group my kids or keep them in rows?

Discussion in 'Fifth Grade' started by Peachyness, Aug 22, 2007.

  1. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    Aug 22, 2007

    Right now, they are in pairs, in rows. It's not working though, because my overhead projecter is too close to the board and the people in the back are having a hard time seeing the overhead. I'm thinking of putting them into groups of 4-5-6.

    What do you guys think? The fifth grade teacher next door grouped her students this morning. They were in rows and she had the same problem with her overhead projector. Grouping her kids opened up the front of the room so that she could push the overhead further away from the board. That gave me the idea to group my kids. But, I'm not too sure it would be wise to group 5th graders. OR, maybe I'm being paranoid.:unsure:
     
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  3. LionPride

    LionPride Companion

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    Aug 22, 2007

    I don't do anything but put them into groups. This works the best for me. Groups should consist of no more than 4 or 5 students according to the research.
     
  4. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

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    I try to start out in rows, but, like you, space is an issue for me. I don't like groups so early in the year because of the chatty factor, but sometimes you have no choice. Do what you feel is best.
     
  5. New_Teacher

    New_Teacher New Member

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    Aug 23, 2007

    I think you should put them in rows because in younger grades while doing work they dont want someone cheating off of them and this lets them know that no one is cheating. Also they have more confidence because on TV the usually see 6th graders with rows which will make them feel older and happy but teamwork is still vey important
     
  6. sue35

    sue35 Habitué

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    Aug 23, 2007

    I have my students in rows by two also. I want to put them into tables of four asap. I feel like teamwork is so important and I want them to be able to work together as much as possible. Also, I just don't like how rows isolate the kids. I try and teach a lot about respecting other people's work and trying your hardest so as to no cheat.

    What I do to get rid of cheating is before a test they move their desk to a place that they always have for tests. Yes, it takes a few more minutes but it is worth it to have them in rows.

    I did both last year also, and they worked harder in tables.
     
  7. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Aug 23, 2007

    Partly because my room is small, I have been in the habit of changing the desk arrangements frequently. Even when the layout stays the same, I change the kids' positions every week. I sometimes have clusters, sometimes U-shape, or other arrangements. When they take tests, I have them move their desks back a foot and/or face them another direction.

    I think that the kids have to learn to work with all their classmates and frequent reorganization fosters that.
     
  8. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    How about a U shape arond the teacher. If you have a lot of desk, do another one behind it.
     
  9. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    We thought about doing a U shape, but there is not enough room! Well, we spent about 20 minutes arranging our desks. Right now, they are in groups. I have 6 groups of 4 or 5. There is a LOT more space right now, which I like. I did like the rows, but it just didn't work. It was too cramped. Evertime I tried to walk down a row, I would also knocks someones paper or book or bump into their arm. It was so annoying. Also, the overhead was way too close and the poor kiddos in the back couldn't see. Now, I can move it further back. I like it, but we'll see how they are tomorrow.
     
  10. uclalum

    uclalum Groupie

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    Aug 24, 2007

    I move my desks araound several times a year. :D
     
  11. jaruby

    jaruby Companion

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    Aug 24, 2007

    I prefer groups and I think it works better. My only suggestion is to do it now. Set the tone early on groups it is easy for them to talk.
     
  12. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

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    I love the double horseshoe arrangement. Actually is is more like a box with one side missing, but it works well. I can see everybody and they can see me. The middle is empty for the overhead cart. And talkers can be split up.
     
  13. osutx

    osutx Rookie

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    Aug 24, 2007

    I use groups because we do a lot of labs that require group work. I pass out file folders at the beginning of the year that they use as privacy folders. That way there is a barrier between them and their neighbor. They can use it anytime if they feel the need. They are required to use it when we are taking any type of test.
    I also feel like groups help with space issues!
     
  14. Ms.Jasztal

    Ms.Jasztal Maven

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    I am struggling majorly with space right now because they are in pairs, but eventually, I'll go back to groups so the area I marked can be opened up. I had to move some kids around the room when I used the projector yesterday...
     
  15. Ms.Jasztal

    Ms.Jasztal Maven

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    Me, too. I told the kids they'll probably be in the twos for two weeks so eventually I can open up the space, but this time is establishing procedures and the arrangement so far has been good for them. :)
     
  16. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    Well, today was are full day with groups. While it is different, it seemed to work. I'm amazed at how much more room there is in our room. It feels so roomy all of a sudden. I noticed they were a bit more talktive today, but that has to do with the fact that maintanance was in their adjusting their desks, which took about 45 minutes. THEN, an hour after they adjusted their desks, about 4 fell down onto their laps. It was a crazy day, but I'm still calm, cool, and collected. Next week, I'll tighten up with my rules. Today, it was just too weird and hectic with workers coming in and out of my room.
     
  17. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

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    We have only had three days of classes and I'm ready to put them in groups. I have a feeling I'd regret it though.
     
  18. emptynest

    emptynest Rookie

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    Aug 26, 2007

    At the beginning of the year I always put them in rows. I like to see how they behave and get to know them a little better before putting them into groups. I do a lot of cooperative groups. Kids need to talk and this gives them an opportunity to communicate with each other and learn while they are doing it. Some classes just don't do well when you group them. I think you simply need to get to know them before doing so. Don't be afraid to put them togther though! I attended an inservice class for teachers this summer and something was brought to my attention. Fifth graders need to talk. Give them a few minutes, scheduled time, to talk to their neighbors. Then when time is up, they have talked, and usually will be more willing to listen when it is time to teach! I have this in my plans and will try it.
     
  19. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    Aug 26, 2007

    Tomorrow is the first day, but in about 2 weeks I may be taking them out of groups and putting them in about 4 horizontal rows (walking space in front of and behind the desks, not in between). I have a HUGE room and I am left with a bunch of open space. (972 square feet according to the map)
     
  20. Ms.Jasztal

    Ms.Jasztal Maven

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    I realized that I should have started off in the pairs and then the groups, but we were the opposite- it was two days groups and three days in pairs so far.

    I think in 2 weeks, I'll be ready to arrange in groups. I too cannot wait for my room to open up more.

    As for the workers, the custodians were drilling in music class, and I had to wait for a few minutes with my students while they drilled. My kids were loud for those 5 minutes or so. That was insane. That was the third day of school, though, and now that's history... :cool:
     
  21. shouldbeasleep

    shouldbeasleep Enthusiast

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  22. Mrs LC

    Mrs LC Comrade

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    Aug 30, 2007

    I've never had my kids in rows - no one in my school does. We have groups of various sizes, depending on the set up of the room, the furniture and the number of kids.

    Currently I have 26 kids with 2 groups of 5 and 4 groups of four. We also have enough room for the whole class to sit on the floor, which they do several times a day. When I use the OHP, with its off-centre screen, half the grade need to sit on the floor around the projector, the rest in desks.

    Since we change seats every two weeks (random ballot but I have the right to move anyone who can't cope) it's as fair as I can make it.
     
  23. letsteach

    letsteach Comrade

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    Aug 30, 2007

    Whether you decide to group or not to group, if you do group, there will be those children who will probably twist their bodies, necks, shoulders and head to see. As one parent said to a teacher, think of the damage you are doing to their posture.
     
  24. Mrs LC

    Mrs LC Comrade

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    The looking around issue is one to keep in mind, but it's less of a hassle if you don't always work from the front. Most of the time, my kids are working cooperatively in groups or pairs, or individually - the time they spend looking at the board is minimal. When I am teaching, I am more likely to have them on the floor at my feet using the mobile whiteboard or OHP.

    I guess it depends a lot on your teaching style - I am rarely at the front.
     
  25. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

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    Well, my kids are now in a double horseshoe and life is much better. It now seems like we have enough room to move.
     
  26. shortee

    shortee Companion

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    I've had mine in groups for the past two weeks but next week I'm switching to pairs. My groups are according to reading levels which helps when we do guided reading (no time wasted to re-group) but too many of them are getting distracted by others. I'm going to try the pairs arrangement and pair the struggling readers with advanced readers so that they can help them.
     
  27. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    We have tables so sometimes there is a "twisting the neck thing" going on, but most of our "lecture" portions are done on the carpet in a horseshoe formation seated on the floor.
     
  28. Deeena

    Deeena Cohort

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    I debated over whether to put my kids in groups or rows too. Since the beginning of school, they have been in groups. As of now, I wouldn't have it any other way. They handle it pretty well, and I love having them work together, share, and collaborate. They really love receiving table points as well. Each week we add them up and the group with the most gets to sit on seat cushions for the week (very reinforcing to them!).
     
  29. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    I also like them being in groups better. It's worked out fine. I do a lot of group work and it's so much easier if they are already in groups. And they handle themselves very well. Hardly any behavior issues. THey are a chatter group in general, but nice kids. All I have to do is remind them that they are on their own time, and that they are about to lose some PAT time, and the quiet down. I also remind them about our noise level and what level we are on now. That's helps too.

    About craning their neck. In the perfect world, classrooms would be designed by EDUCATORS and that they would be large. My classroom is too small to be able to put them into rows or any other formation. Grouping them is the only way I can walk around without constantly bumping my big butt into them as I walk by.:eek:
     

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