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Classroom Computer

Compiled By: Editor

Tips for managing classroom computer use. Finding and structuring time for students' use of classroom computers.

computer workshop
Posted by: Emily

It is so difficult to manage computers and kids in the classroom. Dr. Donald Leu has written a lot about how to incorporate technology in the classroom in a more seamless way. He sometimes has articles in the Reading Teacher.

One of his suggestions was to have an Internet Workshop. I've tried this and with a little time, it definitely worked. Each student had a 20 minute slot to work on the computer during the day. Depending on the number of kids you have, you may want to have the students paired up. The time slots were usually during independent work time, etc. So, they were missing some of instruction, but when they returned from the computer, they could always make up the work.

When the students were at the computer I gave them a short assignment. I usually had the assignment instructions beside the computer so they wouldn't need to ask me for directions while I was teaching.

You can do things on Microsoft Word like practice spelling words using word art or different fonts and colors, use text boxes to label an insect or a plant

If you have the Internet, Cyberchase on Pbs has lots of great activities for kids. I've used the tangram one before

There are also math sites that allow kids to practice math facts, telling time, etc.

Try to choose activities that are pretty simple and won't cause a lot of extra work on your part or will cause few questions while the kids are working on the computer.

I always explain the activity at the beginning of the week, show them how to do it, with them gathered around the computer, and then set the schedule in motion.

There's really no easy way to integrate the computers, especially if you only have one, but this is one way that I thought was novel and can really work.

one computer classroom
Posted by: Lisa

There is a great book called Great Teaching in the One Computer Classroom by David A. Dockterman, Ed.D. It was given to me by a tech specialist after going through some computer course in our parish.

I also suggest that the computer not be used as students finish their written assignments since your fast-finishers will always get 1st choice and work quality goes down when there is a reward when you're done.

I have used rotating system, and this year I plan to create class centers and the computer station will be one center. In order to elimate the non-stop questions, I plan to put Quick Tips for the different software that we use and find my "Computer Wiz Kids" as helpers.

Good Luck with Technology.

"Technology in the Classroom"
Posted by: Tabitha

I have three student computers and a teacher computer in my room. My students also go to the computer lab once a week for 45 minutes. I have used technology a lot in my class this year.
I create HOT SHEETS for my students to do when they get on the computer. It is where I have found websites and I copy them onto a word document and have questions that they must answer buy going to the website. I give my students an extra 5 points on a test or assignment that they didn't score well on. I let them choose which one. You can also find virtual trips on line called WebQuests that your students can do as well.
I use powerpoint and inspiration for reading, language arts, science, and social studies. I create KWL charts, character webs, vocabulary webs, and review games for them to use. I try to incorporate technology in all of my subjects. This year I plan on using it in math class since we have a new series. I also plan on making up some powerpoint presetations to use for the first day of school around my procedures, Class Code of Conduct, Consequences, Rewards, how to label your paper, etc. That way I will also have it ready for open house night as well.
I picked up a book from my teacher store, but I don't remember the name and its in school. You can go on amazon and search for some titles. I hope this helps you out! Good luck! It's not as hard as everyone seems to think to incorporate technology into the classroom.

computer in the room
Posted by: emme

We have a computer room, and my class has assigned time in there once a week. However, on my classroom computers, I have Kid Pix Deluxe, Millie's Math House, Bailey's Book House and Sammy's Science House. There is a series featuring Franklin (Franklin's Adventures, Franklin Learns Math) that the kids also like.

I introduce one activity at a time, modelling it for the whole class. Then I use a class list and color in squares by their name as they get to the computer to try that activity. I use a digital timer and they know who they are to get for the next turn when it rings. (Usually 10 or 15 mins). While they are gone they display a stand up card on their desk that says "Gone to the Computer". I made it with clip art. That way I don't wonder where they are.

I do not have anyone on the computer during direct instruction, but I make every effort to get them all through as soon as possible so they are familiar with that activity. My goal is that I want them to be able to use these programs independently. Sometimes, for certain activities, they can work in pairs - one makes the choices, the other handles the mouse. Their two little bottoms fit just fine on one full sized computer chair, and you get through the list much faster.

Kid Pix is more successfully taught during a computer class where they can all explore (or follow your directions) at the same time. Then they can use KidPix in the room without much need of me around.

I work the classroom computers into Centres and Free Choice too. And the class Student of the Day gets to stay in and use them at recess with a friend of their choice. We always publish one full class computer project each term, like an ABC book, Christmas Riddle book, or a Spring slide show. Just keep in mind that the computers are only a tool for promoting learning in your classroom. You don't have to feel guilty if they are occasionally "sitting idle" while you're using other teaching methods. Use them only when its convenient and appropriate.

Computer Time
Posted by: Tabitha/5th

I have three student computers and one teacher computer. On each writing journal I place a colored dot. That color for the day is the one that gets to use the computer for the morning. Red in Monday, Green is Tuesday, Blue is Wednesday, Yellow is Thrusday, and Orange is Friday. I go over this system with my students the first week of school. I let the ones that don't have computer that day and need to take an AR test use my computer or go to the AR lab. When I have group research I time the kids. I let three groups use the computer for ten minutes. Then I switch groups. For indoor recess it is timed as well. Ten minutes on then someone else can get on. They are not allowed to print anything without me seeing it first. Ink is to expensive and so is paper to just let them print anything. This system worked really well for me last year.

computer time
Posted by: Rebecca

I do the same thing Barbara does. I have centers each day and the kids have assigned days for each center. The schedule is posted in that center so this cuts down on them continually asking when is there turn. They just look and see. Each student works on the computer once a week. I have age appropriate research for them to do or have things bookmarked for them to do maybe concerning a social studies/science or math lesson we are doing. I teach third grade and I like to use the Little Explorers on On that site, there are printable research questions to use with the Little Explorers. We saw life on a dairy farm on when studying dairy farms and we use when we work on our postcard project. I hope this helps you with your questions about computer use.

Posted by: KWT

I teach a self-contained class of 23 students w/3 computers. Each morning during "Early Work" time (7:30 - 8:15), I excuse three students from EW and let them go to the computer. I have folders set up on the desktop according to the day of the week. The students know which folder to go to and they work through whatever is in the folder. It has worked well for me. I have their names written on the board along with the EW assignment. They are responsible for going to their EW folder and writing "excused-computer time" for me. That way when I grade EW for the week, I am able to give them credit for the time that they spent on the computer. Included in the folder on the computer is a Math, Language, Spelling, and Reading activity for the students to work through. We use Trophies Reading Series so I always bookmark that site so they will be exposed to the focus skills that I am teaching in Reading and Language for the week. Hope this helps you. It has worked well for me. Even though each student does not get "computer time" each week. They are able to go at least every 8th day, and I try to give them extra computer time during the day when all their work is finished.

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