Students can be affected when class sizes increase, so adapting tools that can assist you can help offset these changes to create an effective learning environment.
That help can often come from incorporating computers in the classroom mixed in with one-on-one instruction time with you. Much like having younger students use learning centers for vocabulary practice can offer a differentiated learning experience, teaching them how to use computers for leveled reading activities can make you more available to other students who aren’t on computers. Getting students comfortable with learning how to navigate a mouse and type on a keyboard will engage them to better focus on their tasks. Alison Ostertag, a literacy leader within Atchison County Community Schools shared: “We thought that the special coloring and coding on the Kids Keyboard would be very helpful to our kindergarten through second graders.” Creating a computer learning center allows young students to have what they need readily available.
The more young students become skilled with their computer usage abilities, the less of an impact an increase in students per classroom can have. Larry Abramson shares how schools blend computers with classroom learning by having “students work on a small-group vocabulary lesson while other students work on a lesson on computers in another corner of the room. After some time, the two groups swap places. The idea is to keep the feel of a small class without the cost of additional staff.” This type of blending provides you the freedom to ascertain which students may need additional assistance on a specific assignment. Those that are broken down into smaller groups get a confidence boost by working independently on computer projects and wearing headphones can aid in minimizing distractions during computer applications that require auditory sessions. Overall, by grouping students into these separate, smaller clusters can give a whole new meaning to the term ‘less is more’.
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