Arranging tables - kids backs to the board

Discussion in 'General Education' started by carrieSAtoUSA, Jul 20, 2011.

  1. carrieSAtoUSA

    carrieSAtoUSA Rookie

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    Jul 20, 2011

    Whenever I arrange my class, I try to make sure that no students have their backs towards the board. Have any of you got arrangements where your students backs may be towards the board?
    Does it matter?

    I am contemplating doing this because of the small space I have - it will be easier to fit them all in.
     
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  3. jlj

    jlj Devotee

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    Jul 20, 2011

    What type of seating do you have?
     
  4. carrieSAtoUSA

    carrieSAtoUSA Rookie

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    Jul 20, 2011

    I wish I could post a picture - I have desks which I currently have in groups of 5 or 6.
     
  5. jde3399

    jde3399 Rookie

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    Jul 20, 2011

    Yes, I did this for the past couple of years. I taught second and third. I modeled how they turn in their seats in order to see the board, so they didn't have to keep turing their chairs (which would annoy me). I tried to make sure that the ones who do sit backwards are the good kids (no trouble from them) that do not wear glasses/have eye sight problems or can be distracted easily. But it worked all the same. Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.
     
  6. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    Jul 20, 2011

    I attached a picture of how I have my room. I have 2 groups of 5 and 4 groups of 4. All have a side view of the board (well except the two at the end. lol)
     
  7. Hitchcock fan

    Hitchcock fan Companion

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    Jul 20, 2011

    I use "pods" of five or sometimes six desks, and inevitably some students have their backs to the front of the room. It's no big deal; they can turn in their chairs and even sit on the floor near the board if they need to.
     
  8. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Jul 20, 2011

    In my class, if you can't see the board you're in pretty deep trouble.
     
  9. soleil00

    soleil00 Comrade

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    Jul 20, 2011

    I have my desks arranged into groups of 5 and 6 to where no one will have their back to the board. Everyone has a side view of the board.

    I just noticed during my student teaching (where 4 students had backs to the board) that those students absolutely did not pay attention until I would get onto them. Only then would they turn around to look at the board.
     
  10. AnonyMS

    AnonyMS SpEd Para! BASE room aide! RTI Facilitator!

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    Jul 20, 2011

    I have a front board and a side board and the desks are in groups of 4... two students in each group always will have their back to the board.
     
  11. TulipsGirl

    TulipsGirl Cohort

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    Jul 24, 2011

    Answer the following questions in the context of your classroom:

    *do you use the board to visually enhance your lesson?
    *Do you expect students to take notes while you teach a frontal lesson at the board?
    *Sit in each desk position that you have set up: (facing the board, side facing the board, and back to the board) and look at the board for 10 minutes. Are you uncomfortable because of the position of the board? does your neck hurt, even from just looking to the side? (you'd be surprised!)
    *are your seats attached to the desk?

    If the answers to these questions is "yes", then no, students backs or sides should not be facing the board.

    Many will not agree with me, but here is my take on this:
    If I were a student and the teacher had me facing the side, or the back, I'd be annoyed - and uncomfortable. It's just realy hard to focus that way. And I was a student who was a rule follwer - and it still would have been hard to focus!

    I am all for group work, collaberation etc. But frontal lessons happen in my room, and they are important. If your chairs EASILY move and those few students can comfortably and effortlessly move their chairs to face you, by all means, teach them how. But if it will not be effortless for a student, and it is affecting thier ablity to follow and participate in a lesson, please reconsider it.

    We talk about setting students up for Succes.... please make sure that it EASY not just doable, but easy, for a students to focus on you and participate on any lesson that happens at the board.
     
  12. GAteacher87

    GAteacher87 Companion

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    Jul 24, 2011

    I agree with you, TulipsGirl.
     
  13. Mommyserenity

    Mommyserenity Devotee

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    Jul 24, 2011

    My kids sit in groups in my class because they seem to work better that way. If I have a group of five, then I face four desks inward to each other from left and right and then place the fifth desk so that the student is facing into the group looking to the board. I wish I had a photo as I can't describe it too well.

    Chair
    Desk5
    Chair/Desk1Desk2/Chair
    Chair/Desk3Desk4/Chair



    BOARD​
     
  14. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    Jul 24, 2011

    All of my students have side views of the SmartBoard at the back of the room and the whiteboard at the front of the room. One whole side of the room has their backs to the side whiteboard. I just use it for announcements, so they don't need to see that during the course of class.
     
  15. Aussiegirl

    Aussiegirl Habitué

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    Jul 24, 2011

    I definitely do not want kids having their backs to the board. I walk around the room, so they do have to swivel some, but the work is focused on that front board. I have 24 desks in groups of 4.

    In each group the first two desks face each other so the students face each other and turn their heads to see the board in front, and the other two desks are perpendicular to the first two so those two students face front.

    Chair | Chair
    Desk | Desk
    -----------------
    C D | D C
    h e | e h
    a s | s a
    i k | k i
    r | r
    These are one piece desks. I have six of these groups set up in two rows across the room. The far right and left groups are set up at an angle so the line of sight of the kids in the desks that face front is actually centered on the center of the board. The middle sets of desks in each row face directly forward.


    \ | /
    \ | /

    (board)

    I like this setup because I can have kids with their backs to each other - helps break up certain cliques during class. Also, none of the kids has his/her back to the front of the room.

    If we have more students this year, I will set the desks up so the first four desks in each group face each other and the fifth desk is at the end facing the board. I'll still tilt the outside pods.
    __ __
    | |
    | |
     
  16. shasha379

    shasha379 Devotee

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    Jul 24, 2011

    This is what I do too.
     
  17. CJandSA

    CJandSA Rookie

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    Jul 24, 2011

    I agree that it is really important for students to have the ability to face forward, especially at my level (middle school). I would really like my all students to be able to face forward, but I am in a room with stools and fixed lab tables. The tables are raised and round, so there are always two students facing towards their teammates and, consequently, away from me.

    Any suggestions on how I might be able to work better with this situation? I change my seating charts every 6 weeks to make sure the tables are mixed and students get a chance to move around the room. I have to fill all of the seats at my tables because of class sizes, and I really struggle with students talking too much and losing focus.
     
  18. CHI

    CHI Rookie

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    Jul 26, 2011

    I have a smartboard and a dry erase board in my room. I find that it is hard to arrange the room so that everyone has a head on view of both boards. I usually arrange the desks in a u shape. I also have a class set of clipboards that I let the students use. If they can't see the board they get a clipboard and sit on the floor in front of the board.
     
  19. Aussiegirl

    Aussiegirl Habitué

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    Jul 28, 2011

    I have a standing policy that kids are free to find a different seat or sit on the floor if they can't see. This is usually only an issue with the homework board because that is at one end of the long board at the front of the room. I center my projector on the board so visibility is usually not a problem when it comes to lessons. Also, I'm really careful to seat kids up front if they have sight/hearing issues.
     
  20. RajRaturi

    RajRaturi Rookie

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    Jul 28, 2011

    Yeah if you do a Kagan like setup with groups of 4 then I don't think you can prevent some kids from having their backs to the board. When I had that set up, I would just advise kids to turn around.
     
  21. Ms.Jasztal

    Ms.Jasztal Maven

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    Jul 29, 2011

    I have never had kids NOT face the board, but this year, there may be a few. Not many. It will not be traumatic, though, if I use the board to enhance a lesson. However, I have a lot of space that is dedicated to a meeting area where the students will take most of their notes. They will be comfortable in that area, which will be open to more discussion and inquiry.

    My desks this fall will be in 4s and 5s. I was testing around with 6s yesterday when setting up, but I don't think I am liking that much.
     

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