Sunday, October 12, 2008
Composing at the keyboard might seem natural to us by now, but for elementary students it's a developing skill.
A variety of factors slow down the task--Where are the letters? How do I spell that word? Did I type it correctly? The first two factors are difficult to control but we can do something about the last one. In fact, we're helping the student develop good keyboarding habits by doing something about it.
Using a simple word processor, such as the NEO, sets the stage for good keyboarding habits. It's all work and no play. Instruct the student to type a spelling or vocabulary word and hit Enter. When you see that they are successful performing this pattern with a couple of words, cover up the screen with a folder or piece of paper and ask them to type their whole word list. They'll be shocked.
At the end of the list remove the shield and have them review their accuracy. Many students will be surprised at how many correct words they have keyed in. You'll find that their keyboarding is generally faster when they are not spending time reviewing the screen to see if they have keyed in the correct letter.
We work faster when we're not looking at our computer screens after each typed word, and students will learn to work faster, too.