Starting this week, Fourth through sixth grades will begin to work on word processing. Starting next week, third grade will begin working with spreadsheets.
With third grade, we wait until later in the year to begin word processing. The reason is that keyboarding skills are not adequately developed until then. If we ask third grade students to do work that requires a lot of keyboarding when they are not ready, they will resort to “hunt and peck” in order to keep up. This reinforces incorrect typing habits.
Although students are introduced to the keyboard in first and second grades, we don’t expect students to begin producing work with correct keyboarding until they have gotten through the “All The Right Type” program in third grade. We continue to emphasize keyboarding in fourth grade. By the end of fourth grade, most students are competent typists. We spend progressively less time practicing keyboarding skills in fifth and sixth grades, leaving more time for developing other computer skills.