If you’re a K-6er trying to incorporate the grade-specific Common Core State Standards (CCSS), you’ve probably noticed an interesting skillset nestled within anchor standard W.CCR.6: keyboarding!
But if you teach grades 3-6, you know exactly what I’m talking about. Take a look:
- Grade 3: With guidance and support from adults, use technology to produce and publish writing (using keyboarding skills) as well as to interact and collaborate with others.
- Grade 4: With some guidance and support from adults, use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing as well as to interact and collaborate with others; demonstrate sufficient command of keyboarding skills to type a minimum of one page in a single sitting.
- Grade 5: With some guidance and support from adults, use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing as well as to interact and collaborate with others; demonstrate sufficient command of keyboarding skills to type a minimum of two pages in a single sitting.
- Grade 6: Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing as well as to interact and collaborate with others; demonstrate sufficient command of keyboarding skills to type a minimum of three pages in a single sitting.
So what exactly do these standards mean? To get the discussion started, I’ll use some questions that Matt asked in response to my W.CCR.6 post.
What is considered “a page” and “a single sitting”?
As I’ve mentioned elsewhere, one principle in developing the CCSS was to leave the standards vague enough to allow for flexibility at local levels. Because of this, you see very few mandated texts in the CCSS, and you also see very little direction in how instruction should look in a CCSS-aligned classroom.
So in trying to define what the authors consider a page or a single sitting, I’m seeing a classic case of intentional ambiguity here. To me, it seems wise for individual states or school districts to define a page and a single sitting. And, if you want my two cents, I’d recommend using a word count to define a page, and I’d set an amount of minutes for a single sitting.
What kind of keyboarding is this?
Are we talking about keying in a previously composed document, or are we saying that these single-sitting sessions are to include the entire composition process (e.g., pre-writing, organizing, editing)?
Though I’m very open to being challenged here, my gut says the keyboarding is meant to be done in a single sitting, whereas the other skills mentioned (use of technology, publishing, interacting, and collaborating) could occur over multiple days or even weeks.
Though I appreciate that the CCSS authors have simplified reading and writing down to 10 standards apiece, the fact is that in many cases, they have only done this by condensing multiple skills into a single standard, as is the case here.
Why does keyboarding disappear from W.CCR.6 after 6th grade?
Ambitiously, David Coleman and company seem to be expecting that, once students are promoted to seventh grade, they have successfully mastered keyboarding to an extent that it no longer needs to be taught. Honestly, I think this is awesome, but having never taught keyboarding, I don’t know if it’s attainable or not.
I do know that my two-year-old has been successfully accessing Angry Birds and flinging birds the wrong way for the past six months. I don’t know if this means she’s capable of mastering the keyboard by the time she’s 11.
My gut says that, if she starts working on it in third grade like the standards suggest, she can probably pwn it by the time she’s a seventh grader.
What implications does this have for high school business departments?
It seems to me that, when we start getting students who have experienced an adequate K-8 implementation of the CCSS, we’ll see high school business courses either ceasing to exist or, much more preferably, going much, much deeper into computer-based business skills.
What are other folks discovering as they seek to grapple with and implement these keyboarding standards? Use the comments section to get a rockin’ convo going.