Ten Best Keyboarding Hints You’ll Ever See

These came directly from the classroom. I tested them on 400 students for a year.

Hands down, these are the most common mistakes students make that prevent them from excelling at keyboarding. Besides good tips, you might find this a different ways of saying things, for those multi-disciplinary students:

  1. Tuck your elbows against the sides of your body. This keeps your hands in the right spot—home row
  2. Use your thumb for the space bar. That leaves your hands on home row
  3. Curl fingers over home row—they’re cat paws, not dog paws
  4. Use inside fingers for inside keys, outside fingers for outside keys
  5. Use the finger closest to the key you need. Sounds simple, but this isn’t what usually happens with beginners.
  6. Keep your pointers anchored to f and j
  7. Play your keyboard like you do a piano (or violin, or guitar, or recorder). You’d never use your pointer for all keys
  8. Fingers move, not your hands. Hands stay anchored to the f and j keys
  9. Add a barrier between the sides of the keyboards. I fashioned one from cover stock. That’ll remind students to stay on the correct side of the keyboard
  10. Don’t use caps lock for capitals! Use shift.


Categories: fifth grade, first grade, fourth grade, homeschool, Keyboarding, Kindergarten, Tech, third grade | Tags: , , , , | 14 Comments

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14 thoughts on “Ten Best Keyboarding Hints You’ll Ever See

  1. At what age do you teach this to your kids? Is this something you encourage right from the start? (5 and 6 year olds) or is it more a teenager thing?

    I learnt to touch type when I was 20 and while it was painful / irritating as all hell, it was one of the best things I did! I don’t understand people who don’t learn how…

    • Hi Christian

      By Middle school and high school, kids learn keyboarding pretty quickly. I start them in kindergarten with age-appropriate software to prepare them. At that age, I try to get their posture under control and keep their hands on the correct side of the keyboard. Small goals! By third grade, I begin the focus on correct fingers, speed and accuracy. It starts to sink in around late fourth grade/fifth grade.

      Do you teach?

      • Oh no, I’ve done some corporate training in I.T. over the years and I used to be a Cub Scout Leader. (In Australia that’s kids aged 7 – 11 years)

        I find it fascinating what we define these days as a core “life skills”. It used to be quite simple! Reading, writing, kick a football and that’s it.

        These days, I have seen kids aged 3 and 4 who know how to navigate an iPhone.

        That’s a really good idea: posture first, correct fingers, then speed and accuracy – I would never have thought of that!

        (The entrepreneur in me is alway looking for an interesting spin and I’m sure you are already doing this!)

        Your “10 best” series, have you thought of compiling these and releasing them as an eBook?

        Rock on!

      • Now you have me thinkin’, Christian. I can see it on NY Times Bestsellers–Ask a Tech Teacher Reveals the Ten Best…

  2. Hey Wordd,
    Since I switched to a netbook, my speed was cut to half and until now I’m struggling even though the only change was the keyboard size! lol. I think this tutorial is the solution! Thanks.

    • Interesting observation. I’ve looked at netbooks, considering buying one, and I thought the keyboards were pretty much full size. But you think they’ve been a problem? Hmm… I’ll have to try one out before I purchase. I’m a writer as well as teacher and keyboard constantly.

      BTW–I like your new website. Great post about ‘dumb’ Facebook users. Aren’t we all getting darn sick of being called dumb for thinking outside the box?

  3. Pingback: Ten Best Keyboarding Hints You’ll Ever See « Ask a Tech Teacher

  4. Pingback: Top Tech Tips of All Time « Ask a Tech Teacher

  5. Very good post. I will be going through some of these issues as

  6. jontystales

    These tips are great I can not only now turn the damn thing on I can use the buttons !! Wonderful !!

  7. Pingback: Why Keyboarding Should NOT be Dead | Ask a Tech Teacher

  8. Liz

    Fantastic ideas! Thank you for sharing.

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