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Topic: Re: Physical setup for group learning
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TPANITZ@mecn.mass.edu

Posts: 133
Registered: 12/6/04
Re: Physical setup for group learning
Posted: Jul 4, 1995 2:35 PM
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Eric McCort wrote:

<<I have been following the postings re group work with interest. At our
Canadian ( Ontario ) high school, we are starting to use group work more and
more. However, each time we have to move desks into what seems like a
crowded rather artificial setting. I was thinking of setting up one of the
math rooms as a " math lab " with larger tables so that teachers could move
their classes in for group work, projects etc. We may be able to move in 5
computers, manipulatives etc. Has anyone done this, or have any thoughts
on the idea before we set up the room?>>>>

I would suggest you use round tables large enough to seat 4-5
students. I have a class at my school with 8 round tables so we can
accomodate up to 32 or more students. That is a rather large group to
set up group activities but it can be done. The next possibility is
to use trapezoidal tables which can be arranges in a hexogon (approximating)
round tables, but larger or long tables for large groups. I think the
key though is to enable students to face each other as they work or else
they will tend to work by themselves. When I am "stuck" in a regular class
I usually circle the wagons using 3-4 desks. You can tell immediately if
someone is not inclined to work with the group because their chair is
several feet away from the rest. I try to encourage that person to move
closer and later ask why they are not inclined to work with the group. Body
language is important in seeing how groups are working together. With
fixed tables it is harder to tell.

Hope this helps.

Ted Panitz tpanitz@mecn.mass.edu





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