“Hunt and Peck” No More!
It may be a longtime or long-forgotten skill for some of us, but even in the age of tablets, our kids need to learn to type. A new online program called Typingweb.com chosen by Ms. Frachetti is designed to teach the 3rd and 4th graders this year.
“It’s the best program out there because it tracks the student’s progress,” she says. “Teachers can log on to the Teacher Account to check individual student progress, amount of time spent practicing and that consistent accuracy is being achieved.” To maximize progress, students are asked to practice in the classroom and at home, too.
“I am getting kids onto the computer every time they come in to the library,” she says of her goal, because even the basic things like logging in and clicking around with the mouse may be new skills for them to learn. “We assume they all know computers, but as an example, I had one student press ‘control,’ then ‘alt,’ and then the ‘delete’ buttons one at a time and wait for something to happen.” Another student commented, “I only know how to use an iPad but I get confused on the computer.”
Ms. Frachetti started the 3rd/4th grade students on www.Typingweb.com at their first library visit of this year.
“I’m their technology teacher and typing teacher, too” she says. “I tell kids and teachers is that these tests are not a race! They need to go for 100 per cent accuracy before they move on to another level. Your muscle memory is better than your brain, so training your hands to type without looking will get you farthest the fastest.”
Anyone can log in any time and poke around, the more home practice, the better:
Account: first and last initial followed by six-digit student ID# (aka lunch #)
Let your kids practice at home:
1) Elbows rest at your side, bent at a 90-degree angle.
2) Wrists are not bent; elbows to fingers make a straight line to keyboard (teach them to avoid that “carpel tunnel” that comes from crooked wrists); fingers are slightly curved with tips resting on home row keys.
4) If you don’t get 100% on an exercise, choose “Retake Exercise” on bottom left.
DO NOT CLICK “SAVE AND CONTINUE” until you have completed each exercise with 100% accuracy at least three times: quality and repetition over speed will help students learn the fastest when learning to type.
Many of the upper grades have keyboarding practice already in place and Ms. Frachetti hopes to expand the Typingweb.com practice work to other grades in the future.
This is also first year that the state testing for 3rd and 5th graders (now called PARCC) will be on computers, so kids need to feel comfortable with computer testing.