Seating – 2

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8 thoughts on “Seating – 2”

  1. Chris I only know that I tried this and it didn’t work, and for a very simple reason. The kids couldn’t handle it. I tried it when I taught middle school using stories about seven years ago. I remember how disappointed I was that the kids couldn’t handle the more personal and thus more communicative setting. They clearly needed their restraining devices (which is what tables and desks have been to them for years up to that point, so we can’t blame them). I think I gave up on this seating idea after just three or four days. Of course, that was just my own experience – others may have had more positive experiences with this idea.

  2. I’m really thinking about trying this idea out but I’d like to get more feedback and see what everybody else thinks about the idea. Pros, cons, should I go for it? I’ll be teaching Spanish 1 and Spanish 4 this year.

  3. I think that it will largely depend on two things: how your students handle things that are “out of the box”, and how you help your students to handle things that are “out of the box”. You’ll have to be very clear about how they will handle themselves in this new, more “open” situation, and follow up immediately and consistently to any inappropriate reactions. I know of people who have tried and would never go back.

    This year I have juniors and seniors. My greatest challenges are the students who want to sit in the back corner of the room and disconnect, the ones who feel that they have to do AP Bio and Calc during Spanish and the ones who have been up all night and want to sleep. I might be able to take care of some of these issues with chairs instead of desks. :o)

    with love,

  4. Just another few thoughts to those above on the subject of going deskless:

    I’ve been deskless for about the past 3 months for 3 different goals.
    1) as a counteractive measure for inhibiting slouching/bag digging/etc.
    2) for my own practice in staying slow and personal, and not being hell-bent on taking things where I want them to go (I sit on a desk right in front of my kids in their semi-circle…and this intimate setting does it for me as far as putting me in the mood of a fire-side chat and helping me go with the flow).
    3) in the hopes that a more intimate setting would foster more of a family feel in one class with an everyone-for-themselves vibe….and no desks is doing wonders for this in that class.

    Going deskless is accomplishing all 3 of these goals in one class of juniors with several kids like the students Laurie mentions above (“students who want to sit in the back corner of the room and disconnect”). It’s morphed into a COMPLETELY new group after several classes in the more intimate set-up. I’ll be using it from now on with any class with this problem.

    But, like Ben mentions above, it did not work well with my middle schoolers. Way too much fidgeting and messing with their classmates next to them. It might work if I space the chairs further apart…will have to try that this week.

    But for any class that is not hyper-active and just has disconnect issues, I’d HIGHLY recommend seating the kiddos right up in front of your face.

    For a vision of this working very well in action, see it displayed in Eric’s classroom while he does some Power Verb sessions:

    BTW Eric, I just stumbled onto this video and I have to say your delivery is noteworthy. As in I’m literally taking mental notes!!! It’s a simultaneous combination of very energized but completely lax. When you got the numbers from your counters, I thought there was no way you had said the verbs that many times. But, sure enough, you did. It’s your relaxed delivery that made me forget I was hearing the verb over and over, because it wasn’t delivered machine-gun style (YOU’RE GONNA REMEMBER THIS VERB! Daaa–da–da–da–da–da!). Rather, it was calmly “snuck in” in a natural-feeling chat about interesting stuff, hence your kids in the video being so zoned in on the TL flow.

  5. To clarify, going deskless for me has meant pushing my desks back enough to allow room for a semi-circle of chairs directly in front of the board, about one pace away from where I sit on a desk in front of the board.

    1. I love the deskless circle. I only have fidgeting problems with the 3rd & 4th graders, but even they are getting used to the circle. I have now moved that semi-circle as close to the front as I can. Teacher to student proximity is important. I like to sit in the circle when I do a story and laser point from where I am. I also realize that as I MovieTalk, I need to remember to walk around and get closer to the kids. I can FEEL a difference.
      I think I’ve finally gotten rid of my “teacher need” to cover more and more. I’ve given up all pressure to get somewhere with my students. What we’ve been saying has helped: it’s about being, not doing. I need to try even harder to use the PQA structures/Power Verbs as a way to find out more about the kids (personalize). I do that and the reps will come. At this point in the year, the kids have got the hang of the “game,” so we can have some great PQA sessions.

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