November 06, 2013

Look at these grown ups!

So we're sittin' in rows now and what a difference it makes. The conversations are richer, students can check in with their partners on a variety of things, they can all see the Smartboard easily...I could go on and on.  It's just better this way. 

It's important to build community at the start of the year, so groups certainly have their place, but after week 8 or so, it's time to take it up a notch.  

We'll stay in rows for the rest of the year, providing it works for the kids and it seems like it does.  

We all rely on partners, be they spouses, team-mates or colleagues. We need these people in our lives to be successful. I want students in my class to not be dependent on me for all the answers. I want them to develop their communications skills and reciprocate support. It makes for a wonderful learning community and builds essential life-long skills for success. 

After all, who hasn't ran an email by a colleague before sending to the boss? I want students to start to develop these kinds of habits now. It's a bit old school but like my 1976 blender, it works really well. (Updated in 2014 to add that my '76 blender still works. Still work!)  

Plus, kids speak a really neat language that only they understand and when you teach, you learn too. I think this is a win-win for everyone.  


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