We all remember our middle school years. Some were great memories, some are things that we try to forget. It is a difficult stage trying to figure out who you are with all the influence of peer pressure. I have been "stuck" in middle school for 17 years now. This upcoming year I will have 84 sixth, seventh and eighth graders. It is a gift to see them grow from sixth graders to eighth graders.
We have built in a field studies program to get the kids outside for at least one afternoon a week, learning about what is going on in the world around them.
Southwest Wisconsin has so much to offer. The students thrive on doing and discussing. I would like to foster this as much as possible while teaching the curriculum.
I try to incorporate many different learning styles within my classroom, because middle school students can be somewhat unpredictable. Each child in my classroom deserves to learn in a comfortable environment. Alternative seating and learning options would help to ensure that each student's needs are met, right where they are!
The set up of my current middle school science lab is tight. I have 25 student desks where 20 would fit comfortably, but due to class sizes I must keep seating for the whole group. The lab stations are wonderful, yet students cannot sit while at them because there is no leg room and often they are sitting in awkward positions while trying to work in groups. This often makes group work irritating to the students because they are not comfortable.
The board in the front of the room is also blocked by the main sink and demonstration table, making it difficult for students in the back to see anything through the rest of the class.
By adding a few bistro tables, I hope to encourage students to learn whereever they may be seated comfortably, while also giving a few more options for group work.
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