In a school that serves about 1600 students in grades 7 through 12, my 7th and 8th grade students are adjusting from elementary life to life on the BIG campus. They are very impressionable, full of questions, and high-energy! These are bright, funny, technologically savvy middle schoolers that are learning new social skills, new Math skills and new survivor skills (yes middle school can be a jungle sometimes).
Many of my students need to move around, need to socialize for a few seconds to stay on task for a longer period, and many of them work best when in pairs or smaller groups.
Majority of my students have struggled with Math in the past and/or just haven't had positive learning experiences period. I have seen first hand the difference think-pair-share can have on a struggling student. All my students are capable of learning but the method and environment in which they learn BEST can vary greatly.
Currently, we have a mix of different style desk/seat combos and a few tables that cannot be connected properly which makes working in pairs and small groups challenging. The new desks I have chosen come with wider seats, and sled frames that allow the students to enter on both sides which not only accommodates for both right- and left-handed students but also provides flexibility for all different body types. These new desks will allow my students to think, learn and share in pairs and/or small groups which is essential for those students who learn best through collaboration.
When my students are allowed to work with their peers in a comfortable setting, they are more engaged and less disruptive.
They are having more positive experiences in learning Math and therefore come to class with better attitudes and more willingness to try. This project is just the beginning of my ultimate goal of providing my students with a variety of seating that is not only comfortable but will allow for more collaboration, and more positive experiences with learning Math.
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