This March I’m “slicing” a piece of my teaching day every day with the Two Writing Teachers community.
The rug is a the center of my classroom.
It’s a book shopping area as well as a read aloud and instructional meeting place.
It’s a place to confer with readers and writers.
It’s a place I can pull students close to instruct and to listen.
It’s where I can see them, and they can see me.
It’s a place to stretch out to read or write.
To accommodate testing, desks now sit on the carpet; the bookshelves are inaccessible. There is no room to confer or talk. Instead of carpet space, there are aisles and lots of desks. The carpet is hidden. I hate this setup.
Students walked in and asked, “Where do we do read aloud?”
I love the fact that that was the first thing out of their mouths. No carpet, no read aloud. What will we do? I assured them we would find a way. They settled into their desks all facing the same way, and I looked out toward the back of the room, far, far away from me. I stood there and thought, Hello, out there! You in the back of the room, can you hear me?
On my left, I heard one student say, “I like it this way.” His comment made me think. What is best for students? Pod seating is best for collaboration, but I can understand how it might not be best for singular activities, like reading.
Years past, I’ve had options. Some kiddos face forward. Others are in pods. And the carpet is there for all to use. Funny how we forget, what worked before, might need to be pulled out again. Funny how being forced to look at something you thought wouldn’t work could enhance your perspective.
Before I move everything back, I’ll see what kids think and perhaps, have them come up with a design that combines everything we need. Rug and all.