Earlier this year, USD purchased Typing Agent for all 2nd through 6th grade students to encourage good keyboarding habits and to build keyboarding skills. With SBAC testing on the horizon, this might be a good time to think about incorporating it into your weekly routine.
Here is a quick-start guide to getting Typing Agent up and running in your class. With your class automatically populated into your class, and your students signing in through your school’s Symbaloo page, it is easy to get started.
Remember, technique is the most important thing for students to learn when beginning to type. Students should sit straight with their feet on the ground. Teach students to use the raised nub on the f and j to position their curved fingers correctly on the home row. Then, give them the opportunity to practice. For best results, students should practice 2-4x/week for 15 minutes each session.
While typing is important, keep in mind there are other skills your students will need for the SBAC as well.
Make sure your students know how to:
- copy and paste
- drag and drop
And, where the punctuation marks are.
Using poetry might be a good way to incorporate some of these skills along with fonts and other text features.
Teaching keyboarding is not only a test-taking skill, but a life skill. We are happy to help you and your class get started with Typing Agent. Please let either your site tech, Gena, or Mary Fran know if you would like help.
While practicing SBAC, take time to explore these skills, also critical in some SBAC tasks:
- draw tools (i.e., line graph, plotting, drawing connecting lines between answers)
- embedded tools (protractor, ruler)
- digital notepad/scratch paper
Perri Sweet, teacher at Dartmouth, reports that she has, "...had success using these (computer keyboard covers) while we work on keyboarding. This year we cut them to be a little lower so kids could see screens better) to block their view of keys. At first, they balked and peeked and complained. Now, they're pros. If kids were trained to not look at keyboard early on, it would be so much easier for them to improve speed later on. "
Typing is not only an important test-taking skill, it is a life-skill. For help getting started, contact your site tech, Gena, or Mary Fran. We are all here and happy to help.