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Originally Posted On: https://blog.typingagent.com/how-keep-students-engaged-keyboarding-lessons/
Are your students restless? Do they have trouble staying focused on keyboarding lessons? If you’re nodding your head, it may be time to try a new approach.
Younger students in particular tend to have trouble with repetitive finger motions and lessons that require sitting quietly for extended periods. While some of this is unavoidable with typing practice, you can make concentration easier by adapting the class format to meet children’s needs.
Here are a few simple tricks we’ve learned to help keep students on track:
Keep Keyboarding Lessons Short
It’s hard for most students, especially elementary school students, to sit and type repetitive keyboard patterns for an entire 50-minute class period. To keep lessons productive and engaging, keep practice time shorter — maybe 15-20 minutes per day.
Short sessions make it easier for students to stay focused and engaged the whole time. With mini-lessons that can be completed in minutes, students will see progress quickly and feel motivated to stick with it!
Use a Gamified Typing Curriculum
Games make typing fun. When keyboarding lessons feel like a favorite video game, students will naturally want to keep trying. It will be easy to maintain a full focus on both accuracy and speed and learn strong typing skills that much faster.
To bring students’ competitive streak into play, consider choosing a program that provides a leaderboard showing which students are in the lead, or multiplayer games that allow students to compete with their peers. Students will be motivated to see their names near the top.
One important note: If you do choose a gamified curriculum, it’s all the more important to use keyboard covers that hide the letters. This will help keep students from “cheating” to get ahead of their peers.
Build Movement Into Class Time
Kids need to play and stretch their legs! Any lesson that involves sitting quietly and focusing for long periods can be extremely challenging, especially if the students are younger. It’s important to break up the stillness with opportunities to burn off excess energy.
Adding movement, such as stretch breaks, into class time can help students stay focused. To make it extra fun and refreshing, use some motivational background music to help students feel pumped up.
Another strategy is to create several typing stations with different activities and have students rotate between stations. Even a minute of movement can be enough to provide students and teachers alike with relief.
Looking for a Typing Curriculum?
Typing Agent offers short, gamified typing lessons for K-12 students. Our 100% web-based keyboarding program includes a variety of features to boost student learning, including an adaptive curriculum, motivational rewards, and entertaining instructional videos.