Day 29: The Hidden Rug

This March I’m “slicing” a piece of my teaching day every day with the Two Writing Teachers community.11454297503_e27946e4ff_h

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.
It’s essential.

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.

8 thoughts on “Day 29: The Hidden Rug

  1. We are in the same boat! I had to pull my carpet up a bit to put the 25 desks in rows for state testing. Amazing how different the room can feel in that array. I am yearning to get rid of the desks in my room and move towards more modern seating options!

  2. Our room was taken apart for practice setting and then put back together again, not quite the same way. The kids accepted it but are discussing how it used to be. Without really realizing it, our classroom design has an effect on our kids. I hope you do let them plan a new design after testing. That could give them some extra motivation to keep going to the end of the year.

  3. It’s always so interesting to not only hear the students’ wishes but also to hear the WHY behind their thinking. Sometimes, kiddos want a little space between their peers.

  4. It will be interesting to see what your students come up with for desk arrangement. Classrooms never have enough room! I love that your kids see the carpet as the read aloud place. I have teachers who don’t gather kids together for read aloud. A picture book is not the same when you have to walk around to show the pictures.

  5. Asking students their opinions will be fun and interesting. I once had a student study feng shui and we changed the room per her thoughts from what she had learned, for a while! Everyone has an opinion that’s for sure.

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