Bringing in the Experts

Posted: March 8, 2011 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , ,

So, I’ve been thinking and writing about seating arrangement a lot this year. Just on the off-chance that you didn’t catch those earlier posts, I’ll summarize quickly. I did some reading over the summer about seating and then bought tables from IKEA that were not only inexpensive, but easily move around the room. Then, even though I thought the new arrangement was great, my students surprised me by saying that there were some things about sitting in rows that they liked. So I went back to the drawing board and made a new plan.

Sort-of.

Chairs

Photo by Vincent Brassinne used under Creative Commons license

My idea of a new plan was not really that new. I asked for input from my class and then it fell off the to-do list. But, it’s back on the list–and at the top. Today I set up the room in yet another arrangement for our morning work. It was temporary, but made me start to think that the real problem was with my lack of imagination about the whole thing. For the rest of the day I got flashes of crazy ways to arrange the room. Whenever my students were out of the room I was tempted to start moving desks, chairs, and anything else that wasn’t nailed down.

But then I thought that I should really put this back in the hands of my students, as I had originally planned. Having put it off, if only for a few weeks, I am more ready to push them and myself to think WAY outside the box.

Here’s my plan: tomorrow morning I will ask for volunteers to be involved in a remodeling plan. Anyone who is interested is welcome to join. In groups of 3ish students will have a chance to make a proposal for our new plan–however outlandish it may be. Then we’ll vote or combine plans or something.

Wish me luck!

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Comments
  1. Analiese says:

    I love this idea! Do you cover scale drawings in math? This might be a really nice connection as well – cutting out little pieces of furniture and trying it in a million different combinations was the only way I ever fit everything into my college dorm room!

  2. mseiteljorg says:

    Analiese,
    We don’t generally work on scale drawings in math, but it might be a way to have the kids who like math participate in a way that works for them. Maybe there can be some students who work on the ideas of arrangement and some who make scale cut-outs. I had another alternate activity planned for the same time, but your comment has given me a new idea. Thanks.

    I hope the whole thing does not totally fall flat.

    Thanks so much for your comment.

  3. Analiese says:

    I also have tables in my classroom, but I also have around 80 kids, so there are very few options for arrangement. I am so excited to see what your peanuts come up with! I can’t wait to see the results!

  4. Maggie says:

    Will they be using multi-media to present their ideas?? You can tell we are all excited to hear from your expert voices!

  5. mseiteljorg says:

    It was quite a morning. I will try to write all about it in a separate post. Summary: Good discussions and collaboration, fairly standard result. But, I think we are on a path to a more out-of-the-box solution. Stay tuned.

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