Discussion in 'Elementary Education Archives' started by C2Teach, Jun 10, 2007.
Jun 10, 2007
rows, groups, horseshoe???
I plan on doing a horseshoe to start the year, but then put them in groups.
I teach second and at the start of the year I like to teach them to look at the board, the overhead, and me....so I group 3 desks across then a center aisle and 3 more across. After the first 6 weeks, I move to pods. At the end of this year, I ended up with just 3 big groups! I always try to make sure everyone can see the board without looking OVER their shoulders-so one of my big groups is on a slant!
Jun 11, 2007
I have tables instead of desks (I wish I had desks!) and so they are just naturally set up in groups I guess. I did a horseshoe with the tables for a little while and that worked out alright too.
I always begin with groups - I like groups of 4 if I can do it. I think they are more comfortable at the beginning of the year this way, and they can help each other. I know I am supposed to want them to be terrified on the first day of school, but I just don't have it in me! After a couple of weeks, if behavior is going well, I might keep groups or form new groups. Eventually I have them in conventional rows which is better for tests, and I want them to get a feel for the next grades. I like to end the year with a horseshoe, and we usually have a big art project going on in the middle. A lot depends on the group behavior. I have had groups that work well all year in the groups of 4, but some just can't handle the freedom of interaction and have to be more isolated in rows.
I always begin with rows, everyone facing the board, so that I can get to know them and their personalities. I change seats once a month though, and experiment with a variety of seating arrangments. They are usually in groups of some sort, but if they're driving me nuts with too much talking, I move them back to rows, with space between each desk. I had bad luck with the horseshoe once, and I haven't been brave enough to try it again. That particular class just couldn't handle the fact that they could all see each other. They got into more trouble laughing and being goofy at the wrong time, so they only lasted 2 days before I moved them apart.
Are we the same teacher??? lol- I do the same thing as you
I change my desk arrangement every 6 weeks and change their seating assignments all the time. I love shaking their snow globes. Plus, it's MY room, and I don't want them feeling territorial in "their" desks.
I also shake things up from time to time, usually at least once per quarter.
This year we started off in a U-shape, then went to two sections of desks facing each other across a main aisle, to 4-desk pods, back to the face-off, and then to rows all facing the front of the room.
Jun 12, 2007
haha, well, you know what they say ... great minds think alike!
I wonder if teachers tend to move desks less the longer they've been teaching
This is just something I started observing this past year. This year I really didn't change the configuration of my desks much. I changed who sat where, but the desks stayed in pretty much the same spots (rows). In previous years I had been changing the seating all the time. This year I realized that, at least in my grade group, those of us who had been teaching for a few years rarely moved the desks, while the couple who were newer teachers changed theirs frequently. Maybe after a while you find something that works for you and just stick with it. Also...you start realizing that ii is time consuming to move and arrange all those desks! ;-)
I had 3 rows across, with an aisle down the middle so I had easy access to everyone.
It has been my experience that groups are just an opportunity for conversation. I am more about rows. If I want to do a cooperative learning project then there are tables in the room where students can sit together.
I've been teaching for 14 years, and my kids tease me all of the time about how frequently I change the desks! I think it's the Gemini in me.
I start in rows, with pairs of students together and an aisle between. Last year I was able to move them to groups, but this year they couldn't handle it. I liked it so much better. I think I'll stick with it for next year. And the year after that, we have class size reduction so I will be going from 34 to 25. No idea what I will do then as the rows won't be divisible by 2.
I do a lot of cooperative group activities, so my desks are in groups of 4. I'm not very good at rotating the seating assignments, but I plan to do better this year changing them each 6 weeks.
Jun 13, 2007
My new room has the kind of desk that is all-in-one. Not to mention that I will have 25+ students in my small room. I can't quite figure out how to do anything other than rows. I am afraid that we will be tripping over each other.
I start off in a U. Once I learn abilities and weakness I put them in groups of four or five.
I start in groups and then move about once every month and a half or so. This last year I did groups all year. I varied between four groups of 5-6 each and 6 groups of 4 or 5 each. I usually reserve the "E" (both forwards and backwards) for when the talking gets out of hand.
I taught half a year with desks. Here are different layouts: http://www.topcityhotels.com/reservation/conference/conference_arrangements.html
I started it with 2 groups of 5, and 3 groups of 6. Then, I tried rows. (the Chevron style in the link) I liked them, the desks just moved a lot. Then I tried having two E shapes on each side (you can see that in the link to). I liked this shape because they were still in a group but they all could look at me. It helped with the talking.
Some of these are really hard to use when you're dealing with the old slide in from the side kinds of desks. If you put them side to side, they get blocked in. I wish I had desks with chairs.
I always do groups. I use their desks during centers and the groupings help them to work together easier.
When I started my student teaching, my lead teacher had the kids in two huge groups: one with 10 kids, the other with 11. I hated it. The kids tripped over each other, I couldn't reach the ones that needed help...it was awful. I moved them into cooperative groups, with four in each (one of five) and it was fabulous. I mixed them around by ability and behavior tendencies..which took a little while to figure out, but once I did they loved it. My teacher still has them that way (and I've been gone for over a month)...so I think it's working out. I want to start mine in a U so I can learn their names and faces, but by the second week I plan on groups.
I agree. My new classroom has the slide in style of desks and I can't figure out how to arrange them other than in rows. Not to mention the 25+ students in a very small classroom.
I may be stuck with rows .
hmmm what if you put them in groups of 4. Would that work?
Jun 14, 2007
At one point I had mine in groups of 4, but the desks were turned so that each student basically faced the side of the next student...I guess so the desks sort of formed a pinwheel. That might work for those type desks.