Need students in different desk arrangements for different types of activities? You can train them to change the room arrangement in the least amount of time possible to preserve instructional minutes. Watch this 3 minute video to see my students on their first day of practicing different room arrangements.
Room arrangement is a challenge for me this year because I am one of those teachers that does not have her own room. I am very grateful to the other teachers who allow me to hold my classes in their rooms during their off periods. But I am not comfortable asking them to change their preferred seating arrangement to suit me. What’s more, I often want to change the seating for different types of activities.
My boss, John Seidlitz, suggested that I look into “Desk Olympics.” I am so glad I did. I was skeptical until I came across this video of Mr. Dimitrov’s 5th graders modeling their ability to transition to many different room arrangements. I was convinced!
Now, my high schoolers protested that there was not enough room and that it might take a while to do it each day. But once they saw the 5th graders on that video, that was all it took! (LOL!) If elementary kiddos can do this, it would be no problem for us. And it wasn’t.
I made sure to play the video of the first few attempts for the class on the active board. We discussed what went wrong and they enjoyed trying to get faster. Now we know just how quickly we can do this, so that is our standard… under 30 seconds. Talk about preserving instructional minutes!
I have other configurations to introduce but we will be good for a while with these three that allow us to get into cooperative groups and also set up for station-rotation.
An added benefit to this was the team building aspect. Both of these classes had students who arrived THAT DAY. And it was obvious to them.. and to all of us…that they had landed in a class that knows how to work together.
I’m excited to see what more we are able to do now!
Thanks for dropping by!