Discussion:  Roundtable 
Topic:  Topic 1  Effective Software 
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Subject:  RE: middle school spreadsheets 
Author:  Suzanne 
Date:  Mar 27 2003 
Have you used centers? With 16 students and 4 computers you could organize 4
centers where one is the "spreadsheet center." The other idea would be to
organize three centers but the "spreadsheet center" always has 8 students.
So, you would start class and the 2 nonspreadsheet centers would be some type
of activity (maybe a Problem of the Week type prompt with a data theme?) that
the students could work on with supervision but not assistance. Meanwhile the 8
students would work in pairs at the spreadsheet center. Then when it's time to
rotate, 4 students would leave the spreadsheet center but 4 students would stay.
You would do the training again but this time it's a repeat for the 4 students
who didn't move. They are in a facilitating role (and the lesson is being
reinforced). You could go through this cycle until the original 4 students who
only had 1 turn have their second turn.
I can see this taking 1 day if your students are really on task and the
activities at the centers are focused (and there are no fire drills!) or it
might take 2 days. The idea, however, would be that once the students have the
"training" you could then have activities where students use the spreadsheets as
a tool.
Another followup idea once they've had training is that you could alternate the
"spreadsheet person" who does this for their group of 4?
Those are a few ideas.
 Suzanne
 
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