Keyboarding Punch Cards

KEYBOARDING PUNCH CARDS

I am a big fan of Dance Mat Typing for elementary students. To make it more fun, I use punch cards for when students finish a stage within the levels. There are 4 levels and here is how they are broken down.

Level 1: Stages 1, 2, 3 (home row, e and i, r and u)

Level 2: Stages 4, 5, 6 (t and y, w and o, q and p)

Level 3: Stages 7, 8, 9 (v and m, b and n, c and comma)

Level 4: Stages 10, 11, 12 (x and z, / and ., and shift keys)

When a student finishes a level, they come up for a punch in their card. I think this makes students feel a sense of accomplishment and pride as they finish their levels and it also ensures that they finish an entire stage within the levels before moving on.

You can download the punch cards at the bottom of this post. Print them, cut them out and find a hole punch in a unique shape and watch how the determination increases by having something as simple as a punch card!

Click here to go to the Dance Mat Typing website.

Keyboarding Punch Cards with levels/stages from Dance Mat Typing

Keyboarding Punch Cards with levels/stages from Dance Mat Typing

Keyboarding Punch Cards (appsolutelyapril.com)

Here’s a picture of how I organize the punch cards since I teach so many different classes.

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Online Holiday Fun

Online resources to use the week before break!Looking for some fun online activities for your students this week? I have browsed lots of holiday activities and sites and put my favorites on this one page. There are tons of holiday learning activities where students can get into the spirit of the holiday season while also learning and practicing various content areas. This is a great thing to have the week before Winter Break. Hope you enjoy! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all!

Click here to access online activities.

The site is broken up into these parts: Snowflakes, Snowmen, Gingerbread Houses/Cookies, Trees, and miscellaneous learning games.

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Screen Shot of website

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How We’re Kicking Off the Hour of Code

HOUR OF CODE

I love the Hour of Code project and I think it’s fabulous to get students as early as kindergarten thinking about how things work and how that might shape their future goals and career path. How cool would it be to create your own game rather than consume a game someone else made? How cool would it be to make other people’s lives easier as a result of something you created by becoming a computer programmer? Those are just some of the questions I am asking my students. This week, along with millions worldwide, my students are participating in the Hour of Code in each of my classes. I set up nine stations around the room and had the students interacting with robots, iPad apps, and Code.org resources, which allowed students the opportunity to experience writing computer programs. Here is a website I put together to have my students experience the Hour of Code websites, which encourages students to begin writing and creating blocks of code.

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I had been wanting robots to teach my students programming for a few years now, so I wrote a grant, created a talent show video and sold the DVDs, and won a video contest to purchase the robots for my students to use. We have the Osmo, Sphero, Sphero Sprk, Ollie, and Dash and Dot. Additionally, there are great iPad apps where students can learn to program objects on their screens. Today, we used Hopscotch, Daisy the Dinosaur, and Scratch Jr. Code.org also has so many fabulous resources! I know my students will be trying those out as soon as they get home from school! Another fun thing I did was creating mazes out of painters tape–it was a hit today! The students loved trying to program the robots to stay within the lines and follow the course, but it definitely is harder than it looks and requires much perseverance! Today was critical thinking at its best!

If you’re looking for inspiration to put together your own Hour of Code, here are the stations I set up in the computer lab:

One more thing, if you are interested in learning a non-traditional way to teach coding, check out my iTunes U course, which is called The Key(note) to Coding. It is all about using Keynote for the Mac to create Tangram shapes while noting the size, placement, and rotation of the shapes to then write the code for someone to re-create!

Happy Coding!