Thursday, August 18, 2011

Seating Arrangemets

I've noticed that Whole Brain Teaching has made a big impact on my seating arrangements in the classroom.  The WBT Model Classroom Handbook reminds teachers to "seat your kids in any configuration you wish, horseshoe, rows, etc. but be sure they are assigned partners for Teach-Ok."  Here are a couple of photos that show my seating arrangement for the past year:

In the past I had tried a grouped arrangement like this, NEVER lasted long.  I always had to separate kids so that they wouldn't talk or become distracted.  Using the Teach-Ok has been a key change in my teaching style.  I no longer try to separate all the students to minimize talking.  On the contrary, the students now have partners so that they CAN talk and talk a lot, within the system!

At first I had all the students turn their chair to the screen when teaching whole group.  However, in this arrangement I realized the partner closest to the board would have to turn around during the Teach-OK.  This was especially challenging if they were trying to refer to info on the board as they taught.  So we came up with a procedure to change that.  I tell the class to sit "shoulder-to-shoulder, facing the board."  That is the cue for the class to move quickly while we all count down "5-4-3-2-1!"  By "1" everyone has scooted their chair shoulder-to-shoulder with their partner, eyes on the board, ready to learn.  Teacher heaven!

WBT Intern, 2011-12

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