Managing Class Computers + A Freebie

Do you all have classroom computers? We are lucky to have five and we use them all.of.the.time! Kids will use them for Accelerated Reader quizzes, Listening to Reading, Xtra Math, free choice, typing, and more.

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:
These are available on 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!


  1. I'm looking to use my 4 computers more efficiently in the new year as well. Thanks for the great ideas.

  2. Great ideas!
    Mary at Pitner's Potpourri

  3. I have 6 student computers (don't be jealous - they are OOOOOLD Macs) and I totally snagged this lovely freebie! I have had a problem with 2 students rushing to the same computer, so this should solve THAT! Thank you! :)

    1. I'm so glad this freebie could help! Enjoy and thanks so much :)

  4. Your organized freebies page idea has been on my to-do list FOR.EV.ER..I need to got on it :) I love this computer organization, too. You go organized, girl :)


    Fun in Room 4B

    1. Thanks so much! It was sososo easy to do! Kristen's tutorial covered it all and once I got the hang of it, it went by really quick, I promise :) Gotta love those types of projects!

  5. I love the idea of handing out computer passes. I have a couple ipads and laptops in my classroom and I am always trying to find great ways of making their time spent on each piece of technology equally. I will definitely be implementing a pass of some sort in my classroom. Thank you for sharing.

    Darling Little Learners

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  7. What a great idea! I really need to get my students on the computers more often. Your idea and freebie will make it a breeze for me!

    Thanks for sharing!

    Mrs. D's Firsties

  8. I also put color coded stickers on my headphones and screens so the kids know what goes with which, it has been so much better since I did! I love your passes, they are so bright and cheerful!
    Fun in 1st Grade

    1. Yay! Great minds think alike ;) I am in love with these dot backgrounds- they are from Mel at Graphics from the Pond and the colors are so much fun! Have a great weekend :)

  9. Very cute! Thanks :)

    What Kevin and Amanda font is this that you used on the IPAD and COMPUTER passes?

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