July 13, 2011
My students sit at tables instead of desks. Five students can fit at a table. One end of the table has a sturdy, free-standing shelving unit of three shelves, counting the top. White boards and students’ books fit nicely on the shelves. The top shelf has a wire office basket for their journals, and next to it they put their silent reading books. Each table has a small tub with a handle that is used for white board markers, crayons, colored markers, scissors, and glue. A small narrow basket is used for the group's pencils. A table captain is rotated daily and is responsible for getting things on the table for use during the daily instruction. Thirty students fit much better at tables than cramming desks into the room, and co-operative groups are easy to do. I rotate the seating arrangement when it’s necessary — at least once each quarter.