On Thursday evening, we had our Open Evening.
It was decided that my classroom was to be used for the evening and I was really pleased about this as it said something to me that my room must be an engaging environment in order for it to have been chosen for the eve.
During the evening we had so many things going on which I will post about later...for now I want to talk about a bi-product of open evening...a new seating layout for my classroom!
In order for the room to be setup for the evening we had to push all the tables and chairs to the sides of the room. We put on them various different tasks and displays for prosepective parents to look at and try out. So, this meant that my class was completely changed for the evening. Now, on coming into school on Friday morning I could have just put the desks back to their original layout, but I figured I may as well use this opportunity to experiment with the layout of the room.
So, remebering an English teacher I used to work with when working as a cover supervisor, I decided to put the furniture in the same layout as his. This teacher was a very, very good teacher in my opinion and so I figured that what worked for him may well work for me too?!
Here's the layout I have now gone to for the foreseeable future:
As you can see it's kind of a backbone with 'ribs' coming off on either side of the room.
I had 3 lessons on Friday, all of which were almost shocked at the change in the layout. I made sure that I informed them all of why I had changed the layout (opportunities arising, experimenting, etc). Now, my fatal error on the day was allowing students to sit where they wanted. It wasn't a massive problem, but certain students that shouldn't really be sat near each other for distraction purposes naturally took a b-line for each other! However, in my smaller Year 8 class I feel the new layout helped the lesson. The reason for this is beacause the tables are much closer together now and more students can be supported at any one time. In my lower classes there has been a tendancy for students to get 'scattered' throughout the classroom. Whereas now, those students that need to be sat apart for behavioural reasons can be, whilst still being close enough for my TAs and I to support them without being 'blind' to the rest of the class.
I will of course continue to see how the layout goes for the remainder of the half-term and WILL seating plan those classes that weren't on Friday!