Rigor is creating an environment in which each student is expected to learn at high levels,
each student is supported so he or she can learn at high levels,
and each student demonstrates learning at high levels (Blackburn, 2008).

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Classroom Arrangements

I was recently asked: “How should you arrange classroom (ie-teacher’s desk) to promote community…or does it matter?”

I'm not a big believer in "one" right way to do something, but it does make a difference. For example, the standard room with desks in a row and the teacher's desk front and center sends a message that the teacher is in charge, and the students are simply recipients of information. However, I was in a classroom set up like this, and it was a community, mainly because the teacher was never at his desk; he was always in the middle of his students, who also had flexibility to rearrange the desks. That's what is more important--do students feel like they are a part of things, or separate from the teacher? In my classroom, I tend to find that clustering desks/tables works better for me so I can facilitate groups. In my grad classes, though, if I have a small group (8-12), I tend to do a large, square U so everyone is together. In that instance, clusters of tables actually breaks community rather than building it.

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