Let's all raise our hands if we have attempted 50 billion seating arrangements in our classroom? That's right...every hand should be up. I don't know about you all but for me, searching for the perfect seating arrangement is like searching for the secret formula for success in my classroom. Anybody else agree?! IF I just get them to sit like this, then this will be better, and that will improve, and this, and that. And...I'm tired.
Anyways...I have been through the loop & back trying out different seating arrangements...I've done rows, I've done groups, I've done the horseshoe, I've done what's called the "butterfly"...you name it.
But...there was ONE in particular that was definitely memorable and my favorite. That...was groups. Groups of 6.
Now why did I change it if it was working? Well, at this time I had eliminated my desks and had little to no desks in the room. I decided to get rid of my 2nd hand furniture due to stuff breaking, fighting over the furniture, the littering in the couch seats, etc. I was done. BUT...I SHOULDN'T have been done with groups, COUNTRIES that is...they worked!
So this year, I will be bringing back the countries, and I will be bringing back the groups. Honestly at 8 years of teaching Spanish...I am tired of being a walking dictionary. I feel like allowing the kids to be in groups makes me LESS of a walking dictionary.
So I'm getting to the culture part...I promise...but before we do, let's take a look at the pros & cons of group seating:
1. Teacher is LESS of a walking dictionary. "ASK YOUR GROUP" goes a long way.
2. They get to teach each other. Isn't teaching something truly learning it the best?
3. They are less likely to get bored.
4. The desks are actually easier to maintain because they are all squished up against each other.
5. Relationships are built and cliques are separated.
6. They are more likely to TRULY speak Spanish & interact.
1. Cheating, cheating, cheating.
Solution: Folder tents during assessments.
2. Maybe too much talking?
Solution: Be strict when direct-teaching & monitor work progression while they are completing assignments.
3. Drama? Well, mine are high schoolers and like adding weight around Christmas....IT'S GOING TO HAPPEN! LOL
Once I added the pros & cons, I realized that groups will do me so much better. Sooo...I'm not just stopping at groups. I'm building on it. I'm making them be apart of COUNTRIES...SPANISH SPEAKING COUNTRIES.
They will compete with one another, help each other, earn rewards, get to dress in their country colors on certain days, get to research places within their culture, and embrace their "country"
So on the first day of school, they will see the image below on the projector & find their name:
Every person will be apart of a country & will sit where their number is.
This is what the tag looks like:
With these little tags alone, they are learning the flag, country, nationality term, and "soy" (which we know they will ask the first day).
I do plan on switching up countries 1/2 way through the trimester so they'll get to learn more about another Spanish speaking country, but I am so excited to re-introduce this.
PLUS, when you play games...the kids are already in groups! We also did a thing were we would have "embassy" workers that were allowed to represent their countries while VISITING other countries. This is where the numbers come in on the desk tags.
I will laminate the tags & keep two sets, just in case some little booger tries to steal the desk tag, I can easily replace it.
Feel free to steal my idea. If you would like to purchase my desks tags, the product is below:
Feel free to create your own that represent your own favorite Spanish speaking countries.
Hasta luego mis amigos!