No desks this year. Three big blue armchairs, real comfortable ones, form a kind of dominant triad almost like in a living room, around my instructional space. No one gets a chair right away, because they are reserved. All the students have to sit in the plastic chairs that are between the armchairs and behind them.
By the fourth class or so, I will have figured out who my Story Writer, Quiz Writer and Artist (we use Notability for the artist since we are a 1:1 Macbook Air school) are. The three students then sit in the armchairs and instantly become the royalty of the class and they act like it, but they earn the privilege via hard work during the story. Those three kids in those armchairs, bring a focus I had never seen to the class until I started bringing in the jobs a decade ago. We are four teachers.
The jobs always do that. I am amazed at the power of the jobs to get a class focused. Lots of attention given to the Timer and the PQA Counters and Professeur 2 as well. So there are eight jobs that have been assigned so far. (See Jobs for Kids category on this page for more.)
Why not a couch right there in the middle of the room with the plastic chairs around it? The kids get too squirmy, according to Linda. I will send pics of Linda’s room and mine when I get a phone.
Desks are on the outside of the room, where they should be. If I have an advanced kid who shouldn’t even be in the class (lots of diplomats’ kids here fall into that category) they get to read and write during class. They always try to get into the story, running away from the travaux pratiques, but I make them write.
What a trick to play on them! They say they are bored in the first few places, and their parents want them to move up (to what? more CI?) and then when I differentiate according to their real language needs (reading and writing) they want back in the class because it’s interesting to them and they want to play. Heh heh.
(I am kind and let them play in the story for awhile, but alas after awhile (85 minute blocks) they have to go back to their writing soon enough. Why fluent kids are placed in beginning middle school classes I will never know. But since they can’t write with any accuracy and read poorly, off they go to the desks.)