Promotional image for episode 184 of the 'Tech Tools for Teachers' podcast, featuring a smiling Caucasian woman with shoulder-length brown hair. The image includes a vibrant blue abstract wave design in the background. Text overlays announce 'EPISODE #184 - TAP INTO TYPING FUN!' with the podcast's logo in the top left corner.

Tap Into Typing Fun!

🎹 3 Websites to Level Up Student Keyboarding

In our digital world, keyboarding is an essential 21st century skill for students. Proper typing technique allows kids to get thoughts onto the screen efficiently. Not only that, but strong keyboarding abilities will set them up for success throughout their academic and professional careers. That’s why it’s so important to make keyboarding practice engaging and fun!

Are your students’ typing skills a little rusty? Hey, even hunt-and-peck heroes need to level up their keyboarding game sometimes! This week, we’re featuring 3 awesome typing websites that’ll have your students tapping away like tiny piano virtuosos in no time.

First up,! This site has an easy-to-follow tutorial that teaches proper typing technique without peeking at the keys. By practicing regularly, those little fingers will learn the keyboard layout through pure muscle memory. It’s perfect for beginners mastering the basics and keyboard.

Next, we’ve got – the full keyboarding collection! Video tutorials will guide your students through every keystroke, making it an excellent resource for teachers leading whole-class lessons or independent studiers. Each video is quick and easy to follow. Students will have no problem following along.

Last but definitely not least, is an epic playground packed with tons of engaging typing games for all ages. From TyperRush to Cow Cannon, they’ve got every key covered in fun and challenging ways. You can add to your student choice boards or race students yourself! They are a lo of fun!

So what are you waiting for? Get those keyboards warmed up and those keys clicking! The earlier we can help kids build strong keyboarding muscle memory, the better prepared they’ll be to effectively express their ideas through writing. So check out these sites and see which “type” would work best in your classroom.

Have a great week everyone!


Related Episodes:

[00:00:00] Shanna Martin: Thanks for listening to the Tech Tools for Teachers podcast, where each week we talk about a free piece or two of technology that you can use in your classroom. I’m your host, Shanna Martin. I’m a middle school teacher, technology and instructional coach from my district.

[00:00:32] Fuzz Martin: And I’m her producer and husband, Fuzz Martin, and I fell in love with Shanna because she’s my type.

[00:00:38] Shanna Martin: Oh, wow. Okay. Yeah.

[00:00:42] Fuzz Martin: Thanks for listening.

[00:00:43] Shanna Martin: Fancy. Well, that’s fun.

[00:00:46] Fuzz Martin: Thank you.

[00:00:46] Shanna Martin: Yay.

[00:00:48] Fuzz Martin: So many years ago.

[00:00:51] Shanna Martin: Oh my goodness. Anyway, so it’s episode 184. The year is rolling on in. We’re in May. Yay. It’s gonna be May.

[00:01:03] Fuzz Martin: It’s gonna be May.

[00:01:05] Shanna Martin: So, I mean, it is May, but. Anywho,

[00:01:08] Fuzz Martin: it’s still May,

[00:01:09] Shanna Martin: it is, and we’re getting towards the end of the school year.

And so we thought this week we’d do a quick episode of just some fun, practical typing activities. So this is for all of those awesome computers teachers, all of those like probably sixth grade and under, but you know what, some of these middle schoolers, they use them all, you know, they all can text real fast, but when it comes to actually typing on a keyboard, they’re not so fast with it.


[00:01:36] Fuzz Martin: not so fast.

[00:01:37] Shanna Martin: Not so fast. So, these three websites are all based around different types of typing skills, practicing typing skills, and their games and activities, and if anything else If your kids are driving you nuts, you’d be like, who wants to race on a typing game? And then they can race you because you’ve already started before we started the podcast today.

[00:02:00] Fuzz Martin: I just have to say, I creamed some kids playing this racing game earlier and I, I felt great.

[00:02:09] Shanna Martin: So it’s one of those that you can kind of build into any subject area. You can build into any sort of choice board. If you’re adding those for your students and also kind of building on some of those skills that a lot of them could have some practice with.

So we’re talking about three different sites today. One of them is a little more straightforward. One of them is more video based. The last one, well, there’s games involved. So here we go. The first site is called Rat type rat So it’s R-A-T-A-T-Y-P Rat type type faster. Learn to type faster with ratta type typing tutor.

Take your typing lessons for free. Okay? ’cause we love free, there’s several different things you can start with. So at the top you’ve got your typing tutor. So start typing type B to find out how many words per minute you can type. What are you at?

[00:03:08] Fuzz Martin: Ninety six. What’d you get?

[00:03:11] Shanna Martin: Fifty.

[00:03:13] Fuzz Martin: Yes.

[00:03:13] Shanna Martin: But it’s because I wasn’t really focused when I was doing it, so I should probably take it again because I actually am a pretty fast typer.

Should we

[00:03:19] Fuzz Martin: wait for you and let you go? No. Okay.

[00:03:21] Shanna Martin: I’m good. Also, if I like focus.

[00:03:24] Fuzz Martin: I had to hit the backspace too even in there.

[00:03:26] Shanna Martin: Wow. Yeah. Aren’t you fancy? So what it does, it’s going to test out where your kids are at, and then it will go through and once you practice. And type in your information. It’ll tell you what needs to happen next, and it’ll work you through your different levels and you can practice typing.

They have a little typing certification test, so you can go through and follow all of that and they can go through. So it’s a lot of just fun, little practice things. You can get little certificates that say how many words you can do, and you can earn different levels if you choose to. So you can take the real typing test, and then it’ll check your speed and accuracy like any typing activity would.

It’s fun. The typing test itself is like two or three minutes and then the kids can practice from there. So really, retotype is just a great way to kind of introduce kids to typing. It doesn’t have a lot of extras in it, but it’s, it’s engaging and it’ll teach them the skills that you want them to know.

It even has like the little. Invisible hands on the keyboard, and that type of thing. So, ratotype goes through all the basics.

[00:04:26] Fuzz Martin: Do, so I’ve been out of middle school for a few years. Do children keyboarding actual class on this? How does that work in

[00:04:38] Shanna Martin: Fun question. Yes. So, it depends on the district expectations.

And, uh, what the teachers build into the curriculum. So it really is on a, like, district by district basis. So for a while there, typing was taught in third grade, sometimes taught in second grade. Um, actual typing skills, which actually here at Ratatype has it too, where you have like sitting posture, home row position.

For our kids, that’s reviewed again in sixth grade. For like a couple weeks though, it’s not spent. Like regularly, but they used to have like those little like layover things, like those orange, I don’t think anybody uses those really anymore. So it really depends on the district as to what their expectation is for typing and for computer skills.

So a lot of kids are based now it’s digital literacy, which is the big push. So making sure that they are aware of their surroundings, what emails they’re sending. What they’re posting online. And there’s all kinds of cool activities based around that. Like Google has Interland and there’s all kinds of stuff.

So that is started at a young age. So kindergarten, first grade, they have like little red, green, yellow lights. What’s safe, what’s not to put online. And then that’s where they start younger kids and then social media, stuff like that. That’s a big push for sure. Okay. All grade levels. And then the keyboard thing is based on.

They’re hoping by third grade they have some keyboarding skills, especially in Wisconsin, because our forward exam is based around, like, third graders have to type their responses. So hopefully they have some keyboarding skills by third grade, but even then, like the accuracy and stuff that takes time.

[00:06:20] Fuzz Martin: And I’m guessing a lot of the students who went through the COVID years were

[00:06:25] Shanna Martin: on

[00:06:25] Fuzz Martin: the computers most of the time anyway.

[00:06:27] Shanna Martin: Well, there are a lot of times on tablets and things like that, especially on computers. So because of that, that’s not typing. It’s just,

[00:06:33] Fuzz Martin: yeah.

[00:06:34] Shanna Martin: You know, a little clicking and dragging, and doing that kind of thing.

So by third grade is where we’re hoping that they have some skills.

[00:06:38] Fuzz Martin: I had a woman named Mrs. Raisin, and I remember her name well because it was very easy to remember her name. She was a librarian and also our keyboarding teacher, and she was fantastic. And that’s why, uh, I just retook the test 106 words per minute.

Thank you.

[00:06:52] Shanna Martin: Good job.

All right. So Ratatype is our first one. Try it out. There’s a quick little typing tutor. There’s a test. And then it also, like I said, goes through some of those basic skills. So sitting up, posture, keys. So we all don’t get carpal tunnel, those types of things.

[00:07:10] Mrs. Raisin: Cool.

[00:07:11] Shanna Martin: retotype. com. Check it out. The second one.

Is called typing club. Typing So it’s T-Y-P-I-N-G-C-L-U And what’s interesting about this one is, so this is gonna be more of a video based lesson. So like home row, you click and you wa like, each video is about a minute or so. And it shows you like, it shows the kids how their hands should be moving and how they should be typing and what that should look like.

[00:07:39] Mrs. Raisin: Setting up your finger positioning. Look at the F and J keys on your keyboard. Do you see the bumps on each key? Close your eyes and feel for the bumps using your two index fingers.

[00:07:49] Shanna Martin: So just like that, it’ll walk you through. So this is a great way for kids to, if they’re working independently, to learn the skills.

Or if you have a small group and the kids, like, you can say, all right, they’re going to watch the video and they’re going to practice. Or you can do as a whole class is like a typing lesson. It’s going to walk them through the step by step process, which is what you want your kids to learn. So it kind of does your basic computer keyboarding lessons that you would like for it to do.

Um, and you don’t have to plan it all because it’s done. for you. So typing club. com goes through, has a whole little video set and explains all the different things. And that goes into the top row and bottom row. And Basics. And I mean, there is over 200 plus videos that walk you through the whole process.

So I liked that one because I thought that was kind of cool. Quick one minute lessons. And the kids can actually, like parents, if you want to do it through the summertime, you can teach them some little typing skills. Um, and they can practice that way.

[00:08:51] Fuzz Martin: And if you name the voice that’s talking to you, Mrs. Raisin, you can pretend like you’re Fuzz in middle school.

[00:08:57] Shanna Martin: There you go. It’s the TypingClub. com. So I liked that one. It was video based. It was different than some of the other ones that are just like, type now. And you don’t know, like, what am I typing? They’re like, find the F and you’re like hunting and pecking this way.

Like you can watch the video and make sure that your fingers are in the right spots. And the bumps, close your eyes and feel the bumps. There you go. Ta da! Okay. And our last one, cause you know, I had to talk about three, so, you know, it’s been a while.

[00:09:25] Fuzz Martin: Otherwise it’d be too balanced for us.

[00:09:28] Shanna Martin: So the last one is typinggames. zone. Yes.

[00:09:33] Fuzz Martin: This is, this is the awesome one. Okay. So yeah, we’ll get to that one in a minute.

[00:09:36] Shanna Martin: So this one, just so you’re aware, there are ads in this one. A lot. Um, a lot of ads, but everything I’ve seen has been kid friendly. Mostly it’s for buying Legos. Yes. But that just could be because I buy a lot of Legos.

I think you’re buying Legos

[00:09:48] Fuzz Martin: because mine’s for like business y stuff. Okay. Well, a lot of good stuff too.

[00:09:51] Shanna Martin: And Legos. So, there are a lot of ads, but there’s also a lot of games. Unlock your typing potential with 139 exciting free games to improve your speed. And clearly, were you doing Typing Attack or Typer Rush?

[00:10:07] Fuzz Martin: I was doing Typer Rush, and I um

[00:10:10] Shanna Martin: Guitar Type? Nope. Nope.

[00:10:12] Fuzz Martin: Typing

[00:10:12] Shanna Martin: ghosts, typing channel. Wow. We just have like all the songs today.

[00:10:20] Fuzz Martin: This one, you, uh, you, you get the race and you, I’m typing. Mark went rafting on a nice summer morning, but they were unaware that the current was on you, you Ollie.

[00:10:42] Shanna Martin: Yeah.

[00:10:43] Fuzz Martin: Okay, so we’re good.

I was doing good. I was in first place, but.

[00:10:47] Shanna Martin: And then you lost. You

[00:10:48] Fuzz Martin: guys don’t care and I just skidded out. Oh, by the way, all those squealing noises when I got a letter wrong. Nice.

[00:10:54] Shanna Martin: Oh, that’s fun.

[00:10:54] Fuzz Martin: Yeah.

[00:10:55] Shanna Martin: So that one is similar to nitro, nitro type, which we’ve talked about before. Oh my gosh. We’ve talked about Nitro Type before, that’s like a big one in the middle school.

This is kind of a simpler version of that. They also have, um, I just went into a castle hunt one. Oh, yeah, okay. It’s called Night Fight? Nope, Space Type. Space Type, eliminate the invading troops from each planet and go to the next mission. So you look like you’re in a castle and then you’re going to go hunt through some Different space things.

And that gives you like your keys to use and all of those different things. So I mean, there are so many typing games. If your kids are like, Hey, I have nothing to do. You’re like pick 139 games to go practice your typing. And they’re different levels and they’re different. Interests. This is called cow cannon.

There’s a cow, there’s a cow launcher. And so it tells you, um, like you’re focusing on J keys, F and J to aim, and you have to hit your space bar. So F J and shoot. So really like we’re gaming for sure, but also my goodness, I don’t know if anyone’s prepared for this this week, by the way, the typing games, there’s a lot of extra sounds going on.

And so. You can fire off a cow. And that’s, I keep dropping the cow on the ground, but anyway, so there’s all different types of typing games that are going to practice different things. Um, and they also have tips for teachers. So what helps kids focus for, oh my God, typing training begins. In elementary schools, it talks about how to engage students in their learning of how to type.

It goes through like which letters on the keyboard. So as a teacher, it actually has supports if you scroll down past all the games. of how to teach typing to kids effectively. So I think that that’s kind of cool. Across the top, they also have, a typing test, like an official one with skills, if you want to take it.

They have extra typing practice, again, and these are more formalized. They’re not just the games that you can play. So besides typing games, the zone, you also have options for actual Straightforward typing in the keyboard and lessons and things like that. So there you go.

[00:13:21] Fuzz Martin: Oh man. I just, I just, this cow is still going.

I figured out, you know how I figured it out? By reading the rules.

[00:13:30] Shanna Martin: Right. If you, yeah, that’s helpful. That was pretty slick. This may be my

[00:13:36] Fuzz Martin: favorite. Oh, is that a trampoline? Oh, yes.

[00:13:41] Shanna Martin: Oh my goodness. So typing games. zone clearly is entertaining for all, including Fuzz and your students. And. Well, we want typing at a younger age.

I’m sure middle school would be highly entertained by these, and high school and adults, and that’s fine too. So if you’re sitting at your desk and you’re like, Hey, Hey, I’m going to try out some of these typing games for my students. You might be, you know, hauled in and engaged yourself, and you might then compete with your students in some of these typing activities.

[00:14:16] Fuzz Martin: I mean, rainy day.

[00:14:17] Shanna Martin: Right? We’ll all be better typers on a rainy day.

[00:14:21] Fuzz Martin: 106 words a minute. That’s

[00:14:24] Shanna Martin: I’ll post mine in my blog after I really take a minute to, like,

[00:14:28] Fuzz Martin: type. We can exaggerate. Nobody’s watching over your shoulder. 200! There you go. Look at you. You are so fast. Man, your keyboard’s smoking. Careful. I don’t want, I don’t want to have to buy another MacBook.

[00:14:39] Shanna Martin: Yeah, we’re good. Oh my goodness. Okay. So three typing activities. See what you can get your kids to do, play

[00:14:46] Fuzz Martin: some

[00:14:48] Shanna Martin: games and report at how far you can get your cow to launch, and we’ll be good.

[00:14:53] Fuzz Martin: By the way, uh, over 4, 000 meters. That’s like almost, almost three miles.

[00:14:58] Shanna Martin: On that note, thanks for tuning in. This has been the Tech Tools for Teachers podcast.

If you ever have any questions, you can find the app formerly known as Twitter. Spartan.

At SpartanWI. com or on threads. And if you want to get more information on the links to the technology discussed in this episode.

[00:15:20] Fuzz Martin: You can do it, Shanna.

[00:15:23] Shanna Martin: You can visit SpartanWI. com. If you’d like to support the show, please consider buying me a coffee or two. Visit buymeacoffee. com slash smartinwi, or visit smartinwi.

com and click on that cute little purple coffee cup. Your donations help get the show going. If there is a show next week.

[00:15:41] Fuzz Martin: If there is a show next week. The ideas and opinions expressed on this podcast and the SmartinWI website are those of the author, Shanna Martin, and not of her employer. Prior to using any of the technologies discussed in this podcast, please consult with your employer regulations.

This podcast offers no guarantee that these tools will work for you as described, but we sure hope they do. And we don’t condone the launching of cows, even for type A. And we’ll talk to you next time, right here on the Tech Tools for Teachers podcast.

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