How I Use It
Star Chase is one of the many games within Arcademic Skills and the reason I initially purchased access to this website for my K-5 computer lab. Star Chase allows students to log in and compete against fellow classmates while practicing their keyboarding skills, Star Chase has two components. The first is called Flying Jets and focuses on home row keys, Students are motivated as they see their jet speeding through the air toward the finish line while learning home row fingering. As they begin to type faster and make fewer errors, the program adds other letters. The second component, Sky Chase focuses on words. The program starts with small words and as the student's speed and accuracy improve, more difficult words are added. Owl Planes, a additional game within Arcademic Skills, takes keyboarding to a whole new level by included challenging words students need to type while they work with a partner to get to the finish line. What worked: Students in all games are motivated to get to the finish line first. The program advances students as their skills increase. The teacher can track students with the teacher console and can add or remove games at anytime to customize learning according to need. What didn't: Don't expect students to automatically use the correct fingering in any of these programs. They are so motivated to win that they will do it with any means and that includes the dreaded "finger pecking". The teacher must be diligent in demanding correct finger placement.
Again, I originally bought Arcademic Skills for the typing games. What a bonus to find games in almost every subject including language arts, geography and math. Each game provides competitive practice and advances students as they improve. Teachers can use the console to assign specific games to customize individual student learning. The only draw back is the price, but for me it was worth it.