Monday, January 26, 2015

Small Math Groups: C is for Computers

While I love technology and consider myself a quick learner and pretty savvy, our students are 'Digital Natives' (while we are 'Digital Immigrants' least we're not 'Digital Dinosaurs') and, in my opinion, need structured computer time that allows not only for concept/skill practice, but for some creativity as well.

The last of my 5 small math groups is computers.  Currently, students start by doing ExtraMath and if they finish that early then they can go on to the 1st grade math games on ABCya. There is another site, Oswego, that is awesome that I haven't introduced yet.

Here's how I manage the Who and When of computer time:
Since we have 5 classroom student computers, I sorted the kids into 5 groups.  I tried to spread kids out based on ability level so it would work with the groups I'm seeing for my lesson.  The paperclip denotes whose turn it is.  When a rotation is done, the student on the computer must come up to the board and move their paperclip down.  They must then go find that student and ask if they have had computer time.  If the student is with me, then they skip down to the next person.  I find that I am still having to remind students to move their paperclip and usually during round 4 I check to see who has not had computer time and try to remedy it.

I used my small group time last Friday to introduce and explain The Race to 1,000, which is a traditional thing we do in 1st grade at my school.  If you'd like to learn more about it, click here
I spent Friday evening making a track that I could laminate and use again and again instead of setting it up piece by piece each year.
Students designed their own race cars.
I have 4 students already on lap 2 by the end of the day!

Last week of January, wow!
Have a great one!

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