Have You Exploited Proximity in Your Classroom?
At this point in the year, most of us are acquiring sore muscles from moving furniture around and deciding how to arrange our desks. While moving your furniture, have you considered your traffic flow? Can you easily see each student’s desk when you walk in a complete loop around your room ? Arranging the room in a loop allows you to walk around the entire room easily enjoying proximity to monitor students work and off task behavior. If students are seated without the teacher being able to easily circle the room, often times some are left out when materials or papers are passed out because of the disjointed traffic Where is your door located? the pencil sharpener? book bag storage? paper trays? All of these factors determine how many possible distractions there are in the classroom. Fred Jones’ book Tools for Teaching has two chapters entitled Working the Crowd and Arranging the Room. These are excellent chapters which have taught me to be aware of the above factors to room arranging. Most schools have a copy of Fred Jones’ book in their professional library. There are a few pictures of his seating arrangements from the book online that may be of help if you don’t have access to his book.