December 06, 2007
I use an index card system that helps the students keep track of their progress, acts like a seating chart for the sub, and can be used for giving rewards or identifying behavior problems. I made a wooden cardholder for each computer. I used some thin wood paneling, cut them about index card size and attached them in a tent like shape with wood glue. I painted them four colors to go with the four rows of computers. I also numbered the wooden holders. So students will know their computer as Blue #8 because the holder is blue and has an 8 on it. Then put a thumbtack on it. I have a set of cards for each computer for each day. The cards are on a metal ring that hangs on the tack. One card has the student's name, the teacher, and other info that might pertain to our class. I teach math and reading with the computers so they have a math card and a reading card. I put their assignment on the cards so they know right away what work to do for that day. I put them out every morning, and pick them up at the end of the day. I collect them in order and use a rubber band to hang them from a hook. The set of cards are marked with a little cardboard circle to let me know which cards go with which computers. For example I would know where to put the cards because the cardboard circle would have Tues. B-8 on it. The cardboard circle also acts as a marker for the first card. The program we use grades our students so when they pass lessons, quizzes or tests, I put the date and a check by their name on their cards. When they reach a certain number of checks, they are allowed to have a fun day, and play some educational games that I bought with our classroom fund money. Of course, the kids don't want to lose any checks they receive, so their behavior is pretty good. It only takes one or two times to cross out a check, and the kids don't cause trouble again. When I had to be absent, I explained to the sub how to use the cards. She loved the card idea, because she knew exactly where the kids had to be and who they were. This idea helps with many things in our lab. I hope it might help you with yours.