Collaboration, community and cooperation!
After many talks with my principal, Antonio Vendramin, and my teaching partner, Hugh McDonald, we all decided to give this experiment a try! Sitting at round tables (just like the Kindergarteners) seems to be the perfect way to get students to work on projects together, and to to get rid of the mentality that school work is to be done in isolation, alone, without copying. I don't want to give them the type of work where they can copy the correct answer from their neighbour...I am striving to give them projects where they have to work together with their neighbour, not in isolation from them!
We are all enjoying the round tables and our next goal is to paint them all with white board paint. Thus far we have two tables done, one regular round table that students sit at daily and one coffee table that is used in our couch area (one of many alternative work spaces that Hugh and I have in our room). The kids love them and write/draw on them daily. Sometimes just for fun...but lately more and more for educational purposes! Here are some ways we use them...
I would love to hear from any teachers that have also painted their desks/tables/furniture with white board paint. How does it work in your classroom? What do the students use them for?
Has anyone else switched to tables recently? How else do you promote collaboration, community and cooperation?
(check with your school district policy before modifying and of their furniture)