Seating setup for Middle Schoolers

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by HWilson, Jul 22, 2011.

  1. HWilson

    HWilson Comrade

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    Jul 22, 2011

    Has anyone ever used the U shape ( l_l ) in your classroom seating chart/arrangements? I have been wanting to try it but Im afraid this setup offers too much face time. Also the struggle of seeing over students heads when looking at the board.

    Any experience??
     
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  3. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Jul 22, 2011

    I use it when I have a small enough class to fit all the students in one U or maybe a U with a short row. I do not like the double U for the need to see over and in ability to get to students easily.

    However, I love the U for discussion and ease to check in with students. When I set up groups, I either set up mini Us or Hs.
     
  4. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Enthusiast

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    Jul 22, 2011

    In my first job (part-time) I shared a room with a 6th grade teacher who used a variation on the U. My 7th graders couldn't cope with the eye contact, so every day we moved the tables into straight rows, then back again at the end of the day.

    I use the U with my HS seniors now, but they're an entirely different breed from 7's!
     
  5. Hitchcock fan

    Hitchcock fan Companion

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    Jul 23, 2011

    I tried it once for about 2 weeks. The problem wasn't the students' behavior -- for some reason I just couldn't get my mind around liking that arrangement! I use "pods" of four to six desks pushed together to make a table.
     
  6. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Virtuoso

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    Jul 23, 2011

    I used to use a modified U shape. I had two desks in each section. I didn't have room to do side-by-side single desks. When I got my SmartBoard, I took the bottom of my "U" away because that's where they put my board. Now I have the two sides of the U facing inward. (3 desks each now--33 desks total)

    I love it. There really isn't a "back" to the room, so nobody is ever that far away from me at any moment.

    When we need to move together in groups, the kids know how to side their desks together.
     
  7. sweetlatina23

    sweetlatina23 Cohort

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    Jul 23, 2011

    I personally love it with my sixth graders. We have small classes, I have about 18 at most. if it fits, iI use it. It is great for discussion. I normally walk behind the students as we go over the powerpoint. For tests we scatter around the room.

    Also, every monday they scoot over one desk. This helps me rotate them and their jobs too.
     
  8. nstructor

    nstructor Cohort

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    Jul 23, 2011

    Can you illustrate this?
     
  9. Ron6103

    Ron6103 Habitué

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    Jul 23, 2011

    I tried it, but with a room of 30 students, I couldn't move around the room myself enough to make it work. I couldn't comfortably check homework, and kids couldn't get up to use the restroom/sharpen pencil, etc.

    I like the idea, but I guess my room wasn't large enough for a proper setup.
     
  10. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Jul 24, 2011

    I can't see it working for my math classes.

    I'm CONSTANTLY at the board. (I have no trouble teaching with layrngitis, but had a real problem last week when I had a whiteboard and the one marker ran out of ink!!!!)

    My primary consideration in terms of seating is ensuring that it's easy for everyone to see what I'm doing.

    That means traditional rows, where everyone is facing the front of the room.

    I realize that different classes have different needs, but my kids need to see the board.
     
  11. Milsey

    Milsey Habitué

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    Jul 24, 2011

    When in doubt, use rows.
     
  12. Hitchcock fan

    Hitchcock fan Companion

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    Jul 24, 2011

    I use rows at the end of the year, post-CRCT when the students are "done." Otherwise, I use tables and rotate the seating chart every few weeks. One reason I like tables is that I incorporate it into learning. For example, when we're studying WWI, I have tables for Germany, Austria-Hungary, Ottoman Empire, Russia, Britain, & France. The students make flags for those countries and hang them over the tables. I make them tell me goodbye in those languages when I dismiss them each day -- they LOVE that! (I teach them how). When we move on to WWII, I change it to Germany, Italy, Japan, USSR, Britain, and France. Then on to the Cold War and we have free v. communist. 6th graders love this and I enjoy it, too. It's easy to say "Japan, clean up around your area" and "Soviets, bring it down a notch."
     
  13. Special-t

    Special-t Enthusiast

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    Jul 25, 2011

    I love the U setting, but I last year I had one student who was really reactive to being looked at by the other students so I had to change to traditional rows. I think I'm going to try the U again this year and see how he does. I like the idea of rotating 1 seat every Monday.
     
  14. myangel52

    myangel52 Comrade

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    Jul 26, 2011

    I used a version of it this past year in my room:

    | -- -- |
    | | | |
    whiteboard wall
    | | | |
    | | | |

    projector wall/door

    Not quite a U, but it worked well in my room. The windows were at the back, the whiteboard is along the right of this diagram, and the projector was projecting to the wall and the open end of the U.

    Loved it. So did my VP, who did my evaluations. His comments were that it helped improve my classroom management, and he observed that more students seemed engaged (not sure if that truly was a result of the set up, though...)

    eta: formatting isn't showing up as I thought it would. I hope you can get the idea of what I had. I had an outer u, and in the middle I had tables back to back, so the students created an inner isle.
     
  15. HWilson

    HWilson Comrade

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    Jul 26, 2011

    So you had a U shape and then on the inside of the U it was rows??:confused:
     

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