As we review the requirements for the Georgia Milestones test which has:
- open-ended (constructed-response) items in language arts and mathematics (all grades and courses);
- a writing component (in response to passages read by students) at every grade level and course within the language arts assessment
Here’s the problem, my students cannot type.
Almost the entire school goes through Business Education class in the course of a year. In that class, the teacher does teach typing and the students learn the proper method of placing their fingers, etc. But it is not reinforced throughout the year in other classes. Much of the work done in the school is still hand-written if for no other reason than the lack of computer availability. And iPads will not make the difference. Also, the area, not just our school, has a very high mobility rate (65%), so it’s hard to know which students have gotten the training.
The key is to add typing to the classroom. Not as a subject, but as extra time work, a reward game, a break, or a station. Everyone in the building needs to help the students learn to type or they will have a great deal of difficulty handling online testing. And, frankly, college and job applications are ONLINE. Typing is absolutely essential.
So to get everyone started, here are a few free online typing games and practice tests. Maybe set a goal that everyone has to pass a practice test of 30 wpm. Or play a certain amount each day or week. Practice, practice, practice.
- http://www.typing.com/ allows for teacher log ins and class set ups. Remember – it’s all free!
- http://www.freetypinggame.net/ has games that are based on the home keys and then the whole keyboard. With sound effects!
- http://www.learninggamesforkids.com/keyboarding_games.html more games that are also based on the home keys and then the whole keyboard. More noise too!