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Re: Classroom setup: Rows vs Groups (and more)


From: Curt James (curt_james_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Sat Jun 23 2001 - 00:56:51 PDT

Joe <> wrote:


> I am wondering if I put the tables in
> rows and not group them, if this would
> help the students concentrate and cut
> down on discipline problems. I really
> don't like this set up because I like
> the students to interact with each other,
> but I am finding more interacting
> and less creating.

Joe, I had a similar experience. The class
was arranged in groups. Seven grouped or
pod-like setups where half the class was
facing away from me during group instruction.

These kids refused or were incapable of
turning to face the front of the classroom
for even a second.

I moved the tables into rows with each student
facing the chalkboard, but this created a
different set of problems as you noted - the
students weren't able to work in groups
as easily. Also, the tables pushed together
as a pod made for a much larger drawing or
working surface.

My compromise was to push tables together
facing each other in one large row. For
group instruction I'd simply position
myself at the end of the table.

If I had any video to show the students,
I typically arranged the chairs prior
to student arrival to ensure that
no one would be facing away from the TV.

Middle school kids have the most energy,
but at times they will simply not be
able to use any of it productively.

[student sitting next to pencil sharpener]
"Will you sharpen my pencil for me?"


To answer your question, I shuffled the
tables liberally. They never knew what
was going to be waiting for them!
Some students approved of rows. Others
preferred groups. The row of tables
facing each other was popular with still
others. Mix it up, Joe. See what works.


Re: different perspectives/opinions in
displaying artwork as well as standards:

I completely agree with the beauty of
a variety of opinions. By stating mine,
I am in no way intent on saying to anyone
here, "You're stupid and wrong!" :-)~
My goal is to listen and learn, but not
to be afraid to speak my mind as well.

Standards, I believe, are equally as
important as free-flowing anything-goes
creativity in the classroom. Again,
like the tables, I like to mix it up.

I had rubrics for several projects/
assignments, but I also allowed for
periods of "free drawing" where students
were able to express themselves without
concern for specific requirements.


Re: HTML and MIME format:

Yahoo! email has a section under the
"writing block" that offers a plain text
option or an html tags allowed option.

I simply have to click on the plain
text and, I believe, I'm good to go.
Uh, are my posts coming through
as plain text?

Scrooooooolling is a drag, imo.


I wish everyone a very enjoyable
weekend! (And summer!)

Curt, embracing diverse viewpoints
(as long as you all agree that I'm right!)
... uh, kidding (again).
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