My students love to type. Well, that generalization probably isn't true, but they have learned the importance of knowing the keyboard, and they are physically excited when I announce it's time for the computer lab.
This year our school received a 2nd computer lab to help us get ready for all the online testing that is coming, which means that my 4th graders get computer access 2x a week (instead of once every other week of past years).
On Tuesdays we head in for 40 minutes and I have them type their summaries of our weekly story. It's been amazing watching the transformation throughout the year. When we first started many spent the entire time on a single word or sentence, now we are up to full paragraphs with quotations. They love having the ability to personalize their text with color, font, etc... They know the keyboard!
We create our story maps back in class, so they bring it and their texts with them to type. Near the end of the session they raise their hands and I
run walk quickly around the room reading their one paragraph on the screen, and giving a grade on their writing. If they get less than half of it completed they need to hand write the summaries in the classroom. It's motivation to get it done.
On Thursdays when we go in for 30 minutes, the students are taking AR tests, taking math tests, practicing skills on IXL or our My Math program, playing games on Fun to Type, or whatever else I have for them to do.
I am so thankful for technology and I really feel my students are going to be ready for all the typing they will complete during the upcoming assessments! What do you do in the computer lab?