Computer keyboarding is introduced at the beginning of the Lower Elementary program. Our unique program follows the SSPP Reading program with a “One-Finger-at-a Time” approach. The students use AlphaSmart portable tablets that insulate the student from the hazards of scribbling on a desktop or laptop computer that offers limitless possibilities. This isolation of skills is in keeping with the principles of Montessori. When the child has mastered position and fingering of the keys, subsequent opportunities which are derived from their research and creative writing pursuits naturally follow. It is through this sequential approach that the child is led to an intrinsic sense of accomplishment.
Vertical Approach to Typing for Early Learners
This format is designed to teach very young children correct fingering on the keyboard. Since children are accessing computers at very early ages (software is prolific for the preschool child), it is imperative that children be offered the correct fingering as early as possible in order to avoid hard-to-break habits of “poking” at the keys with only their index fingers.
Although there are literally dozens of typing programs, this one is truly unique. Children are invited to use only one finger in the beginning. The right index finger begins the independent journey for a student access only the letters appropriate to that finger (y,u,h,j,n, and m).
The first lesson presents hum and yum as the only short vowe possibilities for using that finger. One finger at a time is added using only short vowel phonetic words. The list of words controls which fingers may be used. The progression of adding symmetrically one, two, three, then four fingers in various combinations on both hands is followed in a three step guided workbook until all of the fingers are used. The practice sessions are easy to monitor from a distance. If a child is using only index fingers to type and is past Lesson 2 the teacher can easily redirect by asking a student if he/she would be more comfortable returning to the earlier lists of would they like to remain on the fingers appropriate to the words on their present list.
Each set of words is typed to fill one line on the screen. The final line of each set is a alternating typing of each word in the set.
hug hug hug hug hug hug hug hug hug hug hug hug hug hug hug hug
mug mug mug mug mug mug mug mug mug mug mug mug mug mug mug
bug bug bug bug bug bug bug bug bug bug bug bug bug bug bug bug
hug mug bug hug mug bug hug mug bug hug mug bug hug mug bug
The use of phonetic words in the typing sequence reinforces the emerging reader’s skill in decoding and corresponds to our (Nightingale Montessori, Inc.) Sound Shapes Precision Phonics ProgramTM.