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Whats a reasonable wpm typing goal for a 6th grader with


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Joined: Dec 16, 2004
Posts: 7
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Posted Dec 16, 2004 at 11:54:21 PM
Subject: Whats a reasonable wpm typing goal for a 6th grader with

writing difficultys. She is currently at 25 wpm. Any suggestions

on what might be a reasonable goal for this age? thank u

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victoria
Joined Jun 13, 2003
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Posted:Dec 17, 2004 12:17:34 AM

Well, 25 WPM is far ahead of what my gifted 23-year-old math graduate does and far ahead of what I did myself until over the age of 30, so I'd say lighten up. We have all these people saying that keyboarding is the ultimate answer for kids with writing difficulties, and so now we put pressure on the keyboarding . . .

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des
Joined Jul 06, 2003
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Well it's faster than I am, that's for sure. I can go 33 I think if I am really going. My accuracy isn't much to speak of. I seem to get around the net. :-)

--des

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ariella
Joined Dec 16, 2004
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Posted:Dec 17, 2004 8:14:58 AM
Subject:Re:Response

Victoria,

My child attends OT weekly and believe me we have not

"given up" on writing. I am the last person to put alot

of pressure and "expectations" on my child. However,

since her handwriting is not legible to her or her teachers

we're gonna give keyboarding a try. I found your comment

about "lighten up" to be a bit condescending. I'm a Mom just

seeking some knowledge from the people on this board who

have a wealth of information and experience that could help me to

help my child feel good about herself and succeed.

Thanks for understanding.

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Anonymous
Joined Aug 23, 2014
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Posted:Dec 17, 2004 11:04:13 AM

I remember reading that 12 wpm is faster than a person can write. So you are already ahead of the game. In high school, I took typing and got to about 30-35 wpm. I am sure I type faster than that now.

Personally, I wouldn't worry about any goal. Your child is typing at a very functional speed. My now 9th grader started typing in 6th grade and quickly went to typing everything she could. She is quite proficient now. She isn't diagnosed as LD but never held a pencil correctly and has trouble keeping up with notes in class. Her brother has the same sorts of issues much more severely so it must be in the genes.

Beth

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Anonymous
Joined Aug 23, 2014
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Posted:Dec 17, 2004 1:24:08 PM
Subject:Re:Response

Quote f3c25a88d6="ariella":

Victoria,

Quote f3c25a88d6="ariella":

However, since her handwriting is not legible to her or her teachers

Quote f3c25a88d6="ariella":

we're gonna give keyboarding a try.

That is one of the major reasons that we introduced my child to keyboarding at a very early age, while simultaneously working on handwriting skills. He had OT for 6 years, both privately and through his school. He worked with the founder of the "Handwriting without Tears" program as well. (She lives near us.) After all of this, he can write but only very slowly. His writing is legible only sometimes and he often can't read what he has written. On the other hand, after starting to keyboard in second grade, he now types 50 WPM with 90% accuracy. Some children just will not ever be able to express themselves well via handwriting, no matter how many interventions you try. That doesn't mean you shouldn't work on handwriting but it does mean that there may come a point when you should stop worrying about it and start focusing on alternatives.

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victoria
Joined Jun 13, 2003
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ariella, sorry, I didn't mean to be negative.
There has been a lot of pressure here to have everybody keyboard and quit teaching writing, a long history, and recently I got a rather unpleasant reply saying that since I obviously type so well I should quit telling people to teach writing -- a false assumption since it has taken over twenty years of practice for me to get this fast, and I still edit every post for typos several times.
As a child, I had great coordination difficulty with any fine hand movement and it was actively painful and stressful for me to try to type, and the same went on for my daughter. So I am always concerned when people start setting speed goals.

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Helen
Joined Jun 16, 2003
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Posted:Dec 17, 2004 11:34:48 PM
Subject:Typing

If your child is typing 25 words per minute then bravo to both of you.
With that speed she should be able to keep up with the demands of the classroom. A laptop would be a better bet then an Alphasmart at this point. I recommend a paded case to protect it.

the problem is getting the child to use the laptop and also working out the printing out of material that may need to be turned in as graded classwork.

Helen

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Anonymous
Joined Aug 23, 2014
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Posted:Jan 05, 2005 2:05:30 PM
Subject:25 wpm

25 wpm or 25 cwpm -correct wpm? its very critically different. The big three are hand position, finger strikes and eyes on copy (no looking). If your child is able to do 25 wpm with the correct reaches and NOT looking, then the rest is easy and the speed will climb rapidly. Right around the mid-twenties, autonomic typing takes over. All of a sudden, the typer will think the word and the letters appear on the screen-they won't be very conscious of the individual letters. Kids are always surprised when this happens. Chaining happens when the hands sort themselves out and begin to set up for the next letter while typing the current letter. While chaining is beginning you see mirror errors for a short while-right reach, right finger, wrong hand. These disappear quickly. All of this happens for different folks at somewhat differing speeds but usually around the mid-twenties cwpm. speeds pick up rapidly with these in place.

However if the child is looking- then you are in still in hunt and peck mode. 25 wpm is about the limit for most hunt and peekers-some do a bit more but will never reach the speeds that come easily with touch typing. Cover the hands. There are all sorts of elaborate ways/equipment to do this but the cheapest and easiest is a teatowel over the hands and keyboard. let the child get the feel of the raised dots on the keyboard (k and d on PC, j and f on Mac) and go back and practice teh reaches without looking. This is kinesthetic learning-a very different sort of learning for many kids - what a letter feels like.

some kids refuse to leave hunt and peck because going to touch typing slows them down for a few weeks. It used to C'est la vie, at least 25 cwpm is faster than handwriting. But now with online chatting they want to be fast, fast, fast and touch typing is the only way.

Some schools grade on cwpm only -it used to be upper grades but as keyboarding has come to elementary/middle school school (1983 in my school) the emphasis has been on correct body position-sitting straigh and tall, hand position and not looking before speed. In my experience 25 cwpm is an A at the 6th/7th grade level but remeber, this speed grading is usuallly done AFTER the bosy position, finger/hand positions and eyes on copy are addressed.

hope this helps

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victoria
Joined Jun 13, 2003
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mmm -- your approach is *exactly* why I worry a lot about pressuring kids to keyboard and especially about pressuring kids to keyboard fast. I happen to have a severe coordination problem exacerbated by nasty visual issues. Your teaching methods with the teatowel, looking only at the copy, and the speed goals would have driven me to tears in minutes, a nervous breakdown if continued at length.
If a kid has the coordination to deal with what you are doing, then they have the coordination to handwrite.
By the way, I now type over 50 correct wpm, maybe more, and that includes proofreading as I go, and I still use only three or four fingers on each hand and still look at the keyboard. I do wish someone had worked with me on proper hand positioning and practices and all that, but everyone was so gung-ho over speed that they weren't interested in teaching skills, just in yelling at me and making fun of me when I didn't do things right.
Have you never had in your class a kid who had real difficulty, whose fingers spasmed into the wrong place randomly and who simply locked up under stress? And if you have, what did you do about it?

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DARCY
Joined Aug 07, 2003
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Posted:Jan 06, 2005 11:26:25 AM

I just pulled my daughter out of her keyboarding class. She had been taking it for a year and a half after school a few days a week. My daughter has learning issues and writing problems. It was thought if she could be proficient at keyboarding this would help her with note taking etc.... Well in theory it sounds real good. Take a student that already is having a difficult time just getting through the day and add more expectations to their "plate". Her typing teacher would make her cry. Her method of teaching was not helping at all. She would complain to me that my daughter was a "peeker" and only on page 11 when all the other students were on page 28. Who cares was my answer, dont compare the kids and my feelings were that the skill would come. Any way good luck. I think your child is doing fine and yes the speed will pick up. My daughter is so turned off now I am at a loss as to what to do!

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Anonymous
Joined Aug 23, 2014
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Posted:Jan 06, 2005 11:48:15 AM

but: you said:
"but everyone was so gung-ho over speed that they weren't interested in teaching skills, just in yelling at me and making fun of me when I didn't do things right."

Hmm...sounds like my son's 'phonics' and 'math' instruction in second grade! Nope, laughing at his spelling or slow math processing never helped him, either!

Seems to me that THIS -- ridicule and anger -- was what made it impossible for you to learn, given your physical 'typing LD'...and the remedy would be simply what you do for all LD's: go back to basics, use GOOD materials (ie really teach that keyboard, cover the keys and make them LEARN it in their mind's eye), master the basics (finger positions and usage) SLOWLY...then let speed develop naturally, just as YOU would advise for a reading, writing, or math problem...VIA PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE!

And not all of us have the physical ability to type at top speeds -- most people max at about 40-60 wpm, IMO. But that will get you most middle-of-the-road admin jobs, and manage the work in any career other than high paced dicta-typist -- which is becoming a career dinosaur anyway....

I did not agree to keyboarding instruction in elementary NOT only because I believe we ALL have to learn to print, but also because they weren't teaching the keyboarding properly either! It must be taught as mmm specifies...but with the proper TEACHING SKILLS on the part of the teacher, too! Ridicule is a poor method of teaching, if it ever teaches anything at all...

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Anonymous
Joined Aug 23, 2014
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My son had typing goals incorporated into his IEP and received typing instruction from his occupational therapist. For those children who are receiving OT services, this is a good way to individulalize the learning process and make it less painful.

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Anonymous
Joined Aug 23, 2014
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Victoria, with all due respect, its not *WRONG*

Yes, I have had lots of kids successful, some (not many) kids struggled-they need to slow down and get the hand positions right. Covering the hands and working with the kids to FEEL is key. Of course, I make it very clear that life is not fair and some find it easy and some are challenged. The funny part is, it can be those straight A, everything-comes-easy who are challenged to learn something in a nonacademic mode. I compare it to shooting baskets-for some people its easy and some people have to practice and practice. and the piano players have a massive head start -its the same independent finger strikes, curved hand position.

Personally, I'm not big on speed goals-I prefer accurate work anyday-it is hard to read work that is below 90% accuracy- 1 in every 10 strikes is an error. A zillion words a minute is useless if you can't read it. Frankly, the speed is a nonissue if the touch is in place.

But most software reports speed, speed, speed. I tended to teach directly in a word processing program from copy. We also do the dreaded dictation, we chant, we play games (I say a word, they type the 1st thing taht comes to mind is a favorite, no right answers)

I did it for years, haven't done it for awhile. Had tons of success. Many kids came back years later and said they thank me everything they sit down to type.

For the mom whose child was unsuccessful, try 15 minutes everyday. Kinesthetic learning needs practice. a couple of days a week is not great. Better 10 minutes every day than 2 hours a week. Work on the home row slowly- chanting out the keys. But do cover the hands when the home row is relatively easy. Looking short circuits the touch learning.

Am I great typist-Nope. I was a math and science person. But I get the job done.

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Anonymous
Joined Aug 23, 2014
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Okay, Victoria, Would you say "well, if sounding out the words is really hard for you, it's okay to guess?" After all, there are people who have managed to learn to read pretty well that way, right?
Is it better to take sloppy shortcuts or to learn it correctly the first time, even if it takes a lot longer?
The key is understanding the genuine differences in aptitudes -- whether it's reading or typing -- and finding appropriate expectations and goals to reach. Focusing on a personal goal is *such* a powerful motivator, and speed/accuracy goals are wonderfully concrete.
Thanks mmm for the insights!

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victoria
Joined Jun 13, 2003
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No, not at all. I did say that I wish I had learned to type properly.

But when you have a kid with a real problem, I'm not talking just a little bit slow here but a *real* difficulty that frustrated a number of parents and teachers for many years, you don't just say "try harder" or "practice more".

We don't tell kids any more that they could read if they just tried harder and practiced more, or they could write if they just tried harder and practiced more, or they could spell if they just tried harder and practiced more -- so telling people they can touch-type if they just try harder and practice more is not an advance, just another runaround of the same thing.

I'm all for kinesthetic learning. That is how I finally learned to write, after four years of failure. (Bless Mrs. Ross with the dip pens and inkwells and copperplate). That's how I finally taught myself at least to hunt and peck fast and accurately. And that's how I slowly but surely learned how to ski and to be a very good driver. Both skills took me ten times the time most people put in, but I did them.

But just telling somebody "you should be able to do this, here, do it like this" is a disaster for someone who really does have a problem.
I do very well with teachers who are willing to go right back to the ground level and show the tiny peices and how they go together; I do very badly with those who say well of course, you can do it, it's easy.

mmm, you just may not be explaining what you do when you get a really off-the-wall student. Or, you may never have had one of the extreme. When computer mice were first introduced it took me half an hour to learn how to double-click . . . have you ever had one of these, and how do you deal with them?

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kgreen20
Joined Jun 27, 2003
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Posted:Jan 06, 2005 10:17:52 PM

Learning to type fast has its place, but only when you have the basics down first. Accuracy must come first--speed must never come at the expense of accuracy. I do feel that if a person types frequently enough and long enough, his wpm gradually increases. Mine did--it was somewhere in the neighborhood of 30 wpm during the mid-90s, after I learned to type, and since then, it has increased to 60 wpm. (Of course, being a writer, I do a lot of typing! =))

Now, whether a person with severe hand coordination difficulties can learn to attain that speed is another story--I'm not even going to venture to guess that. I should think, though, that as a rule, a person with handwriting problems would have an easier time learning to type than he does learning to write.

What do you all think?

Yours truly,
Kathy G.

http://www.geocities.com/zorrothefox2000/mywebsites/specialneeds.html

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victoria
Joined Jun 13, 2003
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Being a person with experience of severe hand-eye coordination difficulties which I have worked very hard to overcome, I have this argument constantly.

Handwriting requires me to coordinate two or three fingers on one hand. Touch-typing would require me to coordinate ten fingers on two hands and time the two together. Which do you think is more difficult??

In fact, although I do write and I type here constantly, and just checked myself at well over 50 wpm corrected, I still only use six or seven fingers. My little fingers on each hand don't do much and the ring fingers are pretty limited. Too bad, could be a lot worse.

Yes, again, I would love to change the past and to have had some better training in my youth. Just as you need special approaches to teach reading to the deep dyslexic, you need special approaches to teach physical skills to the terminally inept.
I constantly thank Providence for having sent me to Mrs. Ross in Grade 3, where I was taught how to write, with dip pens and inkwells -- and it works (and besides that to do arithmetic accurately, to read music, and to conjugate French verbs -- she was a teacher with high standards for herself and everyone.) Without that year my education would have been a lot less successful.
Of course it would have been great to get that same level of teaching in keyboarding, but I don't see it happening. What I see is too much of the same old testing before teaching.


mmm, I am serious in my question here. I have a number of coordination glitches. One is a sort of physical stutter: I want to type an r, I look at the r key and aim my finger at it, sometimes I even say "r" to myself, and I hit e anyway; it feels exactly like a stutter in speech where you know exactly what you plan to say but the wrong sound comes out anyhow. Another is aiming; I plan to hit an r and look and aim at it, but hit both e and r together. A third is spasming; if I am stressed, for example if someone comes up behind me and starts telling me I'm typing all wrong, my finger muscles tighten up and aim even worse if possible, and it is actually painful to move them because the muscles are locked. A fourth is timing, and this is a serious one now as I'm typing faster; I say "m-a" to myself mentally, plan to type m-a, but one hand reacts faster than the other and what comes out is a-m. A fifth is kinesthetic forgetting; I know very well where the apostrophe is, and of course I can look if I need to, but for the past year I've been consistently hitting semicolon instead of apostrophe, very irritating for the number of corrections needed in each post.
I make exactly the same kinds of errors in handwriting but just go over them.
So, have you ever had a student with this kind of terminal ineptness, and in all seriousness what do you do to teach them?
In my case, except for Mrs Ross (who did the best she could and then gave me an F, but her F was better than most people's A's) almost everyone has simply thrown their hands in the air and parked me on the bench, usually with a few insults on the way. Either I teach myself, or I hire a private ski instructor, or I don't learn the skill.

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Sue
Joined Jun 14, 2003
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I'm curious about the answer too (and am glad you clarified your position) -- have you messed with voice recognition any?

Sue J, webmastress www.resourceroom.net

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Anonymous
Joined Aug 23, 2014
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Posted:Jan 12, 2005 9:57:40 PM

Dear fellow parent:

My Grade 5 son typed 30 wpm last year on a good day. Because each child is different, we made up our own strategy. I bought him a Gameboy, and told him that for every 5 wpm, he could get another game. It didn't exactly work because after he got one game, he was satisfied. Just make the typing fun, and attach a small reward for progress. I also feel "lightening up" is a bit harsh. With an LD kid, you are all over the place. You never know when they are doing their best because they often look lazy. I'm sure many will disagree with me, but this has worked for us. Good luck, hang in there and celebrate success! MursMom

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