Question Detail

How Students Can Get MY Attention

Oct 20, 2015 10:16pm

I teach large (@35 per) classes in a middle school computer lab. Often, students complain that they were trying to get my attention for the entire class period and I just kept ignoring them. I find this hard to believe because a student who REALLY wants my attention will get it. I wouldn't miss a raised hand if the student had been persistent. I suspect that they say my name inaudibly as I pass by on my way to help a student who is really raising that hand high and leaving it there, then they're going onto an off-task site (Cool Math-not so cool, Agario, Happy Wheels) and getting lost in it, then realizing at the end of class that they're not ready to turn in the assignment and figure they'll make that my fault. So I am looking for a more high-tech solution--a take-a-number/now serving/who's next kind of app that I can teach as a class procedure to use that will project a beacon or ping and will be a record of whether or not they REALLY sought my attention "at the beginning of class."

  • Technology
  • 6-8
  • Behavior


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    • Oct 21, 2015 4:02am

      Train them how you need them to get your attention and how you'll need theirs. For example, before they enter a computer lab, they should show you how to wait in line without talking or noise. Once inside, train them on verbal and/or other non-verbal cues if you need their attention. For some teachers it can be the sound of a tone or bell. Being in a room full of computers bring with it more distraction than the usual. If that room has a master switch, know how to use it to turn their monitors off or on so you can get their attention. Remind them that lab room use is a privilege and remind them of your school's appropriate use of technology. If they need your attention, come up with a language system. With some computer lab teacher I know of, they use a Dixie cup method on top of thei computer monitors for a teacher to see as a cue if raising hand will not suffice. Happy teaching.

      • Oct 21, 2015 4:14am

        Also, it would be great if you can monitor their computer monitors from your teacher station because I know that there is a program that lets you do that just to make sure that they do not go to sites or use computer programs that's not connected to their assignment. And then nothing beats circulating the floors to send them the message that you are territorial. It lets them know that you're accessible as well ?

        • Oct 23, 2015 8:29am

          Michael had some wonderful ideas. When I taught computer science courses in the past, I have always had some sort of monitoring software that allowed me to view the screens of each of my students. If you are looking for silent ways of communicating with your students I would invest in a class set of Solo Cups. Buy 35 red, yellow, and green cups. Have a set of 3 sitting on top of each CPU. Green on top means that the student is good to go. Yellow on top means that they are having a minor issue. Red means that they are in urgent need of help. Please let us know how it goes.