Bowman: 6th Grade Intro. to Computers

Sixth Grade

Name of class: Intro. to  Computers

Teacher: Linda Bowman

Course length: 12 weeks (one trimester)

Class focus: keyboarding (learning the reaches for all letters, numbers and other characters on the keyboard and appropriate techniques and work habits) and word-processing (basic file management, editing and formatting)

Software used: UltraKey for keyboarding and Microsoft Office 2007 Word for word-processing.

Grading: Keyboarding (lessons, timings, techniques and work habits) and word-processing (seven assignments) All grades are point-based.

Answers to likely questions:

Do all students have to attain the same level of speed and accuracy?

No, I can and do adjust levels individually.  I base levels on results in the first few weeks.  I will make them high enough to be challenging, but will also lower levels as needed–based on my analysis of student results.

Why are students not allowed to fix their errors in UltraKey (keyboarding)?

If I allow student to edit their errors, that becomes their focus.  I want them to focus on avoiding errors in the first place.

What word-processing skills do students learn?

Students, over the course of six assignments, will learn basic file management and word-processing skills, such as creating documents and folders, saving (name and location), renaming, opening, printing; editing skills such as cut, copy, paste, drag and drop, find and replace; using tools such as spell check and thesaurus; formatting: margins, indents, bullets and numbering, shading, borders, etc.

Will students use the internet in this class?

Sixth grade students are not assigned to do any work on the internet, however, I do allow those students who are a day ahead on their lessons/timings to play internet-based keyboarding games.  If a student does not have internet permission (as okayed by parents during registration), they will not be allowed to use the internet in class.

Could you explain Round 1 and Round 2?

Students–in keyboarding–do all the lessons and timings in UltraKey at a set level of speed and accuracy.  This is Round 1.  For Round 2, students are assigned a new, higher (more challenging) level and redo all skill checks.  Since students do not do lessons on round 2, they are assigned to do a set of weekly pattern drills (shift key practices).

About the Shift Key Practice Drills

These drills have a four-fold purpose: practicing each letter thoroughly, practicing the shift key very thoroughly, learning to follow text without losing one’s place, and learning to type longer passages. These drills are not timed: students must get a result of 97% accuracy or higher. (Speed does not matter.) The drills are graded in sets of five (except the last set which contains six letters).

Can any work be done at home?

Most work–especially at the beginning of the course–can not be done at home.  However, the shift key practices can be typed up at home (using word-processing software).  As necessary, I give students written copies of the drills so that they can do them at home. Because they can fix their errors at home (not allowed in UltraKey), they must have 100% accuracy. These timings can be submitted as a print-out, via email ( or on a USB drive.

Students could work on their word-processing assignments at home, if they have the appropriate software.  Be advised, however, that if you have a newer version at home, you will want to save the document in RTF (rich text format)or as an earlier version compatible with Microsoft Office 2007. Otherwise, your student might not be able to open it here.