Tuesday, March 29, 2011
I originally had my room set up just like the rest of the math teachers in my department... rows with students in pairs. When I went to high school, my desks were set up like this and I thought this worked well. However, I recently attended a workshop on Cooperative Learning. This workshop was one of the most inspiring things I have heard in a long time. The workshop has had the wheels in my head turning for the last two weeks and on my 2 hour drive to work this morning I finally decided to re-arrange my desks. My students are now sitting in groups of 4. Who would have thought, groups in math class?! It really threw the students for a loop today when they walked into my room and the desks were totally different. We didn't do any cooperative learning today, but I wanted to get the students acclimated to the new set-up before I jump into a new style of teaching. So far, the students handled it well, and really weren't chatty the way I feared they might be. I am nervous about my other 3 classes. They are lower ability level classes, have more discipline problems and are more talkative, so groups will be a big challenge. I will test it tomorrow, see what happens, and if I need to, change seating arrangements daily. I am excited to see what wonderful lessons and experiences this seating change will bring for myself and my students.