My students ooze with enthusiasm about coming to French class now that I have gone deskless. I teach French II, III, IV and AP French. Since I have taken out the desks, I have tables and standard blue chairs for the students to sit on. I have also begun to furnish my room with a few butterfly and bean bag chairs. MY students cannot wait to come to class because i have transformed my learning environment to have a sense of home.
My students are engaged!
They are attentive! My students are more engaged with learning the content and activities. I have seen my students work with classmates they wouldn't haven worked with before. No one can hide at a desk in the back of the room.
The students who did not participate last year are taking the lead and do the work. Students' grades have never looked better by offering them seating preferences. When students are comfortable, their anxiety level goes down and their comprehensible input increases.
My French classes have always been heavily based in oral communication, project-based learning, and TPRS activities. Desks have become a distraction. Not only is it hard to find a floor plan which allows 30+ students to try to engage in the activities, some students use the desks to hide behind their binders, not to be noticed, eat and drink, or treat the class as a study block. I took away the desks to see if students will be more engaged in the class through comprehensible input.
Since bringing in school issued chairs and some butterfly chairs, saucer chairs, and bean bag chairs, my students have been excited to come to class.
I can arrange their chairs in circles for daily discussions or Socratic seminars. Every student has become more engaged in the lessons. They want to come to class. The can have a voice and a choice in what they sit in and where. My students seem more relaxed and comfortable in the classroom. When students are content and have little to no anxiety about learning a world language, they are more open-minded and willing to receive the input in a comprehensible manner. The relationships between my students and I has gone beyond a teacher-student relationship. We act more like a family. Students want to interact with their classmates; they want to interact with me. I am invited willingly into their communities, sitting amongst, with them students, not just infront of the classroom lecturing.
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