Every day for the past two weeks, Grade 3 students in West Park Elementary have sounded off and recited the home row of their keyboards.
For 70 minutes each day, they have been going to Camp Click Clack to learn how to type properly, a skill their teacher, Rhonda Sproxton, said is important because of how much technology and the computer are used on a daily basis in Canada.
“The kids loved it and are enthused when they know we’re off to keyboarding camp,” said Sproxton.
“I think they’re pretty much sold on anything to do with technology.”
To make the experience a little more entertaining for the students, they taught the lessons under a camp motif, with the kids heading off to the keyboarding and literacy camp. Sproxton said the reason Grade 3 students were chosen for this program was because they haven’t developed bad typing habits yet.
“We taught them some songs and chants,” said Sproxton.
“Every morning we’d do a sound-off with the letters, this would bring them to the muscle memory we work on every day.”
This is after taking a cue from another educator who thought having intensive, consecutive days of typing teaching, as opposed to sporadic typing lessons, would be beneficial to the children.
“These students have very little keyboarding skills to come and start with us,” said Sproxton.
“The keyboarding is so slow because they haven’t practised enough consistently and on consecutive days. We find keyboarding throughout the year stays very minimal, very much hunt and peck type of habits.
“Our goal, starting at the Grade 3 level, was to at least get them familiar with the home row.”
Relying on numerous websites with activities for students that just used the home row keys, the kids were taught the fundamentals of typing.
Sproxton said technology is a very important part of education today and getting them started at a young age would be a good way to prevent the start of bad typing habits, which develop as they grow up.
The students have not been able to get past the home row yet, which is about where Sproxton thought they would get.
“We would be very interested with our colleagues who are teaching at a higher level to see if it would go any faster with older kids,” said Sproxton.
“What I’d like to see is if you could do it a couple of times over the year and do it again next year with the same group, where would they be.”