Saturday, August 13, 2016

First Week of School! GREAT!

Hey, parents,

The first week of school was spent working on routines in the classroom. Please talk with your child about how he or she enters Mr. M.'s Computer Lab, takes a criss-cross-applesauce seat on the lab's carpet, hears and sees directions for the day, and then earns a computer number card to
learn which computer they will be working on that day. I like to shake things up a bit and so have chosen to randomize (with teacher discretion) the placement each week. That will help me learn which students to place alongside one another and which might need some distance between one another in order to optimally work. In many cases, I may allow students to switch up to be nearer a good friend they know they can work with. A difficulty is that there are only 17 currently working computers in the lab, so in classes with 18 or 20 children, I put a temporary band-aid on that problem by pairing students on one computer. I will set a timer for one to be the driver and one to be the navigator so each gets equal time.

In keeping with my goal of providing voice and choice to my students, I started each class at the Warner Tech Start page with a set of choices available to them. had one this week, as I was concentrating on getting them to double-click to open the page and to select the Boowa and Kwala icon, then explore games, cartoons, and songs. Those little ones are a challenge, but I'm up to it!

The choices widened as grade levels rose--1st graders had 2, 2nd graders, 3, and 3rd and 4th graders could choose from Boowa and Kwala, Starfall, PBS Kids, and Nickelodeon. Most classes went very well, and I finished my week encouraged and completely hopeful we'll have a GREAT year.

As I only came on board a few weeks ago, and as it's been a bit since I've taught computer lab, I'm constantly seeking the very best of the best as I plan Computer Lab curriculum for the year. Stay tuned!

Here's a picture of the Start Page. Be aware--it's going to change!

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