques in even the lower classrooms, the primary grades. All over the world, young students are being prepared as the next generation of techies from their access to the Internet at home and in the classroom. In addition to holding a pencil correctly, and learning the proper formation of letters, students are also learning basic Internet navigation skills and computer keyboarding skills, a necessity for future success. Never before have we seen such a movement at this age.
If students are to learn these skills, just as with holding a pencil correctly, these skills must be mastered correctly, or else long term habits can develop, such as, "pecking" at the keys, slouching when typing, or lazy hand.
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Unique Typing Games Online
During my research, I have found some unique, interactive, and yet educational games to give students practice in the basic of proper keyboarding skills. Of course, the primary and/or computer teacher should be teaching basic skills on finger placement and these games used as a reinforcement of the classroom learning.
BBC Schools is one Internet site available to primary teachers to reinforce keyboarding skills. Here, students play several interactive computer games for practice. One of my favorites, Dance Mat Typing, contains a directive from a cartoon character (in this case, a goat) to give students practice in holding their fingers in the correct position on the keyboard and learning the letters that are at the center of keyboard, an essential typing skill. The goat gives a directive and the student follows. There is a visual model of a keyboard for students to follow to be sure that their fingers are in the correct position. If a student makes a mistake and types the wrong letter, then a voice will sound, "press on me" and the letter on the keyboard flashes making the game corrective.
Big Brown Bear Company has a great game for this age where the kids type the letters on the keyboard highlighted in red against time. Students will need basic practice in knowing where the letters are on the keyboard, which you can find more information in this article series under, Computer Games in the Younger Classroom (below). Students will get faster with this game with repetition and practice.
AvensWorld is another great one with flash games for preschool or kindergarten students to get typing practice. I will provide the general page, but most of the games will provide keyboard practice. If you are looking for specifics, like teaching the students to type their names, it is there too.
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For the Advanced Kid Typist
Once students become more proficient at their typing skills, try these more advanced games:
Freetypinggames.net- great site, many advertisements, could be distracting to younger students.
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Practice Makes Perfect!
As students improve their keyboarding skills, they will become less dependent upon the teacher for directives and assistance. Students will be able to independently go to the computer for center time, receive the practice they need, and hopefully apply it later on to typing a word document for the morning message in class.
The best part about these typing games is that they are just that, games. They provide fun interactive methods for primary students to learn how to type without even noticing that they are! In addition, students will be practicing Internet navigation skills by "moving through" games, setting the foundation that they will need for the latter grades.
Get Typing with Keyboarding Practice for Kids
In this series we look at the benefits of using computers to students, managing computer time, using the computer in the morning message, and share some good computer websites for primary students.