The district office administrators and the high school principals have been in my room many times and they are accustomed to seeing the students without desks. Early last spring when I told one of the assistant superintendent that I'd prefer not to have desks in my room, he replied that due to computer labs being converted to regular classrooms, the district would soon purchase desks for those rooms. Not necessary - my desks could be moved into those rooms. They also moved my chairs with the desks and bought new chairs for my classroom. The general consensus from everyone that has tried them thus far is that they are more comfortable that the previous chairs.
|Table for student Story and Quiz Writers|
My biggest class this semester is 28 students (30 next semester) so I made two long rows of chairs. I have three tables in my room for student use. The table in the front (next to the balloon bulletin board), is for my student story writer and quiz writer. The story writer will write details about the class story and the quiz writer will write true/false questions for a possible quiz. Since their job involves writing, I thought they would appreciate using the table instead of a clip board.
For my Spanish 4 and Spanish 5 classes that are somewhat smaller than 30 students (they're smaller this semester but next semester the numbers soar to the size of the lower levels) we will simply turn the front chairs around to face the back of the room and form a circle. I have found that almost without exception, those students prefer to sit in a circle which helps set a good tone for conversation and sharing what is happening in our lives and in the news.
Two tables are in the back of the room, which is where students will put their backpacks during class. Backpacks on the floor increase the chance of tripping and they can also be distractions.
I want students to form the habit of entering the room, taking out a pen or pencil, their Cuentos folder, and their composition book, and leave their backpack on the table. They'll grab a clipboard from the crate and move to their seat.
On days when students are illustrating stories on large butcher paper or some other type of occasional project that requires creative writing space, they can move the backpacks to the back counter and floor and use the tables for a workspace.
Today, I bought the swivel stool pictured on the left (a solid cherry stool, it was a real steal bought at a Furniture Store's tent clearance sale) which I'll take into school on Monday. I've had my eye on my colleague's, @KristaApplegate, stool for years, and, finally, I have one for my room.
The most important part of my room is still missing - the students! That will change on Monday. :-)