Pre-Keys!
by Doc Frog
Lesson One
The Need for Speed
In Lesson One the Teacher or Tutor (T) works with each student (S) individually or in small groups. Each S is allowed and encouraged to look at the keyboard to find number and letter keys until lesson three. It may be necessary to repeat each lesson for two or three times until each S becomes fluent. Fluency is achieved when the S does not pause between key strokes.

A. “What is the first thing you must do when you sit down to a networked computer? You must sign in. Sometimes you use your name. Sometimes you use a number or word that has been assigned to you.”

B. “I have already opened, for you, a word processor program. Everyone have it? Good. Sit up straight with your fingers curved and make sure that your wrists are not resting but are raised slightly, like this. When your fingers are straight, then they are all different lengths. But, when they are curved then your fingertips line up like sailors on deck. They are ready for action.”

C. “Now key (type) your first and last names, then hit Enter (Return for Macs), and do it again. We’re going to key our names for 30 seconds. Ready? Go.”

D. “Stop. Count how many times you keyed your name. Show the number at the bottom of the screen, just after the last line. Notice which fingers you used to key your name. Did you use all of your fingers or just one or two?”

E. “Now use your right pinkey finger to press the Enter (or Return) key. We are going to key lines of numbers for 30 seconds, the same way we did with names. Be sure to use the number keys just above the letter keys. Do not touch the function keys, those with F next to the number, e.g. F1, F2, and so on.” If you do, then you will walk the plank (go to time out for ten minutes).

F. “Think of your fingers hopping like little frogs from 1 to 9. Think or say the name for each number as you press it.”

G. “Left hand, 1 2 3 4 5. Right hand, 6 7 8 9 and Enter (or Return); repeat this for thirty seconds. Ready? Go.”

H. “Stop. Count the number of times that you keyed number lines in 30 seconds. Compare that to the number of times that you keyed your name. Your goal, by the end of this course, is to key your full name as many times in 30 seconds as you can key the lines of numbers.”

I. If a printer is available then have the students print and date the pretest to save and compare to a post test at the end of the lessons.

J. Optional: With students who do not easily remember their left hand from their right hand, sing the "Hokey Pokey" song with the left hands and feet. Then sing the song again, substituting "Pinkey Pokey" with the right hands and feet.

K. Optional: Repeat this activity with PowerPoint and again with Excel. In the future each student will self-select which program to use.

L. Open Doc Frog's Progress Chart, aka the “speed test graph” using Microsoft Excel and enter each student’s number line score for lesson one. Allow the students to correct any typographical errors made when typing their names. We want them to learn from their mistakes!

M. With the remaining time get to know the students and their plans for the future.

N. Finally, ask the students how computer keyboarding activities will help them to achieve their lifelong learning goals.