Welcome to our English Language Arts classroom in Gwinn, Michigan. Our high school is tucked in the pines of the beautiful and remote Upper Peninsula. My students are quirky, fun, and high energy. I teach tenth through twelfth graders whose interests range from playing sports to participating in drama camp to showing farm animals at the county fair.
Two minds are better than one, right?
One of my goals is to transform our classroom into a more collaborative environment. Rather than keeping desks in rows, I am adding flexible seating, including tables on casters. My students are excited about this change! A student-centered classroom will give these teens more flexibility to process information together.
Learning is a social act, and my students and I want our classroom to reflect that philosophy. Because it is expensive to outfit a classroom with furniture that will stand the test of time, I am breaking this project into multiple parts for the best chance of funding. It will take extra time and work, yes, but the students are worth it!
For this project, I am requesting a HON multi-purpose table on casters.
I currently have six of these tables in the classroom, and they are a perfect choice. As we transition from traditional desks to tables, the goal is to improve students' collaboration skills by encouraging them to reach out to each other to solve problems and share knowledge. This builds deeper knowledge and understanding. This seating arrangement also benefits students with special needs so that they can get peer support without feeling singled out.
Steve Jobs is quoted as saying, "Great things in business are never done by one person. They are done by a team of people." By encouraging students to collaborate, I believe we are better equipping them for life after high school. Collaboration, which requires effort and practice, is another skill for students to develop and add to their toolbox.
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