Last year I wrote a staffrm piece on teaching Year 1 pupils to type. It dealt with the reasoning behind the lessons and finding a hook to essentially teach typing. Then the topic of typing skills surfaced in a joint #CASchat and #PrimaryRocks twitter chat. I mentioned my Secret agent unit and said I would share it with the edu world. Therefore here is a link to the unit and a few tips for running it in your classroom.
Tips for running the unit
- Lesson 1: Choose your software environment and know how to use it. Be it Office, Google Docs, 2Create etc. This will arm you in case something goes wrong. Personally I’ve used Word and google Docs. I’ve found Word easier with younger pupils as it can be launched from the start menu, it depends on how confident your pupils are with logins and passwords.
- Lesson 2: Be prepared for pupils to take a while finding their work, some will not have saved it in the correct folder or will have saved it under the wrong filename. Google docs helps with this as it auto saves work that is created and all files are searchable from within Google Drive.
- Lesson 3: A little bit of differentiation may be needed on this one dependent on the reading abilities of your pupils. However the red underline of a spelling error is a nice teaching point and can help with pupil’s confidence to identify errors.
- Lesson 4: Let the kids have fun with this session, they will change the font, colour and size several times but giving them time to explore will serve them well in the future and they may surprise you.
- Lesson 5: Be wary of where your images are coming from. A closed clip art gallery such as in Word can be more useful than a full on Google image search. A good lesson to discuss key digital safety points and search skills.
- Lesson 6: Let the pupils be creative. Give them a brief for the coded message and see where they take it.
Having the pupils start each piece of work with the top secret phrase will help them remember the qwerty layout along with the typing practice from the reward game.
Please feel free to take a look at the files and let me know what you think.
If you try it out in your classroom leave a comment below and let me know how it went.