Starting the year in Group seating?

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by Kris8806, Aug 10, 2009.

  1. Kris8806

    Kris8806 Companion

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    Aug 10, 2009

    Hi everyone!

    I'm trying to think of how to set up my seating for next year. Veteran teachers have told me that I should never start the year with students in groups because they can't handle it at the lower levels (I teach 3rd). So I've had them in rows, pairs, rows of four. Pairs worked well in the past. This year I was thinking of starting with a U shape but I'm not sure I'll be able to pull it off since I have 36 students. That may be too many for that seating arrangement. So then I thought of groups again.

    What is your experience with groups? Can third graders handle groups? If I had the students in groups I would set them up as teams on the first day of school (pre-assigned) and they would earn team points. I thought I could play the team points card a lot and use it for transitions and talking (team that gets reading for math the fastest and quietest earns a point for example).

    Just wanted to hear the opinion of the exceptional teachers on this board! :hugs:

    Thanks!!!
     
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  3. teachermegs

    teachermegs Rookie

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    Aug 10, 2009

    I have taught 1- 3rd and currently 2nd. I have always had groups. My old school had tables in k-2. The 3rd grade teachers are doing groups at my school.
    I also do team points. The team with the most points line up first at lunch time and on Fridays I give them a surprise, it ahs been anything from t-shirts (extra one the school gave me) to a glow bracelet.
    I love groups
     
  4. Lynnnn725

    Lynnnn725 Connoisseur

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    Aug 10, 2009

    And I would think just the opposite! Our lower grades only have tables and our kids can handle it. I would think the older kids would be the yappers.
     
  5. maroki

    maroki Comrade

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    Aug 10, 2009

    I start the year with groups (I taught 1st for 3 years and will be teaching 2nd this year). One year I started with rows and I ended up changing it almost instantly. We spend a lot of time working in groups in my class, so I like to get them used to it right from the beginning. We spend a lot of time at the beginning of the year practicing good group work, and talking about what it looks like and what it sounds like.
     
  6. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Aug 10, 2009

    36 kids??? Yikes!
    :eek:
     
  7. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Aug 10, 2009

    I teach grade 2- I always start the year in 'groups'- desks arranged as tables. It works, they can handle them if you set the expectations for behavior, teach and practice rules and procedures...:thumb:
     
  8. kacieann

    kacieann Companion

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    Aug 10, 2009

    I have always started the year with groups. I truly believe that it is all about what expectations you have for your students. I also teach procedures for the first 4 days of school to be sure students understand my expectations.
     
  9. Matt633

    Matt633 Comrade

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    Aug 10, 2009

    I second what Kacieann said!

    I have had 1st graders that did well with groups and one year had a class that could NOT handle it. The same with 4th.

    But all of my other grades/classes handled it once they were trained.
     
  10. kalper07

    kalper07 Rookie

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    Aug 10, 2009

    I'm in fifth in I've always used groups! Model model model!
     
  11. NC1stGradeTeach

    NC1stGradeTeach Rookie

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    I started working in my classroom today and had this very problem. I can't decide if I want to start the school year in groups or with rows. I am teaching first grade this year. It makes sense to use groups if you teach expectations from day one. I still am not sure what type of set up I want to start the year with.
     
  12. FarFromHome

    FarFromHome Connoisseur

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    I teach third grade and I also start off in rows. They can handle the groups-after they get used to your rules. I found that if they started in rows they transitioned to groups a lot better.
     
  13. Kris8806

    Kris8806 Companion

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    Aug 11, 2009

    Yea tell me about it. The wonders of private school....
     
  14. Kris8806

    Kris8806 Companion

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    Aug 11, 2009

    Thank you all for your opinions. Its interesting to see your responses and reasoning. Keep it coming. You guys are inspiring me to try groups! With such a large number of students in the classroom it limits my options significantly! I'll be sure to post pics when I go into the room this weekend. =)
     

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