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An easy trick to get students to stop looking at their hands

A few months back, Miss Kate and Ms. Valentine at Yung Wing Elementary School gave their 4th-grade students an assignment to type up a report.

They expected that they would have to address issues of formatting and grammar, but they never realized that the real struggle would be the typing itself!

Most of the students were hunting and pecking their way across the keyboard, and so the assignment took far longer than expected.

The teachers knew that something that had to be fixed and discussed what could be done to help their students learn to type with their colleagues.

With budget constraints, their only option was to find a free solution. That’s when they heard about Typing.com.

A post shared by Teaching.com (@teachingcom) on

A post shared by Teaching.com (@teachingcom) on

A trick to get students to stop looking at their fingers

This past week I had the privilege of visiting Yung Wing Elementary School and meeting the 4th-grade teachers.  Their 4th-grade students loved using Typing.com and many, at their teachers’ suggestion, had changed the skin on their lessons.

I noticed that the students who had changed the skin on their lessons were looking less at their hands and more at the keyboard.

For those who don’t know about this feature, students have the ability to change the appearance of the Typing.com website to match their style.

From princesses to superheroes or underwater animals, take your pick!

Not only does this change the background and font of the site, it even changes the hands and keyboard below the lessons.

With this one, simple trick teachers can keep students more engaged in their typing lessons and help them to break the habit of looking down at their fingers as they type!

So if you haven’t had a chance yet, be sure to invite your students to check out our custom skins!


12 thoughts on “An easy trick to get students to stop looking at their hands

  1. We use tea towels to cover hand, I have about 10 for pupils that are looking down however I need more as pupils ask to use them as they know that they cheat…

    1. That’s a great tactic, thanks for sharing! One teacher even mentioned using boxer shorts in their class, one hand through each leg, to help cover the keyboard as the kids type!

  2. Can hardly wait for beginning computer class tomorrow! I have two students who are constantly looking at their hands. I asked how they would feel about typing under blindfold and they were enthusiastic about it. But I realized on my way home that they wouldn’t be able to see the screen to type!

    1. That’s what we call Ninja level typing skills! You could always try that with dictation just for practice.

  3. Schools go through a lot of paper. Cut the lids of copier paper boxes to fit over the keyboard. May need to cut a small mouse hole for the keyboard cord to fit. Free solution but I really like the idea of the boxer shorts – students may go crazy for the Captain Underpants books coming to life on the keyboards.

  4. I use the lids from copy paper boxes, cut in half from short side to short side, to cover the keyboards.

  5. I use shoe boxes to keep my students’ eyes up. I have them decorate the box and cut one long side to fit their arms. It seems to work! (I have the students bring in the boxes!)

  6. Our school got a whole bunch of Orange T Shirts from the Anaheim Ducks. I got the left overs and use them for the keyboard. The kids get excited during hockey season with our “Ducks Challenge.”

  7. I have been brainstorming on how to get my students to not look at the keyboard. I love that typing.com has skins! That should help!
    In a previous school, we had opaque molded keyboard covers. BUT – I had a computer lab there, and the students came to me. At my new job I go from classroom to classroom, and the students use Chromebooks. The box cover idea was my first thought, until I realized it would cover the bottom of the screen. Then I thought of a fabric book cover – still need to try that. If that doesn’t work, I’m going to try the t-shirt idea. I’m not starting keyboarding until I have a means to prevent the students from looking at the keyboard. Thanks, typing.com, for having this discussion!!! It has been very helpful to me!

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