Friday, September 21, 2007

Touch Typing Blues

This week Miss Rumphius challenged us to try writing a Blues Poem. She suggested starting by thinking about something that depresses you. This year I am teaching keyboarding in the computer lab to grades kindergarten through fifth. I can't say it really depresses me, but it might effect my students that way. I remember back in Jr. High, when I first took typing class, how hard we were on our teacher Mr. H. My girlfriends and I used to make up romance novellas about poor nerdy Mr. H. and pass them around as notes between the typewriters. I never, in my wildest imagination, dreamed that I would one day be the typing teacher. Here's my first attempt at a Blues Poem:

Touch Typing Blues

Touch typing in the lab,
got my fingers on the keys.
Said touch typing in the lab,
got my fingers on the keys.
Got a pain in my neck;
goes way down to my knees.

Teacher says keep my eyes
up on the screen.
Oh that teacher says keep yo
eyes up on the screen!
My teacher she’s got a
right wicked kind of mean.

She said increase your accuracy now;
don’t worry about your speed.
Said increase your accuracy child;
no need to worry ‘bout no speed.
Fingers on the home row &
keep them working till you bleed.

Been typing so long I
lost the feeling in my toes.
Typing all the long day
while the cold wind blows.
Got the touch typing blues
way down here in my soul.

Well my eyes are blurry
and my shoulders in a hunch.
Got my eyes all blurry
and my shoulders in a bunch.
Those touch typing blues will
carry me straight through lunch.

Touch typing in the lab,
got my fingers on the keys.
Teacher says keep your
eyes up on the screen.
These touch typing blues
come to carry my poor soul away.

Go on over to Miss Rumphius to read other Blues Poems, and check out the Friday Poetry round up at Read, Write, Believe.


Andrea said...

Hey...what materials do you use to teach them? I'd like my 7-year-old to learn, and all we've got is a SpongeBob program that came with some Reader Rabbit software...and I hate it. It's more cartoon than typing, and there is no talk about what fingers she should use on what keys, let alone any mention of the home row.

I guess I could just far she still has no NEED to type (and if she did, she'd be bugging me to use my computer!). But I am curious what you use, and does it keep the younger ones engaged?

(P.S. Love the Touch Typing Blues :))

Cloudscome said...

We use the Type to Learn programs, starting with TTL, Jr. for the Kindergarten - second graders. By fourth grade we move them over to Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing. I like all these programs and the kids do too. It's good to get the younger ones learning in a structured program if they have interest and motivation, so they don't teach themselves bad fingering habits that they will later have to unlearn. One of the kids mentioned that SpongeBob program to me today. That's nice I said, but we have that covered! :)

sara holbrook said...

When I read this, I was reminded of a blues poem/song I heard teacher/singer Ted DeMille perform at IRA last year -- it was the short pencil blues or some such title. He uses it with his first graders. He teaches at Nancie Atwell's school in Maine. Great guy.

I LOVE your blog and have been browsing. I'll have to subscribe, it is great to make this connection. thank you so much for writing -- I'll write you more backchannel.

Sara said...

I would indeed be blue if I had to teach typing. Although, I kind of liked my high school that nerdy?

Susan said...

My typing teacher (8th grade) threw chalk at one of the boys who was misbehaving. Yikes.

Like the poem, Cloudscome!

Karen E. said...

I love it!

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