I have been teaching computer technology classes with 450 or so kindergarten -2nd grade students for 6 years. I had been meeting with each class for 45 minutes per week. We did integrated technology projects and were introduced to websites that related to the lessons from our curriculum. I did professional development and was a supporter of technology in the classroom in whatever ways I could be. When I first began I taught in 3 schools, 2 had mobile laptop carts that I moved from class to class and the other had a stationary lab. The two small schools closed and students moved to one of the other two elementary schools in the district. I have been teaching in both of these schools now for 3 years.
Change never stops. As long as you are breathing on this planet you cannot escape change. Our school district like many across the United States has begun to adopt RTI- Response to Intervention. It is necessary to rethink the schedule so that the students and classroom teacher can have more face to face time to work on reading skills. Math will be added next year. In our district we have a common grade level reading block time of 90 minutes and a "specials" block of 45 minutes each day. Specials in elementary school are music, art and physical education. When lunch and recess were added to the mix, there was not a lot of time to schedule computer classes.
I have figured out a schedule that will work for now. I have 7 classes each day except Fridays when I only have 6. The students have a shortened time of between 30-40 minutes depending on where they could fit computers into the schedule. I wanted to add 2 classes in the 90 minute block that no one can interrupt class reading instruction. I will now teach the morning 4 yr old kindergarten class and a CD (cognitive disorder) class.
So this past week was the first back with students. I have a strong desire to be supportive in whatever ways I can be of the classroom teachers. I will do whatever is necessary to continue to make my lessons relevant and fun for the students in the time that I have with them. I need to shorten instruction and lesson time. I hope that it does not effect too much the outcome that I want the students to have from our classes. If we have to rush through some things or skip some things we have done in the past- so be it. Life is like that sometimes. There is much value in RTI in regard to helping the students learn to read. I am going to keep that in the forefront of my mind this year. Flexibility, prioritizing and reevaluating lessons is on the list for me.