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How Computers Change the Writing Process

Recently, while perusing the internet, I found this interesting article about how computers changed the writing process for people with learning disabilities. It was written by Richard Wanderman.  I was taken back by how much Richard and I agreed with this concept.  As an educator who has taught students how to type for the past 16 years, it was refreshing to see this concept finally taking center stage! Richard was an adult with learning disabilities when he discovered how important it was to work on a computer to write instead of using the pencil and paper mode.  As he says, “In fact, if I didn’t write with a computer I wouldn’t be able to share this article with you because I wouldn’t be able to record, work with, and share my ideas and I wouldn’t know from personal experience how … Read More

WHY JOHNNY CAN’T TYPE

“Johnny” from Massachusetts is your typical 10 year-old.  The oldest of four, his mother “Susan” has stressed the importance of a well-rounded education from the time Johnny and his siblings were old enough to attend preschool.  She’s a supporter of the new federal Common Core Curriculum guidelines as a way to fundamentally improve the basic skills students will need to succeed in the real world.  Susan also sees education as a parent-teacher partnership and has always been on the lookout for ways to reinforce Johnny’s in-school studies with books, games, and exercises that will give him the skills he’ll need to pursue a successful career. Early on, Susan recognized the importance of the computer to her son’s education and development and tried to incorporate the latest electronic software into his after-school day.  There was only one problem.  Johnny didn’t know … Read More

Make Your Kids Responsible For Their Actions

Make Your Kids Responsible for Their Actions By Jim Fay A joke hit the Internet recently. The problem is that it is not a joke. It’s a serious concern to all those who work with today’s youth. A high school staff met to design the perfect recording for their telephone answering machine. The staff looked at several possibilities and finally agreed on the following: To lie about why your child is absent – Press 1 To make excuses for why your child did not do his work – Press 2 To complain about what we do – Press 3 To swear at staff members – Press 4 To ask why you didn’t get information that was already enclosed in your newsletter and several flyers mailed to you – Press 5 If you want us to raise your child – Press … Read More

Handwriting vs. Keyboarding–from a Student’s Perspective

Jacqui Murray has been teaching K-8 technology for 15 years. Every year, she has her 4th grade students compare handwriting speed to keyboarding speed.  Here are some of the results from the students who thought keyboarding was more useful than handwriting. Can lose your paper pencils break, erasers disappear, points get dull. Then, I have to take time to get a replacement. Never happens with a keyboard. hand never gets tired eyes must constantly move from sheet to pencil. Once I’ve memorized the keys, I don’t have to do that anymore you can only get so fast at handwriting–say, 45 wpm. Most students will exceed that speed with typing. Lots of people type 65 wpm. I type 120 (well, not anymore because of my arthritis). In the big picture, the average student will never handwrite as fast as keyboard Erasing … Read More

Teacher Conferences will be here before you know it!

There are many answers for those questions.  I can help in the written communication aspect of learning.  Writing is an important skill for ALL students.  However, some students find writing extremely difficult to learn and to master.  As the Director of an educational program at the Ben Bronz Academy in Ct. I worked with many students who had a hard time manipulating a pencil/pen.  We introduced them to Keyboard Classroom, a typing program that was developed at the school by the teachers.  The results have been tremendous.

As we now know, keyboarding is a life-long skill.  It has evolved from a “transcription” typing skill to a “generative” typing skill involving composing original thought at the keyboard.  Student writing develops faster through word processing because it facilitates the review and revision learning process.  Efficient keyboarding skills allow students to emphasize concept development instead of focusing on key location.

Mastering keyboarding involves learning technique, ergonomics and key location.  While there are hundreds of typing programs out there, Keyboard Classroom uses a unique combination of repetition, muscle building exercises and exclusive patented Finger Guides to teach students how to efficiently type within 6 months!

Keyboarding curriculum should be mandatory in schools but I have found that most schools only find one period a week for typing class.  Obviously we all know that to build any skill you need repeated practice every day.  You need to learn the skill within a short period of time so as to not lose concentration in it.  You need to see and feel progress in order to feel confident about the skill you are learning.  You then need to master the skill and apply it to everyday life!  This is where Keyboard Classroom excels!

So parents, it’s up to you to buy a typing program to be used at home. Compare Keyboard Classroom to the other typing programs out there.  Read our reviews and watch the short informative videos of our student’s progress.    Then go to www.keyboardclassroom.com where I will offer you a 15% discount off the cost of our program.  Just type in ‘teacher’ in the checkout screen!

Make these teacher conferences different than last years!

Carrie Shaw is the President of Keyboard Classroom.  She is proud to say that she has helped thousands of students unleash their inner brillance!

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I can hear it now….why isn’t ‘Johnny’ progressing in his work?  Why can’t he take good notes?  Why can’t he keep up in class? Well, you are not alone if you hear those words!  As parents, we go into overdrive to solve these problems.  We don’t like to see our kids struggling.  We see that look of defeat on their faces and it drains us-we hate to hear them say, “I’m just not smart”! There are many answers for those questions.  I can help in the written communication aspect of learning.  Writing is an important skill for ALL students.  However, some students find writing extremely difficult to learn and to master.  As the Director of an educational program at the Ben Bronz Academy in Ct. I worked with many students who had a hard time manipulating a pencil/pen.  We introduced … Read More

A Simple Solution for a Struggling Student!

Yesterday I visited a friend whose child just started 4th grade. He was at the kitchen table doing his ‘homework’. The assignment was to write about his summer vacation. The first thing I noticed was the look on his face as he contorted it in frustration. I wondered where this struggle was coming from so I watched him…There it was! The dreaded “pencil syndrome!” He was gripping the pencil in an unusual way and had a hard time forming the letters. His eraser was getting a good workout! He was fumbling, stumbling and bumbling his way through the paper. Of course, the meltdown came half way through the paper and the mom started finishing it for him!!! Unfortunately, this is NOT an uncommon occurrence! There are many different motor skills that go into writing. Writing is an important skill to … Read More

10 Tips for a Successful School Year by Pat Howey, Advocate

Question: Help! School is starting. I want to make sure I have done my homework so this year is better than last year. Answer: You need to view your role as your child’s “case manager.”  You need to be watchful, even when things appear to be going well. Here are ten tips to help you get off to a good start at the beginning of the new school year. 1. Help Your Child Deal with Transitions. Is your child making the transition from preschool to kindergarten, from elementary to middle school, or from middle school to high school? Plan to take your child to visit the new school or classroom before the first day of school. 2. Reread your child’s IEP. Do you understand what the school agreed to provide? Do your child’s teachers understand what they are to provide? … Read More

The Keyboard Interface and Dyslexia

“A few years ago, when I exchanged pen and paper with a monitor and a keyboard I went through a change that was more than the significant but obvious advance in technology. I changed something very basic in my dyslexia, or rather in my dyslexic existence.

Of course the first noticeable difference was my handwriting.  It was clear and easy to read.  I now call this my “fingertyping”.

For the first time in my life others, as well as me, could actually read what I had written. Then a surprising fact was brought to my attention – I had many less spelling mistakes. Of course I kept spelling things “my way” but somehow it occurred less, considerably less.

Being a deeply curious person I could not let this change just become a fact without having a satisfactory explanation and after some reading and research I came up with what I call my little theory about the “dyslexic keyboard”.

There are four different writing processes a person can use:

  1. The acoustical process in which one says the word to himself while writing it. This process is used mainly with very long words.
  2. The letter sequence process in which one learns a sequence of names of letters forming a word.
  3. The visual writing process in which one has a visual image of how the word looks like and copies this image from mind to paper.
  4. The motor process in which one remembers a word as a certain sequence of movements of the hand.

Like many other people with dyslexia, my visual perception is dominant and therefore I believe that the process most natural for me to use is the visual process. But still, even using a visual writing method, there is a stage in which the mind has to “translate” the appropriate visual image of the word into letters to be shaped by the movement of the hand. In the case of typing though, some of the translation is saved as the keyboard with its letter lies in front of the writer’s eyes and he must only select it. Having the letter shaped up already saves the writer the need to devote mental resources to the process of shaping the letter and the appropriate delicate movement of the hand as opposed to the much simpler and unchanging movement of the finger when typing.

This fact, as well as the saving of the “translation” stage allows many spelling mistakes to disappear and facilitate the writing process. This theory may or may not be accurate but being based on agreed-upon facts and sounding logical it could suggest that a computer could become the dyslexic student best friend.

In many other ways the use of a computer system facilitates my learning disabilities. Not all can be mentioned in one short article and thus I will leave a few for the future. I can only express my hope that many other learning disabled students will discover the helpful world of computers.”

My hat goes off to you, Yishay.  Let’s hope more people read this and catch on to your ‘Fingertyping’ method!

 

Carrie Shaw is President of Keyboard Classroom Typing Program. For more information please go to www.KeyboardClassroom.com

 

 

 

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I always find it so interesting when a student describes an educational break through to me.  Once they describe their solution to their struggle I wonder why an educator or parent didn’t think of it first! Read how Yishay Garbasz went from “Handwriting” to “Fingertyping” and how it helped him facilitate his dyslexic writing process. “A few years ago, when I exchanged pen and paper with a monitor and a keyboard I went through a change that was more than the significant but obvious advance in technology. I changed something very basic in my dyslexia, or rather in my dyslexic existence. Of course the first noticeable difference was my handwriting.  It was clear and easy to read.  I now call this my “fingertyping”. For the first time in my life others, as well as me, could actually read what I … Read More

A Simple Tool for Dyslexic Students

Stefan is an incredible 12 year old who’s intellect far surpasses his age. He has dyslexia BUT when he learned to type at a computer keyboard using Keyboard Classroom, he found his learning disorder went away. He no longer mixed up his B’s and D’s and P’s and Q’s. The keyboard wouldn’t let him. His Mom says it has opened up a whole new world of opportunities and that once he received a Laptop for note taking in school, he has had NO problems keeping up with his classmates! See his story at: Stefan’s Story Keyboard Classroom is a unique typing program designed by educators at a school for learning disabled students.  Go to Keyboard Classroom to learn more about this simple solution!    

The Reason your Student is NOW Smiling!

As parents it’s so hard to peek into a room and see your child struggling with their homework!  We know something has to be done to relieve some of this pressure on our child but where do we turn? My first suggestion would be to look for an ‘intervention’  as soon as possible!  To be clear, an Intervention is a planned set of procedures that are aimed at teaching a specific skill to a student.  It’s more than a single lesson and less than an entire curriculum. Deciding what intervention option to use should not be made lightly. It will take much contemplation on what is the best for your child, what your finances will allow, and if you are willing to carry through with any of these choices. As a parent I did two things that made a big … Read More