Friday, March 9, 2012

Friday Finds, 3/9/12

Albatros bookmarks from Oscar Lhermitte on Vimeo.

I've been crazy busy since last week, so this week's Friday Finds are both mine:

A newsletter article about blogging (skip forward to page 13) and my presentation about book clubs.
I do wish I could get one of those bookmarks shown above.
Sometimes you can only do so much!  More next Friday (promise!).

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Moving Day

This is what my classroom looks like every day when I walk in the room.  Nice, neat straight rows:  The "right" way for a classroom to be set up.

 Filled with students, it looks like this:

 But then, I make them move into groups.  Every day.  Well, nearly every day.  If we are having an in-class essay or a midterm exam, they stay in rows.  But for some part of just about every two-hour class, they move.

It involves gathering their bags and books, moving the tables and chairs, and going to a new part of the room . .  . basically a bit of chaos for about 4 minutes.  That looks like this:

Then everyone is settled into nice neat groups that look like this:

Turning around to talk to the "classmates near you" has never worked out well for me.  Students are not fully invested or engaged as much as they are when they take the time to push the desks together, unpack, and settle in facing each other.

Lesson Learned:  It only takes a bit of time and muscle power, but moving the furniture can make a big difference in the class community and interaction between students in a group.

And P.S. - Yes, we move the tables and chairs back into the "right" class formation for the next teacher.