Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Hard at Work

I wrote last week about offering my students choices about where they work at any given time. One thing that surprised me is that students are working in unexpected places. This first little table was passed on to me by our fabulous librarian because she knew about my tables at different heights and thought the kids might like this as a place to work. She was right.

Working on the carpet is not new. Kids did it last year, but only at fairly specific times. They would stretch out there to read or play a math game. This group almost always has at least one kid on the carpet, no matter what they are doing in the way of work.

The bench here was originally a printer table. It was passed on to me years ago by our retired librarian. My father and sister added the bulletin board to the back and reinforced the bench so that it would hold me or students. It sits in our math nook area and has only really been discovered as a working spot by a few students.

The two desks here are where the students sign in every morning. I put them there as a thinking spot for kids who need a break from class. No one has used it that way yet, but many students have sat there to work.

This table came from a house my sister lived in years ago. She was one of several renters living there when the owner decided to sell. She was the last to move out and ended up with lots of things folks had left behind. My plan for the table was to be part of a writing center (the trays behind this student held various paper options last year). Now I don't think I can put anything on the lower part of the table because the kids expect to be able to work there.

Students have also taken to working at the trapezoid table near my desk that I will use for meeting with reading groups and other small groups and the small desk I set up for my co-teachers to have a home base when they are in the room.

I was surprised by how the students have adopted all these spots for working, but it was a pleasant surprise. I can't wait to see what happens when our library area with the couch opens!

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