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Category Archives: keyboard classroom

Dear Parents….You are not alone!

Dear Parents, Do the following statements sound familiar to you? “My kid takes forever to do his homework.  It is causing so much tension!” “He gets so frustrated when he has to write an essay or do anything on the computer.” “I am so tired staying up until 1:00am typing her homework!” “When I look over their notes, I see half sentences, unfinished thoughts and no clear understanding of what they are learning.” Well, you are not alone.  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”! Personally, that was the straw that broke the camel’s back for me when I was dealing with my struggling child.  … Read More

Would You Give A Child…

Would You Give A Child A Book And Never Teach Them To Read?  I ask myself this question every time I see a young person sitting in front of a keyboard.  I’m not talking about an i-Pad or a cell phone where their thumbs do their talking, but an honest to goodness computer keyboard.  It’s what they’ll use to do their homework, fill out those college applications, and most likely, make their living in the real world.  I stand over their shoulder and watch… and shudder. More than 75% of our children can’t type.  Oh, they can hunt and peck, and some of them are pretty fast.  But put a book or a pile of notes next to the computer, ask them to type without looking at the keys, and they’ll crumble like a wounded video game character.  So I … 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!

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

What Inspires Me

A-ha Moments…that’s what a teacher lives for. That moment of sudden realization in a student who has finally ‘gotten it’.  When the recognition of a student’s success causes their face to light up and a smile to form across their face.   Recently, I heard from a father who said,  “you don’t know me, but I have to say how impressive your method is! My late Asperger’s son was also so frustrated with the pen/pencil, but flourished on a keyboard.  Keep up the good work”. I wanted to know more about his son and asked for a bit more information on his success story.  These are some of the comments: “My son Ryan, who with Asperger’s Syndrome and legally blind, had some real challenges in being able to keep up with mainstream class work, especially in regards to getting his … Read More

Time to get serious about the Typing Program you are using!

I read an article in The Hartford Courant about “allowing students to bring to school any online device they had- Smartphone, tablet or laptop- for use in class as teachers saw fit.”  Educators are realizing that it makes no sense to stop students from using the digital tools they use outside of school.” I totally agree with this but I do have one concern.  Why would you hand a student a laptop and NOT teach them how to touch type beforehand?  You don’t drive a car until you take driver’s ed….you don’t jump into a pool before you learn to swim….you don’t give a child a book without teaching them how to read first.  My point is that there are steps to learning how to do something.  You don’t start at step 10 and work backwards!  You start at the … Read More

Preventing the Summer Slide

NOW is the time to think about your summertime plans!  It can be as easy as hitting the town pool everyday, going to visit the grandparents, or going hunting for pollywogs and turtles with the neighborhood kids. Whatever your plans are, there is always something waiting for many children each summer and their parents don’t even know it’s out there. It’s called the “summer slide,” and it describes what happens when young minds sit idle for three months. According to the authors of a report from the National Summer Learning Association: “A conservative estimate of lost instructional time is approximately two months or roughly 22 percent of the school year…. It’s common for teachers to spend at least a month re-teaching material that students have forgotten over the summer. That month of re-teaching eliminates a month that could have been … Read More

You Need to Type to Tell the Computer What You Want

There is nothing magical about Touch-Typing.  Here’s how it works. Instead of watching the keyboard as you type, you watch the screen, and you type without looking.  You simply learn the position of each key on the keyboard, and through practice your fingers develop muscle memory and NOW you will always know where the keys are …without looking! Once the process becomes automatic you only have to think of a word for it to appear on the screen. I find it a very enjoyable way to work, because it’s less tiring, and you don’t have to keep shifting your eyes from keyboard to screen. Here are some amazing benefits to typing: Because you’re watching the screen as you type, you can instantly spot any typing errors and correct them straightaway. Touch-typing helps free your mind from the mechanics of what you’re … Read More

What Students are Thinking!

As an educator, did you ever sit back before your first class began and think “What do the STUDENTS WANT to learn today?”   http://mrpullen.wordpress.com/2008/03/10/what-do-the-kids-want-to-learn/    


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