Teaching Typing/ Keyboarding in a Special Ed Classroom

A lot of the teachers at my school are teaching kiddos typing/ keyboarding skills... I loved the idea of having my students type because it's such an important life skill and some of my kiddos struggle with the fine motor skills involved with using a pen/pencil... but I had NO idea how I was going to teach my students with moderate to severe disabilities how to type when some of them don't know all of the letters yet. So, I did a good ole internet search and ended up finding some color-coded keyboards like this one. The color-coded keyboards already out there are okay, but they definitely aren't going to give my kiddos the visual prompts they really need to type... so I decided to just make my own adapted keyboard.

First, I ordered a keyboard with larger keys that already had some color-coding. Then I made a template using Powerpoint to color-code each letter on the keyboard. I printed the little letter pieces out, laminated & cut them out and then hot glued them to the keyboard. Then I used the template to create little color-coded word strips that are a visual prompt for kiddos to type their names and basic CVC words.

I was super excited to try the keyboard out with my class, but I had no idea how well it would actually go! I have a few kiddos who can type their name and a few CVC words independently with the fancy keyboard and word strips!

I found my keyboard on Ebay for $20, so make sure you shop around a bit before you buy one! I just looked around Amazon, eBay, etc. and searched "large adapted keyboard." Here are some pretty reasonably priced keyboards:
Amazon $30
Office Depot $38
Walmart $29

You can download the template for free here! With the template, you can print out the letters for the keyboard and you can also use it to make visuals for kiddos with their names, words, etc.  Do you have any tips or tricks for modifying computer/ iPad equipment so students with moderate to severe disabilities can type?

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