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I was going to start testing typing test for 3rd and 4th graders. How do you guys grade wpm? Do you grade by improvement or do you just give the students a grade for whatever their wpm is? Some of my students do not have computers at home so the only practice they get is at school so I didn't know which way would be the better way to grade. Thanks!!

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I tell students that the 10 most important things about keyboarding are:
  • Technique
  • Technique
  • Technique
  • Technique
  • Technique
  • Technique
  • Technique
  • Technique
  • Accuracy
  • Speed

Since technique is what I stress I feel that my grading must reflect that. I have found that there is a wide range of where students start in their keyboarding so to set a class speed goal can be frustrating and almost impossible for some to reach. For example, I tell students that I would like all 5th graders to type at least 25wpm (I use 5x grade as the "shoot for this" speed goal) but each student's actual goal will be set based on where they start. For example, in my 5th grade class, I have students that are typing at 12wpm to start and others who are typing at 35wpm to start. To set the same goal for them is crazy. The student typing 12wpm is not going to reach a goal of 25wpm in a few weeks of keyboarding classes. To tell the student who's starting at 35wpm that their goal is only 25wpm is equally as frustrating for them.

So, I grade keyboarding mostly on technique - I grade technique weekly during class by walking around and grading as they type. At the end of our keyboarding lessons, I get the accuracy grade from Mavis Beacon since that's what we use - it's a percentage in Mavis Beacon & I just record that as their accuracy grade. Speed is graded as a percentage of their goal and each student has an individual goal set based on their starting speed. So say a student starts out typing 10wpm their first week of keyboarding class - their goal might be set at 15 or 18wpm for the end of the keyboarding session. At the end of the lessons, I look at the % of the goal achieved and that's their speed grade. All this means that at the end of a 6 week keyboarding session of classes, I'll have 6 technique grades, 1 accuracy grade & 1 speed grade.

Thanks for the great ideas! I like the way you emphasize where accuracy and speed fall on the list of things that students should focus on! :-)

I am to grade on WPM. I use Learning.com to get the word count and then I use the following:
3rd Grade:
7 wpm - 12 points (100%)
6 wpm - 11 points (92%)
5 wpm - 10 points (83%)
etc.

4th Grade:
10 wpm - 15 points (100%)
9 wpm - 14 points (93%)
8 wpm - 13 points (87%)
etc.

5th Grade:
12 wpm - 20 points (100%)
11 wpm - 19 points (95%)
10 wpm - 18 points (90%)
etc.

6th Grade:
15 wpm - 25 points (100%)
14 wpm - 24 points (96%)
13 wpm - 23 points (92%)
etc.

Now I will tell you my student teacher is trying something new (which I suggested I was thinking about doing). She is giving a weekly one point grade based on "style". If students are sitting up straight, feet on the floor (or aimed that way), using 10 fingers, having your hands curled, etc. Till the end of the unit that should add up to about 10 additional points which will help. Each Learning.com lesson is graded, the end wpm test is graded, plus the style points.

I hope this helps.
I find it interesting that 100% in 6th grade is 15wpm. Our school has always used 5wpm x grade level & this is difficult for some students to achieve - do you know the Learning.com wpm for 8th grade?
The grading scale was designed by our departement. If you would like I can email the Junior High for their grading scale.
We do not grade on wpm. Type to Learn shows the students' wpm so that they can see their progress. I stress technique - healthy posture and position. Their individual wpm are discussed as an area to measure their own progress, but not graded.
I see students on a seven day rotation, and keyboarding is only part of that class time.
We like Type to Learn in our district as well. In my classroom the program is used more as a warm up program on the introduction/review days of a row of keys. However, Learning.com is considered our graded assignment.
I also use Type to Learn for 4th and 5th graders.  Ours came with Type to Learn Assessment, where it tells them how fast they are typing and with what % accuracy.  I don't grade on wpm either.  But, I do think it's important that they improve.  SO... I have them do several lessons, note their progress, and then set their own goal.  We talk about setting appropriate goals (20wpm is not appropriate if you're only typing 7...).  Then we set a reward, such as a KidPix day or something.  I give them a month or so to reach their goal.  I conference with kids and we talk about their goal.  We talk about if they need to change it or not.  It seems to really motivate them and they are so excited when they meet their goal!
We teach keyboarding in grade 2. I use Dance Mat Typing (online at http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/typing/ ). It is the best program I have found. It is also online so does not need to be upgraded when the operating system gets upgraded. I mark the students on technique alone. If that becomes automatic, I feel speed and accuracy will improve over time.
I grade on improvement. I just finished giving grades 3-5 an assessment. Some are at 10 wpm; some 20 and everywhere in between. They practice until next trimester, then I give them another five-minute quiz. Those who improve 20% get 10/10. Those who improve 10-20% get 9/10. 0-10% is an 8/10. No improvement is a 7/10 and if they typed slower, they got 6/10. This was as fair as I could get for those who had fine motor skill issues or just weren't that great at it. I've used it for six years and it's always worked well.

My only issue has been that the Middle School teachers are pushing for higher wpm so the kids can do more of their work on a computer. I don't think pushing 3rd graders to type fast is a good idea. Like Vicky says--technique is what I'm comfortable stressing, but not speed.
Can you share the quiz?  I am interested in seeing the assessment. Thanks!

The test itself is a Dolch word story I found and slightly revised (to remove quotation marks and such. I save those for Middle School). There's nothing outstanding about it, but I've uploaded it. I should mention a few other items. I give students 1 minute at the end to correct grammar and spelling. This helps them learn that Word skill. I only deduct if they didn't correct all of them, but most do. I also give a free dress pass (we have uniforms at my school) for those who meet the year's speed goal. I've found that to get speed, students must have the accuracy, whereas the reverse isn't always true. The top class per grade level gets a pass that gives them one of several prizes (things like game play during keyboarding, 5 extra credit points, sit where they want to during class--items specific to my student group's interests).

 

Sorry I went on so long. Hope this helps.

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