Using the Computer to Enhance Your Classroom
- What equipment is needed? Does your school have it? Are you comfortable using it? Do you have a resource person in the building willing to train you before you use it for the first time?
- One computer, a large screen projection device, and the software program "Arthur's Teacher Trouble" is needed.
- Should this computer activity be a small group or large group activity?
- This activity is for a small group of four.
- How do you structure a class if you decide on a small group activity?
- Students will be introduced to the activity as a large group, and, when going to the computer to complete the task, will have a laminated task card available.
- How do you structure the activity if you decide to do it with a large group?
- Only the introduction and the follow-up activity are for the large group.
- What classroom management issues need to be considered?
- The management of noise at the computer interfering with the rest of the class is a real concern. This activity, which requires reading aloud at times, should be conducted while there are other activities requiring talking going on in the classroom.
- How does the software strengthen critical thinking skills in the lesson?
- Students increase reading skills through word recognition, comprehension through sight-vocabulary, and vocabulary through words, sounds, animation, and pictures, as well as answering the questions on the data collection sheet.
- How does the software match your students' ability levels and learning styles?
- This software has a variety of ways it may be used to target different learners. In the "Let Me Play" mode, the student controls the interactions on each page and the pace at which the story is explored. In this mode, words and sentences can be highlighted and the computer reads them aloud. In the "Read to Me" mode, the student can listen as the story is read aloud.
- What previous training do the students need in thinking skills and collaborative learning?
- Students will need to have the cooperative learning skill of task assignment and the social skill of working together.
- How can computer software goals be customized to explore concepts not originally mentioned in the teacher's guide?
- While the students are reading the story for decoding, they will be actively looking for a number of specific items and asked to conduct further research on those items.
- Where does the computer software activity belong in the curriculum? In a specific unit? As an interdisciplinary activity?
- This lesson is a language arts activity, with the integration of technology as a tool to enhance the lesson.
- Is the content of the software sufficient to satisfy stated curriculum requirements? Does it have to be?
- The content of the software does not have to satisfy stated curriculum requirements. The USE of the software to fulfill these goals is important, however.
- How can the software program effect student motivation and affective development, such as values, etc.?
- The fun activities in this program will motivate students to complete the lesson.
- Does the activity need to be a multimedia presentation or could it be only a computer-based program?
- This lesson only makes use of a computer-based program and the Internet.
- How will students be evaluated?
- The successful completion of the data collection sheet and the answering of the Internet questions will be the evaluation. Students will discuss their findings as a large group.
- Does the district have a software preview and evaluation system?
Lesson Title: What Can You Find?
Grade Level: 3
Content Area: Reading
Duration of Lesson: One week
Date: March 6, 2000
Students will increase:
-reading skills through word recognition.
-reading comprehension through a sight vocabulary approach
-vocabulary through a combination of words, sounds, animation, and pictures
-problem-solving skills through following of directions
Recognize the characteristics of a multimedia program
Navigate back to a previously visited part of a program
Use of bookmarked Internet sites to find information
- Large screen projection device
- Multimedia computer
- Arthur's Teacher Trouble CD-ROM
- Panic Button Guide sheet for each student
- Laminated task card
- Data collection sheet, clipboard, and pencil
- Spelling words sheet for each student
- Bookmarked Internet sites
The students will have the skills necessary to turn on the computer, find the icon for the program, and start the program. They will also be knowledgeable about starting a browser and clicking on instructed hyperlinks as well as typing URL's into a browser's location box.
Procedure/Activity Completion Steps
- The teacher will demonstrate, via the large screen projection device, how to launch and shut down the program as well as show samples of the clickable hot spots in the story. The students will be encouraged to use the Panic Button Guide sheet for guidance.
- The teacher will go over the instructions on the task card by showing them on the large screen and placing one near the computer.
- The students will be assigned to groups of four and each person will be assigned a role-- Taskmaster, Mouse Manipulator, Screenreader/Internet Guru, and Data Collector.
- Students will visit the computer in groups of four. The task card reader (task master) will read the instructions to the group as the person at the computer follows the directions.
- The students will move through the software book, reading as they go.
- The data collector will keep track of the answers as they go along.
- The Internet Guru will take over the use of the computer when the book is finished, and the Internet answers are being collected.
- When the data is collected, the group will move away from the computer and discuss their findings.
- When all groups are finished, the class
will come together as a large group to discuss their answers and
Students will read the story, complete the Data Collection sheet, and present their findings during a large group sharing time.
Almost every page of the animated book has a paper airplane hot spot. One activity would be to find as many paper airplanes as the group can find, then, by visiting a paper airplane site on the Web, construct a group airplane decorated with scenes from the story. There could be a follow-up "fly-off" in the gymnasium.
Since the topic of the software is a spelling bee, it is often fun to have a spelling bee using the words in the story. Here is the spelling list taken from the story.
The running time of the story when it is read aloud is about 17 minutes. Also, the animations may change when clicked on more than once.
When I approached a second grade teacher with the idea of the teaching of this lesson, I was pleasantly surprised. She usually had two computers in her classroom, but happened to have four at that time because she and another teacher had created a computer area for two classrooms to share for a few weeks.
I did not change the idea of small groups working at a single computer, but I was able to have all sixteen students do the work at the same time. We were even able to come back at the end of the hour to have the large group discussion.
The next time I use this lesson, I would assign the task roles to students. There was a lot concern as the students tried to decide which person was going to take which role. Since these roles are used at other times, a rotation chart could be created by the teacher so everyone gets to act in each role.
Although it was a little noisy as I facilitated four computers all playing the software, the noise did not seem to distract the students. I would suggest that this would be a good activity to do in a computer lab, so it can be completed in a reasonable time frame.
The students seemed to stay on task throughout the time period and seemed to be engaged throughout the lesson. This leads me to believe the level of the lesson and the CD-ROM were acceptable for the learning abilities of students in that classroom.
The Internet sites were all up and working as the students clicked away to find the answers. The next time I teach this lesson, I will "WebWhack" the pages needed for the lesson to assure the pages would be available when they were needed and to also keep the students on task.
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Created by Kathleen Schrock (firstname.lastname@example.org)