As more and more communication moves into the digital realm, keyboarding has become an essential skill. In order to write fluently using a keyboard, students need practice typing. In the Berkeley Unified School District, students are introduced to typing practice beginning in 3rd grade. In the last school year, over 2000 students completed a combined 267,000 lessons. That is a lot of practice!
The primary tool we use is Typing Club, a system which incorporates both instructional lessons and games to help students improve their accuracy and skill. Some class time is carved out for typing practice, and kids also have access to the program from home and can practice on their own time. Students are practicing at every elementary and middle school with over 1300 students already signed on and typing in this first month of the school year. The tool is made more effective with the support of the teachers and staff who ensure that students are using all of their fingers and positioned correctly.
At the start of the school year, 3rd graders type an average of 10 words per minute. By 6th grade, kids are typing about 25 words per minute. Fluency on the keyboard allows for an easier flow of thoughts to written words. I can’t wait to see the writing that these young scholars produce!
– Jessica Lee, Teacher Librarian on Special Assignment