Sunday, October 17, 2010

Feeling Good about Tables

In our second year of having a wide range of table options, it seems to be working splendidly. As the students were writing the other day I noticed the decisions they had made about where to work.

Every small, intimate table (seating four or fewer) was occupied by students. Of the large tables, only the one on the floor had more than two students sitting there.

Setting up my classroom this way was a big switch after ten years with more traditional furniture. It's nice to see the students respond well to it.

I'd love to get rid of the big tables (at least the one with chairs) all together, but it is handy for guided reading groups.


Ginger Snaps said...

I love that really short table! My kids would too!

Graham Wegner said...

In our new buildings (Australian BER project) we have gone for round tables over the traditional rectangle and it has been interesting watching the reaction of our twelve and thirteen year olds. Some love it, especially because it is so conducive to groupwork but a few of the strugglers feel a bit exposed - it is harder for them and their work to slip under the radar. We also have a common shared learning space between the four classrooms where we are experimenting with some inexpensive IKEA furniture options - stools at low tables are a surprisingly popular choice. I cringe when I walk into younger classrooms (like your age group) and see that the teacher has them all in rows facing her desk. It starts that inflexible, eyes-on-me mindset that is very hard to shake later on.