Gamify keyboarding skills
Keyboard typing is an essential 21st-century skill. All students, even young learners, need to know how to type. Some people think that keyboarding is too advanced for early learners but these students are curious and enthusiastic about learning new skills. The trick is to make it fun.
I use a free gaming platform called TypeTastic with my kindergarten students. The games are designed for beginner typists. Each day, I assign a group of students to work at our classroom computer station, a table with five computers. Students practice typing by hitting different keys to hop over lily pads, build construction projects and pop bubbles in outer space. The station has become very collaborative, with students helping each other locate keys and advance to new levels.
The platform includes several different games, each with multiple levels of play so students can continually test themselves. Unlocking the levels and conquering challenges keeps them engaged and learning.
Many schools are issuing tests via computers as early as first grade. If you haven't made a priority of training your students to type, I encourage you to do so. It's up to us to equip our students with the skills they need to perform and succeed.
Kelly Rotzinger is a kindergarten teacher at Marion E. Cahlan Elementary School in North Las Vegas. She has been teaching for 12 years, nine of which have been in kindergarten.
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