Over my first few years of teaching, I have received numerous responses from my website users regarding wanting more ideas for Keyboarding classes. So, below is a compilation of ideas that I have or that have been submitted to me. I hope they will make teaching Keyboarding a little more exciting for you and your students.
- Story Marathon: Students start typing a story about a crazy situation. I give them two minutes to type what they can. At that time, when the bell goes off, they have to switch (like musical chairs) to a different computer and read the story started by their classmate (give them about a minute to read at least the preceding paragraph or two) and then I time again for two minutes. We continue this several times. Then, have the students assigned to each computer return to their starting station, complete the story, and proofread for errors. (Submitted by: Tonya Skinner)
- Row Races: We pick sentences in the book and they get in teams of 4-5. They all decide what row they want to type in advance and when I say "go" the
person from each team that picked Line 1 begins typing. The people who picked Line 2 are not allowed to start until they "high five" each other.
This goes on until they all have typed a line. Then what ever team gets through the alloted lines the fastest, wins. This is pretty fun and they
like it for something different. (Submitted by Lorrie Bell)
- Type that Tune: I bring in a Christmas Cd or just turn on the radio. They are to type as much of the song they can as it is being sung. This, obviously, is pretty hard to do, but they mostly all get the chorus :-) (Submitted by Lorrie Bell)
- Switch hands: I make them cross their left and right hands over each other and try to type sentences in the book. They realize this is very awkward, and then it seems the regular way isn't so bad after all. (Submitted by Lorrie Bell)
- Partner typing: I make them sit next to a partner (or even share a chair if they prefer). One person is the right hand the other is the left and they have to type sentences in the book together. They like this too. (Submitted by Lorrie Bell)
- Memo Activity: Try doing a RAFT with them...give them a scenario of being a manager in some business, and a situation that would be real life. Have them compose memos to their employees. Here's the best one I have done...it was HILARIOUS! I taught the kids how
to write letters of complaint. Then, I created four categories:
In these categories, I made up 3 or 4 different STUPID things that were unrelated. The students then drew one slip of paper from each category, and had to compose a letter of complaint using all 4 things. The letters were hilarious and the kids had fun because the slips they drew did NOT go together. A broken baby rattle might have emitted a bad-smelling smoke, or
something like that. Here are the categories the the secret items I had them draw from, but I'd
make them better if I were you:
- What happened to the student
- Action requested
- baby rattle, computer, telephone answering machine
- smells badly, broke into 12 pieces, makes constant noise
What happened to the student:
- cut my fingere, broke up with my boyfriend/girlfriend, popped my "Happy
- refund my money, show me how to use it, replace the product
Don't let them trade! If they have an answering machine that broke their Happy Birthday balloon because it made constant noise, well.......they've got to figure a way to incorporate that into their letter!
(Idea by: Toni Perdew)
Bored with your Keyboarding Software?
If you are, do what I do! Find a couple of freeware or shareware games off the internet to add to your archive of typing time killers (for those early finishers that get bored). Here are a few that I use in my classroom:
- Letterchase 3.1:
This is a reinforcement program. It has a letterchase game where you can set the speed and then the letters appear at that speed and the kids try to keep up (chase the letters). It also has tons of letter combo exercises, etc. (NOTE: Speed conversions below)
Free to download and use at:
- Analytic Eye Typing Tutor:
Nothing fancy, but short timings and immediate feedback. Free to download and use at:
- Sweet Little Piano:
This is not a typing program, but I use it in Keyboarding. If you have headphones, it can be fun. If not, it can be loud! Actually, if you have speakers, you can have your students try to be an orchestra! It turns the keyboard letters into a piano and they can play songs. I have a few songs my kids wrote up that you can use if you download this and want to try it. Just let me know.
Example: (Twinkle, Twinkle)
RR II OO I UU YY TT R
II UU YY T II UU YY T
RR II OO I UU YY TT R
This is shareware and can be downloaded at:
- Slam Dunk Typing: This is a fun shareware basketball game thing for typing. You type the phrase at the bottom of the screen (with no mistakes) and the basketball player dunks based on your speed. Too slow, it will be a layout. Too many errors, he will just trip over his feet and fall over!
- TypingMaster Games:
There are some fun reinforcement games including Bubbles, WordTris, and another. Free to download a:
If you have any great ideas or tips for teaching keyboarding, please share them with me! E-mail me at email@example.com and share with your fellow teachers award winning ideas!