Well, today was the day! I entered the room that would become my learning hub for at least the next academic year for the first time with my name on the door! I can’t begin to describe how anxious I’d been to see the kind of things I would have to work with and the space I could create in.
The first thing I noticed? Fantastic – somebody has immaculately backed the display boards for me!! That’s a load off my mind! I’ll just need to fill them now, but that part will probably come when I’ve had my initial planning meeting with the other Year 6 teacher.
The second thing I noticed… I don’t like this desk layout. I’ve worked with tackles in groups of 2, 4, 6, 8 and even 10-12 over my teaching placements so it is clear there is no one agreed way on which tables should be set out. I immediately did not like what was before me. I could only allot myself an hour to get into the classroom, take some pictures of the environment and make some minor adjustments today… I ended up moving all the furniture!
Originally, there was 1 square of 4, 1 line of 4 and 4 tables of 6. I prefer children to be able to work in smaller groups. This is for a number of reasons. I’ve found in my placements that children are more able to share in discussion and investigation when they are in a smaller group. I’ve also found it easier to manage behaviour in a formation of smaller group tables. Not 100% sure why but that’s my limited experience. When I had set it out I also found it easier to navigate my way around the room. It also lends itself more to the organisation of group activities as most investigations I’ve found I prefer to use are either in pairs or fours.
Ultimately, I’ve now got 7 tables of square 4’s and that one line of 4, simply for space reasons. Time will tell if this was a wise move but it’s the first step I’ve taken in my room prep and I can’t help but feel a lot more comfortable. Now there is just the small matter of decorating, organising and perfecting…something which I’m now not going to be able to begin until about 26th August so feeling a little nervous!