Friday, August 26, 2011

Classroom Arrangement

This summer I was privileged to hear one of my readers, Jen from Lil Mop Top speak at CAMT (Conference for the Advancement of Mathematics Teaching). She had so many great ideas, but one of the things I learned from her was how to arrange your desks so that students are in rows and facing forward, but are able to pair up or get into groups of four very quickly and then back to rows just as easily

I arranged my desks like she said. Here is a pic of my classroom (before I'd done any decorating)with my desks arranged in what I call pods. The students sit close to a partner, but are able to turn their desks quickly to group up with the pair of students directly behind them to form a group of four. I call this group of four a pod. There is a good bit of space between the pods.

We have been doing activities this week that are designed to help them get to know their partners and their pod mates. I have been having them get together with their partner and with their pod at various times during the lessons. I have them go back to rows when I lecture so they can focus on me and the lesson.

I love this new seating arrangement. It is really the best of both worlds. Rows for direct instructions, partners and groups for activities.


Sue VanHattum said...

I have my college students do this too. Push two rows together before you even sit down. Then find out if we're starting with groups or lecture.

I think the groups are working great.

HappyChyck said...

I've been doing something this for a few year in my class, and it works very well. There are so many arguments about whether students should sit in rows or in groups, but this method is all about flexibility. Why decide and then have to live with the downsides of each? Even better? Students move their own desks, and they can do it in just seconds!

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