I am a new elementary school Computer Lab teacher. I teach children in grades K-3 and have between 25 - 30 students at one time. I am looking for a way for the students to signal they need help without calling out. Have you used any method that works for you? I have seen ideas such as having an index card painted red on one side and green on the other. It is velcroed to the monitor and the child flips it from green to red when they need help. Any ideas?
Same idea, but use a red cup and green cup. Solo is a good brand for this.
Another technique for maintaining order in your lab is to simply let students know the order you are coming to them. Point and say 1, 2, 3 means they know you are coming next or they are second or third for getting your attention.
I simply use one red cup taped to the side of the monitor. They flip it up to signal they need help and take it down when their question has been answered. This all happens after asking at least 2 neighbors for help, of course! When I want their attention I ask for both hands on their head - this helps to be sure nobody is still keyboarding/mousing and not paying attention. Hope this helps!
I like that, Crystal.
I teach in an elementary school computer lab all day. Personally I don't add any type of objects to the lab to signal for help. I have them help each other and if they can't figure it out with a couple other students they just have to wait for me to circulate. I find that if I set some ground rules and allow student collaboration they do pretty well. Let me know how things work out for you this year.
Greetings and Congratulations on your new position. I also used to use the cups, and can see why this would seem like a practical suggestion. One issue I ran into with them was that students would bang the cups up and down on the monitor in an effort to ensure their cup was bring seen. Given that, I think I personally like the index card idea better. I was a Computer Lab teacher for several years and it is a wonderful position. Be sure to instill rules and procedures in your students immediately. Once they understand and can follow policies, you can really do some amazing things with this age level.
Also, are there enough computers for a 1 to 1 correspondence in your lab?
Please don't hesitate to ask for any other ideas as I'd be glad to help someone whose shoes I used to stand in.
Thanks for your input. I think my biggest hurdle will be classroom management.
Each child does have a computer in the lab. I'm looking for some fun ideas for collaborating with the middle school computer students. Did you use any Web 2.0 tools with this age group?
We purchased Pixie 3 and also have KidPix 4, Mimio Teach, document cameras, and a Mimio Tablet in each classroom. Any suggestions are welcome.
We use tent folded red 8X10 laminated paper with the word HELP printed on on side. These "Help Signs" are kept on the table next to every computer. Whenever a student needs help he or she hangs the card on the top edge of the monitor . The red color and large size really catch your eye. The kids quickly learn the routine and any one who does not use the card does not get help. I hope this helps you.
In addition to the great index card ideas you've gotten, we actually have a three color system. The first color means "I'm working fine", the second color is "I'm getting help from a friend" (which helps with behavior management), the third is "I've asked a friend, but I still need help."
We use Pixie very frequently with our littlest students. Storybird is another great collaborative Web 2.0 tool. In 2nd and 3rd grade you could even introduce some easy video editing using a tool like Eyespot.
If you'd like to see our scope and sequence for K-5th grade, feel free to send me a private message and I'll pass it your way.