Rainy Days = Computer Club startup!

As soon as the weather forecast predicted “rain coming”, I knew I had better get started on our Grade 5 Computer Club startup!  At the beginning of the school year, we want everyone OUTSIDE and PLAYING TOGETHER, but inside rainy days beg for alternate activities.  Traditionally, we have the Computer Lab open before school and at the lunch hour, but not after school.  Anyone may come into the lab in the morning, but the lunch hours are divided into designated turns.  We have odd numbered divisions on 2 days, even numbered divisions on 2 days, and one day is reserved for the Computer Club members.  These members have an important responsibility during the week… they have a scheduled time to be “on duty” in the computer lab and they need to “sign in”.  They check that the computers are turned on, they help out younger students and they watch to see that everyone is using the computers appropriately.  No internet use allowed!  Only one printed page allowed!  On our “CClub day” we take time to clean those dusty monitors and CPUs and take a toothbrush to clean out the keyboards!  Then we get onto special projects! The first one is always the same… learning to download photos from National Geographic and use them as desktop backgrounds!  It is a VERY popular activity.  In past years we learned how to use HyperStudio, but this year I am getting to teach that to ALL the Grade 4 and 5 students.  I think that this year we will start off by exploring SCRATCH!

I’m excited to get started…
17 students have already taken home permission slips to join!

November Update:

Our HyperStudio project was definitely a success… despite the fact that assemblies, field trips, and other “typical school disruptions” cut down on several of the sessions for the groups. The Grade 4′s were introduced to HS via creating a “Hallowe’en Shop” complete with various costumes “for sale”. The Grade 5′s created “Haunted Houses” with a floor plan and different “spooky rooms”. Everyone was introduced to creating HS cards, saving stacks in a new folder, using “fill-in color”, navigating via the “storyboard”, buttons “to” and “back”, T=text and also scrolling text. We didn’t get to animation as I had hoped. I was pleased, however, that everyone has a rudimentary knowledge for when their teachers assign a “real” topic!

Scratch…. hmmm… that’s a different story! The Computer Club has shown me that half of them have experience with Scratch creations far beyond mine! My plan has changed! I will work with the novice Scratch users to introduce them to the basics. I am thinking that I will ask the experienced users to work in pairs or groups to create lesson plans for the novice users (and myself). I know there are already lesson plans out there, but it will be far more valuable to have my own students “show they know” by teaching the rest of us. I am excited to see what they will teach me!


2 thoughts on “Rainy Days = Computer Club startup!

  1. Wow this sounds amazing! Are all students in your school participating in this or is the club something students rotate through? I would love to have the fourth graders in my classroom do this. What other programs are you using to engage your club?

  2. Hello! The Computer Club is offered to any interested Grade 5 students. Depending on the number of students, they “monitor” in the lab 1 to 3 times a week (before school or lunch times). One lunch a week is reserved for “Club activities”. In the past I have tried activities like digital photography, and programs like Glogster, Wikispaces, Kidspiration. This year I was hoping to find out how to use our school Sharepoint for blogs of some type. It’s only 35minutes “club time” each week, so using Edublogs would take too much time on my part. Glad I’ve inspired you! :-) Nora

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