Hi there-

I thought this would be a good place to get some support.  I just got hired to run a computer lab.  I will see each class once a week for 45 mins.  The person who left did not leave any lessons for the first weeks of school.  I am planning on introducing myself, going over rules and procedures for the first week, but then I don't know what to do from there.  I need some lesson suggestions.  Please HELP.

-Candice

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Grade 2: start teaching the home row keys. Can work on keyboarding with all grades 2 and above. Also: find out what is being covered in the classrooms and build on that. Addition facts? Have them design and print their own flashcards for practice. US history? Create a political map and label it. Prepositions? Slide show with photos having them "act out" the various words. I find that classroom teachers are thrilled when you build upon what they're covering. Have students write once sentence that could be the start of a story. Have everyone rotate one computer to their left and add a sentence to the story. Keep rotating through. Then have students illustrate the story with photos they take or use photos with Creative Commons licensing or use a paint program to illustrate them. Print 2 copies of each: one for the original artist and one for the classroom. Teach kids to create and save their work in folders on hard drives and flash drives. Make them save and save as so they can understand the difference between these two commands. Work on how to evaluate a web site; how to "read" the hits that are returned when searching. Work on learning what key words are for searching and how to refine their search terms. Teach them (grade 3 and above) how to spell check but NOT add words to the dictionary. Remind them about homophones, and how spell check may not catch those errors. 

Oh, thank you so much for the great ideas.  I was thinking for the first or second week to have the older kids create name tags for themselves so that I can learn the names.   It would be fun to do their names in different fonts, colors, etc. and add a picture or image.  Suggestions for a program?  Also how do I save these all onto one file since they will be on 30 different computers.

What computer platform are you using? Is your lab networked?

I am not even sure.  I am going in next Tues. to meet with the Tech. person.  What are some of the questions that I should be asking him?

Nancy is referring to a local area network. Ask if your machines are connected to a district server on the district network. Also find out if your students log in to the network and if they are provided with network folders to save files. That is important because it allows them to access their files from any of the computers connected to that server on the network simply by logging on to the network. That means it doesn't matter where they are sitting in the lab or even back in their homeroom in terms of accessing files. 

Thanks Charlie.  I will be sure to ask these questions.  For the first weeks of school I was thinking of having the older kids create nametags on the computer that I could print out and laminate to have at their computers while in the lab since there are 400 of them.  Do you know what program would be good for this.  Could I create a nametag folder where they could save their work to?

If your machines are networked and you are given rights to create folders you should be able to do that. Talk to the network administrator/ technology director about setting up network folders. That person should be able to set up your student accounts and/or assign you certain rights to those folders.

Check out the Netsmartz web site for some Internet Safety resources.

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