As we come back for the second half of the year, I have been brainstorming ideas for ways to keep this area organized in our room. The last thing I want to see are kids hanging around, waiting for a computer and not doing something purposeful in the meantime. I am also wanting to delve into Guided Math/Daily 5 Math/Math Workshop/something like that, so I want the whole "Who's on what computer?" system to be organized before I get started with the kids..... as they say, the devil's in the details!
Here's what I came up with: colors!
The first thing I did was put a circle label on each of my computer's CPU's, the back of the screen (not visible, but helpful for me!), and on the headphones. This keeps the components organized (especially the headphones) so kids are listening to the right computer :) Here's a pic of the headphone part of my blue computer:
Kids are responsible for placing the headphones back on the correct computer when they are finished, so they really only see the headphone dots. The dots on the back of the screen and CPU are helpful for me if there is a mix-up, but I typically don't use them otherwise.
Next, I wanted the chance to divvy out computer time quickly and clearly. During the craziness of the day, I have been known to give out a single computer to multiple kids (oops), so I think this system is more for keeping my head straight than for the kids ;)
I made these computer passes to hand out to the kiddos so they know what computer they are going to and I can make sure there's not another teacher mix-up:
Google Docs if you are interested. I am hoping these will not only keep myself organized, but I can see several other uses during our week:
- I can reward kids who earn computer time for free choice by handing them a pass.
- Kids can come to me to receive a pass so there isn't a mad rush for the computer area (and the subsequent hurt feelings)
- I can ensure the kids who need to get on a computer get to it first (helpful for the kids who need to finish a project from the computer lab in class)
- Students who finish with a project early can come get a pass once I have checked over their work.
They are definitely simple, but I am looking forward to taking this simple management piece off of my plate :)
Do you have other ideas for the passes? I'd love to hear them, as well as how you keep your computer station organized! Hope your 2013 is off to a great start!