03 January 2014

Fishbowl Seating Quick Switch

I have one class of roughly 20 students and two classes hovering closer to 10 (I know, I'm living the dream!) The variation, however, makes seating arrangements a little sticky, especially since one class is a combo Spanish 2 and 3.

I have 12 tables for regular student seating in my classroom, and each seats two students. I want them all to be able to see each other, to communicate--especially if I'm going to implement regular OWL circle exchanges, as well as for Creative Writing workshops. Incidentally, my room is not big enough for a 12-table circle, at least not with seating room too.

So I decided on a fishbowl. Moreover, I decided on three sets of fishbowl arrangements.
The class "bowl" looks roughly like the diagram above, with my SMARTboard at the bottom. My combo class will mostly be arranged with Spanish 2 in the blue, 3 in the purple. I'll also have a scrambled arrangement that will probably involve a 2 and a 3 at every other table. Creative Writing will ALMOST fit in the inner ring, but I will have to get a little...well, you know.

My piéce de resistance, though, is the triple plan for the class of 22:

Configuration 1: Pez-pecera--default "fish" in the middle, "bowl" on the outside. The peces will do the OWL circle first, with one swing pez I'll call the tiburón, who will close the circle during OWL time.

Configuration 2: Pecera-pez--inverse fishbowl (he who was once the bowl becomes the fish!) I will simply call out "Pecera-pez" or pull up a SMART slide with the written cue to indicate switch time, and everyone will go to their OTHER designated seat! (This is one thing PowerSchool is pretty handy for.) I'm thinking of making it a sort of duck-duck-goose, roundabout switch to make sure traffic flows, maybe play some "Vìbora de la mar" or other coro hit in between for travel music.

Configuration 3: Grupos. I have not designed this chart yet, because I think I'm going to have them choose their PBL project groups based on their desired area of expertise, but the shape of it will basically mean smashing one pez table with one pecera table and crowding 3-5 around the pod.

I know there are those who believe that seating charts steal student empowerment, but frankly, I've got a job to do, and the smoother I can make transitions (and easier I can make things like attendance taking for myself), the better I can do that job.

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