What it is: This blogging alliance has been expanding my knowledge of great tools for the classroom faster than I can keep up with! Recently, I found two more excellent ways for students to practice typing from @2sparkley‘s blog. The first is reminiscent of the popular Rock Band, called UpBeat. Students can choose a song and level of difficulty. They must type the letters as they appear to keep the song going smoothly. This had my students absolutely SILENT while they practiced typing. They were so involved and having a great time trying to keep up. The way the game is set up, really challenges kids to touch type. They can’t very easily keep up without touch typing! Students stopped by my lab the morning after I introduced the site to tell me how many combos they were able to get. The second typing site is called Typing Chef. In this game students try to type words as they float past on bubbles. The goal is to type the word on the bubble before it pops. It gets increasingly harder as more bubbles float up and speed up.
How to integrate UpBeat and Typing Chef into the classroom: Typing can be a subject that elicits groans. Adding these games in the mix as additional opportunities for practice is sure to make students happy to practice. I try to keep typing to a minimal in my classroom. With only 35 minutes once a week with students, I don’t want to spend all of our time practicing typing. I have the kids do the majority of typing practice at home. Once a year (sometimes twice) I hold a big typing Olympics competition. Students can earn a free break dress code day (we have uniforms), this is great incentive…like gold to them! The fastest boy and girl touch typist in each class get the break dress code certificate. I make a huge deal about how athletes who participate in the Olympics have to train hard. Practice doesn’t always make perfect but we are aiming for practice makes permanant (good habits). I created the following website for my students to use in their training www.typing.weebly.com. Upbeat and Typing Chef have both been added to the games page of my Typing website.
Tips: UpBeat is a Mini-clip game. This site is often blocked at schools, make sure it is unblocked at your school before you plan on using it in class.
Please leave a comment and share how you are using UpBeat and Typing Chef in your classroom.