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    computer workshop
    By Emily

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    It is so difficult to manage computers and kids in the classroom. Dr. Donald Leu has written a lot about how to incorporate technology in the classroom in a more seamless way. He sometimes has articles in the Reading Teacher.

    One of his suggestions was to have an Internet Workshop. I've tried this and with a little time, it definitely worked. Each student had a 20 minute slot to work on the computer during the day. Depending on the number of kids you have, you may want to have the students paired up. The time slots were usually during independent work time, etc. So, they were missing some of instruction, but when they returned from the computer, they could always make up the work.

    When the students were at the computer I gave them a short assignment. I usually had the assignment instructions beside the computer so they wouldn't need to ask me for directions while I was teaching.

    You can do things on Microsoft Word like practice spelling words using word art or different fonts and colors, use text boxes to label an insect or a plant

    If you have the Internet, Cyberchase on Pbs has lots of great activities for kids. I've used the tangram one before

    There are also math sites that allow kids to practice math facts, telling time, etc.

    Try to choose activities that are pretty simple and won't cause a lot of extra work on your part or will cause few questions while the kids are working on the computer.

    I always explain the activity at the beginning of the week, show them how to do it, with them gathered around the computer, and then set the schedule in motion.

    There's really no easy way to integrate the computers, especially if you only have one, but this is one way that I thought was novel and can really work.



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