Saturday, February 11, 2012

Managing Scavenger Hunt Computer Centers

Last week, when I wrote a post about internet scavenger hunts, I received some questions about how to manage them in a computer center, so here are some ideas to help you manage a computer center with internet scavenger hunts:
1.  Decide if you want students to type or write ahead of time.
All of my internet scavenger hunts are saved in a .doc format, so students have the ability to type right on the internet scavenger hunt and print when they are finished.  (If you are using this option, make sure students have someplace to save their scavenger hunt that is NOT the computer’s desktop – thereby ensuring that student do not have to use the same computer each time they go to the computer center.) 
Some teachers prefer to have a printed copy ready for each student and allow the students to simply use their pencils to write on the scavenger hunts.  (If you are using this option, make sure that students know where to put their paper at the end of each time at the computer – thereby ensuring they do not have to begin again each time they go to the computer center.)
2.  Save a PDF copy of the internet scavenger hunt on the desktop – or in a common folder – of each computer. 
By having a PDF copy of the internet scavenger hunt with the links ready saved on the desktop, all the students have easy access to the links, without having to press control while they are clicking.  (To get a PDF copy in Word 2003 and higher, simply go to Save As and choose PDF.)
3. Explain to students that scavenger hunts will normally take more than one visit to the computer center. 
I usually give my students 2-3 weeks to complete an internet scavenger hunt, with the expectation that they will visit the computer center 2-3 times a week.  However, there is always at least one student who thinks they have to answer every question on day 1, so explaining this process ahead of time is beneficial to the students (and to your sanity.)
4.  Remember to use internet scavenger hunts in the way that is best for YOUR CLASS. 
I designed the internet scavenger hunts to be used in a differentiated setting.  There are many “right” ways to use them.  Students can work individually, as a group, with a paraprofessional, etc.  Never feel that you have to use them in any set way.  They are made to fit the needs of your students.
There are 50 different internet scavenger hunts  available on my TPT store for $3.00 each, and here are a couple of samples:

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