Grades K-2

Kindergarten Students


The focus in kindergarten should be on learning about the technology, mouse mastery, and learning about the keyboard. Try to make sure students know:

  • What computing devices are used for. Have a discussion about the various kinds of devices and their use.
  • Input and output devices. Talk about monitor, keyboard, CPU, ports, headphones, and microphone. BrainPop Jr. has a good lesson on this, introducing parts of a computer.
  • Parts of the mouse (if you're using a computer) and which fingers to use--don't worry about Right-click at this age
  • Correct posture--this may be hard in a computer lab designed for much bigger students, but stress sitting directly in front of the monitor with the keyboard squarely in front of it. Ideally, they should be sitting up straight and feet should be on the floor. Think about students this age learning to play the piano--correct posture and height is important.
  • Mouse skills: single-click, double click, click-drag-drop, scrolling
  • Hand placement. Students' hands shouldn't droop, but be positioned above the home row keys (asdf and jkl;. Emphasize that student fingertip pads should strike the keys--"little puppy paws instead of big cat claws.Have images keyboards available for each student and placed around the room.
Best practices for this level:
  • Develop good mouse  skills first
  • No need for speed at this level--just good habits
  • When typing use good posture and hand position
Go to the Activities page for warm ups, and practice.

First Grade Students

The focus in first grade is on learning the technology terminology, developing mouse skills, developing and maintaining good posture, and becoming familiar with keyboard layout.

Students should know the following (many skills have already been introduced in kindergarten):

  • What computing devices are used for. Have a discussion about the various kinds of devices and their use.
  • Input and output devices. Talk about monitor, keyboard, CPU, ports, headphones, and microphone. BrainPop Jr. has a good lesson on this, introducing parts of a computer.
  • Parts of the mouse (if you're using a computer) and which fingers to use--don't worry about Right-click at this age
  • Correct posture--this may be hard in a computer lab designed for much bigger students, but stress sitting directly in front of the monitor with the keyboard squarely in front of it. Ideally, they should be sitting up straight and feet should be on the floor. Think about students this age learning to play the piano--correct posture and height is important.
  • Mouse skills: single-click, double click, click-drag-drop, scrolling
  • Hand placement. Students' hands shouldn't droop, but be positioned above the home row keys (asdf and jkl;. Emphasize that student fingertip pads should strike the keys--"little puppy paws instead of big cat claws.Have images keyboards available for each student and placed around the room.

Best practices for this level:

  • Develop good mouse  skills first
  • No need for speed at this level--just good habits
  • When typing use good posture and hand position

A progression of activities for students in first grade:

  1. Use the internet to go to some interesting websites, but first notice the web address (url), scroll bar, and links. Talk about the function of each and then have students practice when they visit websites.
  2. Using a computer, practice drag-and-drop skills by using TuxPaint, Paint, or games (in the Activities page.

Second Grade Students

The focus in second grade is on key placement, posture, and two-handed position.  Review of the skills taught in Kindergarten and First Grade should be done early in the year. The goal this year  is to reinforce the previously learned skills and begin a shift to all fingers typing. It is a good time to begin a touch typing program  which emphasizes posture and keyboard awareness.

Students should know the following skills:

  • Learning about Tab, top row with numbers, home row, numeric keypad
  • Caps lock and shift/lock--the difference and when to use them
  • Backspace and delete

Good pointer: for second grade:

  • Keep you index fingers on f and j. Keep your other fingers on the home row keys, too. Thumbs can rest on the space bar.
  • Don't worry about speed. Posture, hand position, use of all fingers should be emphasized instead.
  • Don;t just practice typing in isolation. Combine it with classwork. Using computer drawing programs increases fine motor control. Have students type short letters, reports, lists of spelling words, lists of vocabulary words. Have them use a variety of fonts, colors, and formatting. Most students love zipping up their work with extra color and formatting.

Best practices for this level:

  • Review good mouse skills
  • Always remind students of posture and proer hand position.
  • Students should generally learn to type as fast as they need to for classwork. At this level there is no need for speed. Habits are essential.

General ways to integrate typing into your classroom routines

  • Set aside a regular time for keyboarding (ideally 15 to 30 minutes/day for five to six weeks), THEN:
  • USE these techniques while in front of any computer
  • Have students type their social studies assignment or spelling words for the week
  • Include a five minute “warm-up” using a keyboarding game before “getting down to keying in a paper”
  • Have students compose A to Z lists (ie. Animals, girls names, etc.)
  • Rotate and develop stories from “Story Starters…”

 

A note: many of the suggestions above are borrowed from a great resource, "Thhe essential Guide to Teaching Keyboarding in 45 Minutes a week."














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