Friday, November 9, 2012

Computer Center

I don't do organized group rotations for my centers.  I have done it that way in years past. But when you don't have parent helpers it takes a long time to teach to and if a group has a problem, it totally eats up the time from the group that I am supposed to be with.

So last year I started doing centers where students choose the center that they want to do.   I have a chart with 12-15 different choices.  The students put the card for their choice in their name pocket.  It works well.  I have a combination of math and language arts centers to choose from.

They know that they have to do more than one center a day...anything with a worksheet has to be done sometime during the week or they don't get their reward activity on Friday.

The one center I always have trouble getting them off of though is the computer center.  I have 3 computers in the class and 22 students...so that makes it tough for them to all get a turn when you get a couple of them that camp out on the keyboard.

The computer game we are using right now is Starfall.  So I came up with a solution that is working so far!

My teacher partner last year had signs she hung on her computer monitors that she flipped over when the computers were out of order or off limits.  This gave me an idea...

I screen captured the list of learning games on Starfall and printed them out in color so they would look just like the game on the computer screen.  Then I popped them into a sheet protector.  (Most of the things in my class are either laminated or in a sheet protector...except for my students...although sometimes that seems like it would be a good idea too).
Then I made a little arrow out of a sticky note and put it on the game I want them to do that week.  They can only stay on a computer long enough to finish that game.  Then they have to choose another center.

This is working really well for my class this year.  I feel like a genius sometimes! lol