Thursday, June 28, 2012

Word Work Fun!

Today I did not set out to work on Literacy Centers, but that's where I found myself obsessing (yes, obsessing).  Of course, I have now run out of colored ink and white cardstock and a trip to Target, Staples, Office Max, or all 3 is in order. 

As I was printing out some lit centers from old TpT purchases, I began thinking about creating some spelling/word work activities as they relate to high frequency (and other familiar) words.  I teach small group reading to the average students in my grade level (at my school we ability group by grade level), so I had them in mind as I worked on centers today.   

I started making a list of your standard spelling centers: magnetic letters and cookie sheets, letter tiles, scrabble tiles, and then it hit me...what about a keyboard?

We don't have enough computers at school to have actual computer time but the kids need to be familiar with a keyboard.  So, I Googled "computer keyboard template" and looked under the image results.  I found this and created a document with two images to a page. Then, I laminated them, and cut them out.  So quick, so easy, and sure to be a hit with the kiddos.


Just as students would use magnetic letters or letter tiles to practice making and/or spelling familiar words, the students will do the same with the keyboards.  It's just another way to have them interact with important words as they become familiar with the location of each letter on the keyboard. Now, this most likely means that my second graders will hunt and peck their way around the keyboard, and that's OK.  The point is, they will be exposed to where those letters are located on the keyboard.

I plan to have them "type" out each word from the provided set of words, but you can use the idea however you like.  You could have your students write the word on a piece of paper or a whiteboard and then type it out.  Or, you could have them spell it aloud to a partner before they type it out.  It's up to you!

As for the words they will work with?  I printed out some word lists including high frequency words from FCRR (click on Fluency-Part Two and scroll down until you find the HF words) and some thematic word lists I found here.  I placed the word lists in page protectors and they will be housed in a binder. The students will practice spelling these words with the keyboard (or magnetic letters, etc).



I hope you can use the idea in one way or another. :)

Update: Please note, I realize that there are many ways in which one could use the keyboard template idea.  That's the beauty of an idea like this, you can use it however you want (or not at all). There is no right or wrong way.  Make it your own so that you can meet the needs of your students/school/whatever.

Due to program changes, I no longer run centers in my classroom, but when I did, this was the one center I had that did not have a formal accountability component (something the students turned in to me).  I know, I'm a rebel.  The students using the centers (while I led small groups) worked in pairs, so I guess you could say that they had some informal accountability in that if they didn't use it the way it was intended, their partner would likely let me know.

Having one center without formal accountability worked for me, and it didn't bother me because the seven other centers that the students had to work their way through that week were highly challenging and each had an accountability component.  I changed out my centers weekly, which means this center did not make a weekly appearance.  Ultimately, a center like this posed less pressure and was relaxing for the kids (and I'm OK with that from time to time).

Have fun making the idea work for you!
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28 comments:

  1. I love your keyboard idea!! Thanks for sharing your ideas on word work!
    Lisa
    Learning Is Something to Treasure

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  2. Yes! Great ideas and I love the keyboard template!! I used one of these last year and my kiddos loved it! I noticed that during our spelling tests, kids would be 'typing' the words out with their fingers....muscle memory actually helped them become better spellers! Go figure!
    Kim

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  3. OMG I love the idea of the printed keyboards! Totally gonna do that!

    THanks for sharing!
    Marie
    The Hands-On Teacher in First!

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  4. Thanks ladies!! And, I'm so glad to see that it was useful Kim, that makes me feel even better about using this next year! Stay tuned, I may have a few more ideas to share soon.

    Aimee

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  5. Perhaps you could share your template?

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  6. Unfortunately, I did not save the template.
    This post was more about sharing an idea, not necessarily a freebie. At the time I made these, I was running out of computer memory and didn't yet have a secondary memory device. I had to be quite selective about what I was saving.

    As mentioned in the post, I simply conducted a Google Images search to find the keyboard. Once you find an image you like, save that image and insert it into a document to make your own.

    Thank you for your inquiry.

    Aimee

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  7. Love the keyboard idea for word work.

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  8. i teach GED to adults, and in 2014, the GED test is going to require computer literacy. The keyboards are a wonderful idea. Thank you for sharing.

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    1. Wow! I never thought about how versatile something like this could be. Thank you for sharing and have fun!

      Aimee

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  9. Love this! I didn't have any problem finding a suitable keyboard using your suggestions. Can't wait to try it out. I am even thinking about gluing it on to a file folder so it can be their "laptop"! Thanks for the inspiration!
    http://secondgradebest.blogspot.com/

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    1. What a great idea; I love it!

      Aimee

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  10. Just found this idea on Pinterest and I LOVE it!! I really want to use it to teach my kids how to type without having them all in the computer lab on computers. Then they all have to pay attention to me & if they don't, they don't get to go use the real computers!! My district just went 1:1 so typing is a much needed overlooked skill but I am super excited about this!! :)

    Ashley
    Primary Teacherhood

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  11. Love this idea, but I'm not computer savvy. So I found the google image and pasted it onto the document. Then I changed the paper to landscape, but the keys aren't clear like yours. Could you tell me what the trick is to have a clear keyboard? I've tried the contrast and brightness options, but that just made it worse. Is there a place where I can find this information? Thanks for your help!

    Whitney

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  12. Hi Whitney! No worries about the lack of savvy; I'm sure you are more savvy than you think! The graphic that I used isn't the greatest in the world (I guess that's what you run into when searching Images), and it isn't the greatest quality graphic. I think some of it has to do with the weird lettering/font. However, I was able to print two keyboards to a page and the kids are able to use them quite easily.

    I have since gone back into images, found the one I used and created a PDF for my followers to download. If you click the picture of the keyboards in this post, it will take you to Google Docs where you can now grab a printable copy. I have already shared the file with anyone who needs the link, so simply select "download" or "email as an attachment" from the File menu. Enjoy!

    Aimee

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  13. Hi aimee,
    Thanks so much for sharing this cute keyboard. Years ago I had one similar and my kids loved it but I lost them in a classroom move so thank you! :o)
    Vicky
    Traditions, Laughter and Happily Ever After

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  14. How, specificially, do you use them?

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  15. I use them in conjunction with the word lists mentioned in this post. The students type the words out on their keyboard. It's just one more way to have them work with words during center time. Of course, as with any teaching resource, you can use them as you see fit!

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  16. Another idea is to shrink the keyboards and have them color the keys for each word on the list after typing it on the larger keyboard.

    You can also have kids make as many words as they can using only the letters on the top or middle row, or the right or left of the keyboard (kind of like boggle). You could make other challenges - 2 letters from each row, the bottom row plus a and e.

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  17. Thanks to Pinterest and your posting...you've given me an aha! moment. I'm going to run off on white cardstock, highlite the 'home keys' and laminate. My kiddos will then practice both their keyboarding skills (instead of hen pecking) and their spelling words by using these.
    Thanks again for the idea! I can hardly wait to get these ready!!!

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  18. Hi, Just an FYI...You can find free "FRY word lists" online. Just type in FRY word list into your search. Hope this helps.

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  19. My daughter's school does some end of the year testing on computers but they don't have much of a chance to practice on keyboards. This is a perfect way to teach her letter positioning on the keyboard before she needs to take her test.

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  20. These keyboards are being sold on TPT: www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Computer-Keyboard-Template-447313. Thank you for offering them as a freebie!!

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  21. What a great idea, thank you it is just what I was after!

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  22. I think it's a great idea and I'm not picking out
    Fault but unless I've misunderstood how to do it , how do you check they are spelling correctly ? As in typing the letters in the right order instead of just copying? Thanks

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    1. Since the activity was used as a center while I met with small groups, I couldn't really check for accuracy. It was the one center I had that did not have an accountability component, other than the fact that my students at centers worked with a partner. The point was to familiarize them with the location of the letters on the keyboard as they practiced spelling out familiar words. One could easily add an accountability component to the activity, if desired. Have fun making the idea work for you!

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  23. These are nice. Years ago I placed a keyboard onto the copier and copied it. It made clear copies of the keyboard, which we've used in many ways. I've highlighted the home keys. We do use real computer keyboards in the lab also, but these are convenient for some quick sessions and the kids enjoy it. A plus, it's easier to keep their attention to teach some basic keyboarding skills before they're more distracted in the lab.

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  24. I was so excited to read about your keyboard idea. I first saw it shared on "First Grade Parade" as a free download with a link to your blog. I read your blog completely, but didn't find the free link. Then, I started reading through the comments and saw you were sharing an idea. Love the idea, but sad to not have a light at the tunnel with the template. Now, off to Google. :)

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