Room arrangement with tables

Discussion in 'Kindergarten' started by Miss Jana, May 12, 2007.

  1. Miss Jana

    Miss Jana Rookie

    Joined:
    May 10, 2005
    Messages:
    91
    Likes Received:
    0

    May 12, 2007

    Hi, everyone! :)

    I'll be a first year kinder teacher next year, and I'm mulling over room arrangment. I already know that I'll have small round tables in my room for the kids. They seat four kids each. I will probably end up having at least five, if not six tables.

    I taught preschool for many years, and the tables in our room were always used as part of permanent learning centers. One table would be in the writing center, one in the art center, one in the math center...etc. There were multiple activiites in each center that we changed out regularly. The only whole group activities we did were on the carpet. Kids had big cubbies for all their personal items.

    I have been debating having the same set up in kinder, but I know most teachers cluster the tables in the middle of the room, so that students do whole group activities there. I'm not sure what is going to be required..i.e. worksheets, etc... so I'm not sure how often I would need the kids at the tables altogether. I would love to plan all our whole group times at the carpet, and I can give clip boards if we need to write. it just seems like it would give us a lot more space in the room if everything were more spread out.

    Does anyone else do this? Does it sound feasible? Or is there too much whole group table work that must be done in kindergarten where I'll need to have the tables clustered together?

    Any ideas or input would be appreciated.
     
  2.  
  3. ctopher

    ctopher Comrade

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2005
    Messages:
    386
    Likes Received:
    0

    May 12, 2007

    I can't comment on the work in K since I teach second but I do have tables in my room. I tried spreading the tables out around the room for independent work like you are thinking about but I actually found that I have MORE room when the tables are together but not in the middle of the room. I divided my room in my head into 4 and then put the tables in 1/4th of the room and that left the other 3 spaces for everything else. I still have plenty of room to move around the tables and the students aren't on top of each other either. It's worked great.
     
  4. lw3teach

    lw3teach Companion

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2006
    Messages:
    173
    Likes Received:
    0

    May 12, 2007

    Our tables are spread out into each station. We run our whole day based on a workshop approach and if they ever need a table, say for eating snack, they have a specific table they go to, but not a specific spot.
    When we do whole group activities the hard surface they use is a white board. This doubles it's use.
     
  5. Miss Jana

    Miss Jana Rookie

    Joined:
    May 10, 2005
    Messages:
    91
    Likes Received:
    0

    May 12, 2007

    Iw3teach, I would like to hear more information on your workshop approach... do you mean like reading and writing workshop? I assume you have literacy and math (and maybe science) centers as well, and everyone rotates through all day? Can you explain more? I'd love to hear! :)
     
  6. lw3teach

    lw3teach Companion

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2006
    Messages:
    173
    Likes Received:
    0

    May 12, 2007

     
  7. mhcooley

    mhcooley Companion

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2006
    Messages:
    159
    Likes Received:
    0

    May 12, 2007

    I would love to see pictures. I have read books and been to workshops and I still can't get the hang of using centers. I just can't let go of whole group instruction. I know using centers would benefit my kids but it is a lot of work to get them going. The management part is what I am having problems with. I teach second so it is a little different but I can still use some of your ideas. I can't imagine teaching so many children. Are there desk for all your students in your room?
     
  8. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2006
    Messages:
    6,181
    Likes Received:
    1

    May 12, 2007

    This is what I do too. I have desks, which I hate, so I grouped them together. We do whole group on the carpet. Every now and then I send them all to their tables (they choose where to sit) to do something individual like writing, or math, or some sort of social studies project. But, otherwise, those tables are used only for workshop. I use white boards which works perfectly in my class.
     
  9. lw3teach

    lw3teach Companion

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2006
    Messages:
    173
    Likes Received:
    0

    May 12, 2007

    Are there desk for all your students in your room?[/QUOTE]

    We have two rooms together with an 8 foot doorway in the middle. There are no desks, just tables in each station. All the kids fit at the tables.
    It really is manageable with 46 kids since we don't teach all 46 at once all day long. They are split into groups of 23 for direct instruction and then down to groups of 8 for enrichment stations. It really works quite well!
    If there is a child that is having a problem with another we just move them to a different group. This cuts down on alot of problems.
    It also helps with parent relations. If I don't have the best relationship or "click" with a parent, chances are, my partner does. The same goes for the students really.
    I will take some pictures of what it looks like as of today since the ones I have on my computer right now are from the beginning of the year.
     
  10. Miss Jana

    Miss Jana Rookie

    Joined:
    May 10, 2005
    Messages:
    91
    Likes Received:
    0

    May 12, 2007

    Iw3teach, thank you so much for giving me a snapshot of your day! I would love to see any pictures you can share! :)

    One question... how do you work your center rotation? It's nice that they can split for that segment, and I'm sure it really helps to have them in groups of 8. Do you have them stay at each center for a prescribed amount of time? Is it by the clock, or do they move after they finish a task?

    In all the time I taught preschool, I never had a time rotation, nor did I ever assign centers. Each center had a limit to the number of people who could be there, and they all just chose where they wanted to go each day. I would do individual contracts with students if i felt they weren't visiting some centers that they needed to visit, but other than that, most of the kids would naturally hit every center every day, so it wasn't too much of a problem. In fact, I'm SOOO used to them having their own choice and working at their own pace that I'm a little unsure as to how to proceed otherwise.

    If you do a formal type of rotation, it would be helpful for me to hear how that works. I absolutely love the learning center approach and as long as I bring in interesting activities on a frequent basis, we've never had any kids get bored. In a way, I feel that I'm the opposite of mlcooley (poster above), because I can't seem to get the hang of whole group instruction. I've always done things in small groups or on an individual basis...except for circle time on the carpet.
     
  11. lw3teach

    lw3teach Companion

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2006
    Messages:
    173
    Likes Received:
    0

    May 13, 2007

    The kids always have one activity to do in their station. If they finish, they can use whatever is in that station by their own free choice. For example, after their math activity is done, they can use any math tub until the station is over. My kids are really into checkers right now, so that is what they play.

    BUT! This is not true for Writer's Workshop station. In this station they are expected to write stories, poems, all about books... whatever we are working on that week. I really don't have too much problem with that since they want to write. You do get the few, non-motivated ones or the ones who don't even know the whole alphabet yet and get frustrated.;)

    I think it is really important to teach directly to a whole group and to teach small group and individually. I also feel strongly about engaging all multiple intelligences, as I am sure everyone else out there does as well.
    I think whole group instruction is great for introducing concepts and then small group is good for reinforcing them and for finding the kids who are having difficulties with it.

    When I started teaching, all I was comfortable teaching was whole group, but now I think it takes alot of prepping the kids to work independently and to be accountible in stations, but in the end it pays off!
     
  12. Miss Jana

    Miss Jana Rookie

    Joined:
    May 10, 2005
    Messages:
    91
    Likes Received:
    0

    May 14, 2007

    Thanks so much for all your help Iw3teach! :)

    I am looking forward to honing my whole group instruction skills. I did fine during student teaching, and I'm used to doing calendar time as a whole group as well, so I think all will be good.

    I so appreciate your giving me a play-by-play with your centers. I agree, there is much practice and work involved in the beginning, but I know it pays off! I also know it's a lot of work to get centers up and running, but I think it really works well for differentiating instruction and covering multiple intelligences and different learning styles.

    The accountability is the part I've never had to do before...that and assessments. Those are my weaker areas, just because in the preschools where I've worked, it wasn't a huge required element of the job. I'm looking forward to planning and organizing the assessment part of the curriculum. I want it to drive my instruction, and I want to keep organized notes on each child as much as I can.

    Thanks again for all the great input and ideas! :)
     
  13. lw3teach

    lw3teach Companion

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2006
    Messages:
    173
    Likes Received:
    0

    May 14, 2007

    Thanks Miss Jana for reading my loooonnnggg posts! I will try to get some pics from those who requested and send them today.
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. kelly33
Total: 224 (members: 2, guests: 192, robots: 30)
test