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Classroom Management Strategies

Group or Project Based Work

Students can engage in a problem-solving project such as the Stowaway Adventure or sign on for an on-line adventure such as Tidal Passages or the Iditarod Race. Student groups can rotate through the computer station while other groups collect background information, do practice calculations, or prepare email letters. Each student in the computer group can have an assigned role such as keyboarder, mouse operator, recorder/writer, and time keeper. Emphasize the importance of pre-planning so that time on the computer is efficiently used. 

Be sure to allow enough time for students at the computer station. If possible, have only one or two groups rotate through the computer station in each class period. Have students take an active role in determining how computer time will be allocated. 

Other considerations include: 

  • Consider computer skill and specific assignment when grouping students 
  • Change partnerships according to needs. 
  • Students need time away from the computer for brainstorming, planning, and revising project. 
  • The use of "trained experts" among class members is helpful. 
  • Consider the use of computer buddies to introduce new computer skills. 
  • Trained parent and community volunteers can provide assistance with more involved projects. 

Periodic Gathering of Data

Some projects are structured so that student can take turns gathering data from the Internet on a regular basis. For example, students could monitor the air quality for a month, with a different student each day responsible for retrieving the data. 

Or student can contribute to a project database, in which each student is responsible for entering his or her data. Here is a Database of Student Heights as an example. 

Dynamic Teacher Presentations

Use the Internet to introduce a unit. You could choose current events or historical information related to the topic of study such as an earthquake account from Charles Darwin

Use the Internet to enrich a unit. For example, in a history lesson you might select something from the American Memories Collection or the National Archives Exhibit Hall

Use the Internet to take a virtual field trip with your class. You could visit Colonial Williamsburg, the Louvre, a Panama Rainforest or an elephant tracking project in Cameroon. Webcams are also another way for your class to see what is going on in other parts of the world. Africam, lets you see animals at various watering holes in South Africa. 

Publishing Student Work

Student work can be published on the web by either having students prepare their own web pages or sending their reports via email to a site which will publish it for you. Examples of sites that will publish student work include MidLink Magazine, Positively Poetry, and the Endangered Species Project

If students publish their own web pages, much of the time will be spent off line. They will be involved in such activities as choosing their  topic, deciding how to divide the project, how to organize the web site, and what links to provide from one group's page to another group's page, proofreading, and composing the page content. Here is an example of student-published social studies reports

Room Arrangement

Arrange the room: 
  • For easy student access 
  • For easy teacher access while presenting or modeling 
  • So that the computer is away from direct sunlight, water, magnets, and chalk dust 
  • So that students are easily supervised 
  • In order to provide enough space for small group interaction 

ASSIGNMENT:

Review one of the projects below. Describe how you would adapt it for a one-computer classroom. 

Additional Classroom Management Information 

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