So my life has been quite hectic these last 5 months, with major changes ahead. Having been at my school for 6 years now, I am about to embark upon moving at the end of the year, making me think in great extent about what I want to do in my career. Change in the world of education is inevitable. Anyone with any time in the field knows that in this day and age, change is constant. The key to success, is staying open minded and current in what is trending and educationally relevant for your students. I feel I have done just that, and as a result I am ready to take on whatever lies ahead.
So what does this idea of change have to do with the classroom? Well, for a while now I have sat looking at my room, and feeling like I am looking at a stagnant theory of learning. In all the change that has happened over the decades of education, the seating arrangement has done nothing more that move from rows to groups or pods. We go in each year, and put a name tag on A DESK , and that desk belongs to that student all year. Wherever the desk goes, as does the student. Lately I have wondered why this is still even a relevant practice. Are we not staring into the world of differentiation and the flip class model? How can we possibly make either of those work when we have this stagnant seating arrangement in elementary education? It has weighed on me now for a while, and I have to say I have big ideas about how I believe this must change!
1) No desks– TABLES (round) seating 6-8 kids
2) No name tags- Numbers or colors if you need to identify the group
3) Supplies attached to each chair in a gallon ziploc secured with zip ties (Idea prompted from a trip to LHS Killough when planning #padcampdallas 🙂
4) Teacher & tech area right in the middle
5) Fluid movement ALL Day Long- based on TRUE differentiation
This five step fix to me seemingly allows kids to move throughout the day based on where they are in the Blooms world of learning. Never are they STUCK anywhere! Kids who are strong in LA but struggle with Math are not stuck in a group that doesn’t meet their educational networking needs in all subjects. They are able to grow and move as they grow and learn!
Wherever I end up in the fall, I only hope I can encourage others to think this way, and see what possibilities lie in taking a different approach to simple classroom ideas. No great change can come, without taking great strides toward better educational opportunities. So what if we tried this…