So sorry I have not gotten to this blog all week - but, travelling to cities that are miles apart requires airplanes and airplanes take soooo much time. It is not the actual plane ride, but the trip to the airport, the long security lines (and I feel so much safer because of them!) and then waiting for the luggage and the cab ride to the next hotel. Although I am never quite sure what city I am in as the hotels really do look similar, I am always greeted bu enthusiastic teachers who have come gto hear my ideas but are so willing to share things that they know about.
In several cities this week the topic of keyboarding brought a lot of talk during the breaks and at lunchtime and I was able to learn about a couple of new sites. Although I really resist the actual keyboardoing training in the lower grades and fear that too much emphasis on keyboarding in the higher elementary grades will take away from what other creative things could be done during that time, we all agree that we need to address the fact that "hunting and pecking" will not serve these students well as they use the keyboard more and more.
I heard some great ideas, from taking the keyboard graphic and using an overhead to enlarge it and copy it onto a shower curtain for kindergartners to jump on (like a twister game) to putting a thin ribbon between the keys meant to be used with the left and and those to be used with the right.
I had talked about Dance Mat Typing http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/typing/ and mentioned that another good free typing program was Sense-Lang -http://sense-lang.org/typing/
One of the participants came forward with a wonderful interactive keyboard for the kids to use to learn the position of the keys. It is found at ABC Ya and I found it in the Fifth Grade under Keyboard Challenge http://www.abcya.com/ .I really liked that.
Also, check out Power Typing - http://www.powertyping.com/ for another good free typing program.
I believe that we do have a responsibility to introduce students to good keyboarding techniques and some of these programs will really help you do that.
Thanks to everyone who provided some really good suggestions!
I am not sure if I will be blogging before Turkey Day, so I wish each and every one of you the happiest of holidays, hopefully surrounded by family and good friends.