How I Use It
I used this website this year for the first time with grade 3. I created a card with all of the graphics and levels and gave one to each student. When they completed a level they would get a star punch for that level. Students loved it. They were so excited to finish a level and even more excited when they were able to take their cards home to share with their family. It is self-paced and students can work through levels independently. Some students could not finish levels during one class period (40 minutes) mostly because of the cartoons. Progressing through the levels (12) took longer than I expected it to take for my third graders. Some of the students did complete the levels faster than others, so I provided them the opportunity to increase their skills in a different typing website.
The website is not a game. It is a typing program that is geared to the young, beginner typists in grades 1-3. Songs and cartoons fill time between the levels. The songs and cartoons take a great deal of time and do not give the students the level of practice that is really required. Students want to finish a level in one class period, however, for some students that is not possible because of the time it takes for the animations. One could argue that the songs and cartoons help rest the little hands between lines of text. The website could be improved with the addition of individual accounts. The website will sometimes suddenly close during our practice. When that happens if a student is in the middle of a level, they have to begin that level again, they cannot just go back to where they left off. Therefore, they have to wait through all of the songs again. Overall, I do believe it is a good place to start to encourage good habits and not make students focused on speed too early. This is a good place for students to start to build their skills.