Management of Computers in the Classroom

To manage computers in a classroom you need to have systems in place. Why do you need management systems? Mainly for sanity reasons! If there are systems in place that monitors and manages the children's time and activities and the children know how to use them then this will make less work for you.
How many times have you had children come up to you and say
"I have fi
nished!" and then they wait for you to tell them what to do next
"I have nothing to do!"
"The computer's not going!"

"I can't hear the computer!"
"I can't find the game!"
or of course the fighting over the m
ouse and the keyboard. The first management board you should put in place is the Monitors Board.book2_016.jpg The rule is that 'you have to see a monitor before you see me' and if the monitor can't work it out they can ask another one until it is obvious if teacher help is needed at all. I like to divide my monitors into 3 parts of the day so that the same one is not being interrupted all the time. I always tested new games or programmes with monitors first before I showed them to the class, that way I could generally test out what things might go wrong and I could train the monitors up with how to deal with it.

This is my
Writing Task Board. Everybody starts Drafting together, external image book2+008.jpgand then gradually children start moving their name labels into the Proof Reading area, they complete all their proofreading tasks and then they move into the Drafting area. There is where the potential problems could happen and this is why you need a Writing Choices board.




This is where you can have a variety of external image book2+006.jpgchoices to suit the different learning styles and intelligences. It is also a place to put in some computerised activities. I always have the classroom set up with lots of learning centres around the room and there is always a typing centre with old keyboards, laminated keyboards (see my website for downloads) or I will make use of old computers for keyboarding practice. I might alsexternal image canon+shots+025.jpgo have a computer setup with spelling list or grammatical activity and these are always a followup to whatever I am teaching in the class.

For these types of activities you need separate management systems in place, this is where I find the Ladder sys
tem very useful. In this example all the children start off in 'Waiting for turn' and they transfer their name label to 'Had a turn' when they have completed their task.

Here are some more examples of these type of monitoring boards
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Following on from my previous post about management systems, I had management boards for my reading and maths. These boards weren't managed external image book2+010.jpgby me but were managed by the children. Several teachers I work with are successfully using this system. The reading board looks like this.
There are a variety of activities for children to do and they all know what they are doing at this time of the day. The 'Reading Study' here stands for their Computerised activity. Before I send children off to do this activity I always demonstrate it first preferably by projector on a whiteboard.



Depending on how many computers there are is how I will organise the reading group. Two can share a computer, working on a activity together. Or external image book2+019.jpgif there is less computers available I might use my label management technique. This works very successfully in dividing up reading or math groups. This is an example of the maths board. There are 3 math groups, half of the math group goes on the computer and they have allocated labels, M for mouse,external image m.pngK for keyboardingexternal image k.png, D for director external image d.png( they tell everybody what to do), O for observer external image o.png(they stand quietly). The other half will do related activities in their books, or complete reading games.
My Maths task board looks like thisexternal image book2+013.jpg with 3 groups, and I always demonstrate the activity with the children before I send them off to do it.

Another management technique I use is to have the children's maths and reading group folders on the desktop. Children only go into their folder external image group+folders.pngand there maybe only 2 or 3 activities available in the folder external image math+activities.pngso that the children know that this is their folder and those are the only activities they can do. It is important that children know exactly what they are going to do, when they are going to do it, where the activity is and what their role is! That way everybody knows what they are doing and you are able to get on with the job of teaching children without worrying about what is happening in the computer centre.

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