Groups or rows for the first days of school?

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by otterpop, Aug 13, 2016.

  1. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    Do you prefer to have desks in groups or rows for the first days of school?
     
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  3. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    I have tables, not desks, so groups by default. If, however, I had desks, they would still be in groups.
     
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  4. Bunnie

    Bunnie Devotee

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    Groups. Always. There's no real room to put them in rows in my room anyways.
     
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  5. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    I usually switch to groups as the year progresses but like to start in rows. I'm considering starting with groups right off the bat in order to save space.
     
  6. agdamity

    agdamity Fanatic

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    Groups. We are really discouraged from seating students in rows unless it is testing week.
     
  7. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    Groups.
     
  8. mckbearcat48

    mckbearcat48 Cohort

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    I think rows are going the way of the dodo.
     
  9. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    It sounds like it here! My school has a lot of classrooms in rows. I think it helps keep students focused, which is why I like to start the year out that way. However, I like the collaboration that grouping allows.
     
  10. BreezyGirl

    BreezyGirl Companion

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    I arrange my class in groups as long as it is working. If I switch it up, I avoid traditional rows and do pairs or the U shape instead.
     
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  11. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    None of our classrooms have desks in rows unless the students are writing a test.
     
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  12. MLB711

    MLB711 Comrade

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    I have 'pods' (groups of 2-3 desks) that are set up in rows. I'm toying around with the U shape idea for this year but I think I will wait until after Christmas for a big change.
     
  13. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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    U shape is where it's at! I like space, the kids are still looking at the board, but can still collaborate easily with the people sitting next to them. Plus I can call them down to sit inside the U for instruction and send them back for practice, which is exactly what I did. It took me forever to get there with my desks. LOL
    WOO WOO!
     
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  14. mkbren88

    mkbren88 Cohort

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    My desks are in groups.
     
  15. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    If you can set the rows up such that desks can be turned quickly to form groups it can serve both purposes. Selective seating assignments can aid group work as the year goes on. Desks just need to be turned 1/4 turn and nudged a bit to get to groups. It might take a bit of getting them used to doing it, but just like any other task they can come around quickly.
     
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  16. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Groups, since that's how I do it all year, and I don't like moving my 200 ton desks around. (They also scrape up the floors when I move them).
     
  17. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    Me too. I would love to do U shape when the kids are presenting to each other but there is no way unless someone invents bunkdesks or I figure out how to hang some from the ceiling.
     
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  18. mckbearcat48

    mckbearcat48 Cohort

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    The Anti-Gravity Student Seating System :)
     
  19. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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    I started off both my first two years with groups, and within a few months the first and a month the second year, I changed to rows (mostly). Amazingly enough, through some rearranging of furniture / my "desk" area, I'm managing to still maintain rows (think the letter E, give or take) even though I may have 28-30 kids in a portable this year. I love the idea behind groups, being cooperative learning, but just found that they were so much more distracted then.

    There's a big caveat though, in that I have "compass" partners for each student after the first couple weeks (basically 4 different partners, a North, South, East, and West partner - I can change the names of the "directions" to academic terms throughout the year), which I utilize a ton. Basically, when they're at their desks individually, it makes it much easier for them to stay focused on instruction, but then when I want them to do some collaborative work or talk with someone, they have someone they can get to in 5 seconds, which also incorporates physical movement to keep them from sitting too long.

    Everyone has a different style, and as long as it incorporates collaborative work and they can be focused in on instruction with one's particular style, I think each of those styles are equally valid.
     
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  20. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    This has been my experience as well. I think I'll give groups a try though for space reasons. I tend to change desk setups often anyway.
     
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  21. monkeyrun

    monkeyrun Rookie

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    I'm going to start with them in pairs and really teach them how to speak to each other and how to work with a partner. Then we'll learn how to quickly put them in groups, then move them back to pairs.

    I am moving up this year, so I know a lot of these students and they are quite the group. I'm hoping that by taking the time to explicitly teach all of this stuff with them in pairs that we can move to groups and they can handle the groups. We'll see!
     
  22. Rabbitt

    Rabbitt Connoisseur

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    Groups. I do very little whole group so it works fine.
     
  23. vincischool

    vincischool Rookie

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    I think most classrooms are in rows. It helps to keep students focused.

    However, I like the collaboration that grouping allows.
     
  24. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    I have mine in rows, for several reasons. Half of my classes are film electives. We watch movies or movie clips a lot. Two of my other classes are speech classes. When we do speeches they need desks facing forward. My other class is freshman English, and they struggle to concentrate in groups. We still do activities in group nearly were day, but we just move desks. One day this week we moved our desks all the way to the wall and sat on the floor. We do seminars a lot and move the desks into circles. But the default is rows.
     

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