(Credit to my Deputy Head for the initial idea behind this blog post.)
At my school, ICT lessons with KS2 children take place in the classrooms, with nearly every child having their own laptop to work on. Since it isn't practical to ask children to bring their laptop to the desk at the front every time they need help, I often spend a lot of the main activity part of ICT lessons wandering around the room supporting individual children where they are sitting.
Whilst this makes the room easy manage (as everyone should in theory be sat down), it does however mean that I end up walking a good mile-or-so in the space of an hour continually bending up/down and navigating my way around the desks and chairs. It can get quite tiring and sometimes frustrating too - especially the times when I end up crossing the room only to have to point out that the 'undo' icon needs pressing to correct the mistake!
The solution - hand out an Independent on the Computer Token to each child. Explain to the class that the table with the most ICT tokens at the end will win some team/house points. Every time a child is given help when they ask for it, the table loses a token - however extra tokens can be rewarded to those tables on which all the children are focused and on-task. (You obviously don't take away tokens for any help you choose to give - such as to teach an additional technique to challenge a particular child a bit more.)
The system worked fantastically this afternoon with Year 4 - the children soon realised that they would be more likely to win if they tried to solve problems independently by themselves and not keep pestering me for help. They all managed to successfully complete the task set them (which I had clearly outlined at the start and kept them reminded of using one of my 4-step learning intention PowerPoints) and it was great to see children on each table working together as a team, with the more confident children eager to share their knowledge/skills with the less confident children. I also finished the lesson a lot less tired too!
Please do try using Independent on the Computer Tokens with your class and send me a comment to let me know how you get on!