My teammates and I have lots of discussions about seating arrangements. They like rows. I prefer group seating. To each their own, but hear me out.
1. Cooperative Learning. My first year teaching I was blessed to attend a full week training on cooperative learning at the Kagan Institute. Kagan stresses the importance of engagement and accountability which you can accomplish through structured group work.
2. Communication. I am going to make myself feel really old here, but now more than ever we need to teach our children to communicate. So many of our kids sit in front of televisions, ipads, ipods, or iphones without having to speak to other human beings. They need us to show them how to speak purposefully and kindly.
3. Relationships. Kids build great relationships with each other during the school day. Let me give you an example. I had a little girl come to my class from Mexico last year. She knew zero English. She was scared out of her mind. I purposefully sat her beside a kind and chatty little girl. They became the best of friends and were inseparable by October. I attribute their friendship as the majority of the reason my little girl from Mexico learned to speak English proficiently by the end of the year.
For all of these reasons...I will be heading into my 9th year of teaching with kids in groups of four, but this year with a little twist.
I love having desks simply because I hate wasted time. When I ask my kids to get out their math books, I really dislike waiting for the math books to be passed out. I also like that desks teach kids responsibility. I do think that there may have been too much in my students' desks this year so I love the added table storage that I have going on here. My inspiration comes from this adorable photo here:
I will be adding labels to the front of the containers and table numbers to my caddies as well, but I wanted you to have a teeny peek in what is going on in my room!
In other news for Christmas in July I am putting my Superhero Back to School Unit on SALE today and tomorrow! You can snag it for a really good deal!
Here are my own cuties using my unit at home!