Continuing to Classroom

2 days down….36 to go?

Tomorrow, in my classroom I will be hosting a book tasting. The purpose of this is so that the students can give a ranking to four books that they will ‘taste’ during the class period which will help me to organize them into literature circles.  I’m choosing to do literature circles during the two weeks of testing so that the various class times will not effect any individual class too much more than any other. The set up took nearly an hour today because I’m a little crazy about the organization of space (just ask the students, I move the tables around all the time).

Stealing ideas from multiple teacher/bloggers as well as from a few of the teaching books that I have shelved, I have set up my classroom to look like a restaurant and I will seat the students as they walk in.

The tables are set and I have their groups picked out so that when the students arrive at the door, I will play waiter/hostess and show them to their tables.  On the tables, there are menus which outline the plan for the day and also list the book possibilities along with the author.  I’m attaching a picture below.

I hope the students will have fun.  It’s a little difficult this time of year to know how to actually engage their confused adolescent minds which are so focused on anything besides what is happening in class.

Fun final picture – current classroom set-up and semi-update of varied/height – less formal seating:

My original plan to let students always choose their seats worked well until they really got to know each other; this took about 3 months. While this means I usually have assigned seating in my classroom, allowing them to choose originally gave me some good insight into where students were comfortable sitting and working, and with whom they seem to work the best.  I do allow them to choose seats occasionally (such as when I decide to move the classroom around right before they walk in and do not have time to make a seating chart) – and they have become accustomed to ‘treasuring’ those times and attempting to prolong them by becoming ultra engaged in posture if not attention so that they might glean a few extra days of chosen seating.  Maybe next year my capacity for chatter and attempt to become even more facilitator teacher will be more defined and students will be able to choose seating for longer.  We shall see….

This teaching thing is quite the work in progress.