Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Introducing Computers

11/16 update--I have figured out what to have my students do to choose going on the computer! When students are selecting their choice for each round, computer is a choice, just like read to self. Once on the computer students use the website and make the choice of their activity on the computer. Keeping track of how many computers are left is the hardest part. Tomorrow I am going to put 7 clothespins on my clipboard and take one off each time a student selects computer... when there are no clothespins left, there are no computers left!

Original Post:
I created a great website for my students to use when they are Doing the Daily 5 on the computer. Following Laura's example of pre-teaching Daily 5 behaviors I have been modeling for my students how to use Raz-Kids, Tumblebooks and Storyline Online.

Our stamina is not flawless, but on most days we can get up past 15 minutes of stamina! My students make their choice of which daily they want to go to very well. It has been interesting to see them move from all picking Listen to Reading and Word Work first to picking a variety of activities first.

Tonight I am trying to figure out: how do I incorporate computers?

I have seven netbooks in my classroom and want to begin having technology being an integral part of our classroom.

My initial thought was that for an entire week (or day? or two days?) the computers could be a certain daily (Work on Writing for a week, then Read to Self for a week). I am worried that this will limit the choice my students have. What if they are doing Work on Writing and want to work in their journals, but Work on Writing is on the computer?

As I have 7 computers, I could split the students into 4 groups and they could be assigned a computer time. Students could then choose what they are working on like they normally do.

Which of these seems more manageable? Which honors my students' ability to choose what they want to work on?

Monday, October 3, 2011

Keeping Track of Listen to Reading Spots

In my classroom we are very lucky that we have five LeapFrog Tag Readers and four spots at our book on CD spot (although only three headphones are working right now!).

One thing I was having trouble with was keeping track of how many spots we had left. My students also let out a dejected yelp every time I said there were no more listening spots left. I wanted to come up with a system that easily allowed me to keep track of how many spots were left, as well as help the students understand that I wasn't just being mean when we ran out of spots!

I created a small flip book and tied it with yarn to the front of my clipboard. The numbers go from 8-0 and every time someone picked Listen to Reading, I'd flip to the next lowest number. Quickly my students got used to following the numbers and I even have a few students who will help me flip the numbers.

8 spots left!
No more spots left!

Please share the "easy fixes" you have implemented in your classroom during the Daily 5!!