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Sitting in rows in primary (KS2). Thoughts?
19

DrMadelineMaxwell · 25/09/2018 21:45

What do you think about rows for arranging the classroom? Or ways around the niggles that arise from using rows.

It's been recommended, highly recommended as a result of the S Clarke research and I can see lots of positives.

But am trying to iron out the niggles!

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Andthentherewere5 · 30/09/2018 15:58

Rows work, I like that you can get them to turn round to work with those behind.
I’m using a conference style at the moment. A large horseshoe with a smaller one inside. I can do one loop between the two horseshoes and see everyone’s work. The kids love it! We swap round every couple of weeks. They choose where to sit but I have last say if something isn’t working. Year 6 but the way.

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spaghettipeppers · 30/09/2018 17:43

I bloody well hope rows come back into fashion. So much better for behaviour.

Look at pictures of European classrooms- rows, blank walls- so calm compared to British style classrooms.

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wentmadinthecountry · 30/09/2018 19:00

It works. I often use my (just adult) children as a sounding board. They assure me it's the best way to learn and that the main appeal of groups is chatting and kicking each other under the table. Actually had to pay for physio for dd2 in y5/6?? - turning round to look at the board. Physio said it wasn't uncommon.

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RSTera · 30/09/2018 21:00

I bloody well hope rows come back into fashion.

Why would you need to wait for something to be 'fashionable' if it works for you and your class?

I have individual exam desks in my classroom. My DS's prep has wedge shaped desks that can be individual or grouped in semi-circles all facing the front (or circles if needed).

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DrMadelineMaxwell · 01/10/2018 21:36

I like rows. But it can be tricky sticking with something that you think works but that isn't popular with your HT.

Lots of things that I'm doing now, that are cited as good practice, are things that I've been criticised for in the past by one HT or another.

No fixed ability grouping, but more flexible differentiation was questioned by my HT in front of an advisor and my telling her that no, I don't have fixed groups as a child can be strong in one area of maths, yet not as strong in another wasn't good enough for her.

My last HT hated rows and thought all classrooms needed to be in group tables.

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DrMadelineMaxwell · 01/10/2018 21:44

I'm loving rows.
Eye contact.
They can all see the board/screen/me/anyone talking to the class.
I can hear what they are saying when they are talking to their partners even when they think I can't which is very powerful for both learning and for discipline.
And they don't have someone directly across their table to be distracted by when they should be learning/working.

Not liking the lack of space to keep equipment/books in the middle of the tables to cut down on time spent/wasted giving out books and equip, but I'm working out my strategies for that as we go.

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RomanyRoots · 01/10/2018 21:51

I can't advise about niggles but my older dc were taught like this in Primary, it worked well and the teachers had far less fuss than years later when dd was taught on tables.
hardly conclusive evidence but that's one positive. Grin
I'm sure you've considered parents moaning about who their dc are sitting with.
As a parent of a child needing eye contact, I think it's the best formation.

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Keeptrudging · 01/10/2018 21:56

My former upper stages class liked sitting in rows. They could see properly and didn't have to deal with sharing space with 5 other people all day. I did let them move every so often.

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RSTera · 02/10/2018 06:25

Many moons ago, when I was in school, the Y6 teacher had those individual, wooden, 'flip-lid' desks. She laid out in individual ranks, 5 desks across the room in 6 rows.

Then she sat us in order of who was the brightest, with the cleverest people on the back row and the, err, not cleverest on the front! Shock

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HelenaJustina · 02/10/2018 06:40

My DC have loved it on the occasions it has been tried in classrooms in their school. I wish it had caught on and stuck, especially in Upper KS2.

It works particularly well for my DD with high-functioning ASD as it reduces the number of relationships she has to manage during teaching/learning time. So she works more effectively as she has more effort to give it. She can also more subtly use her techniques to draw attention to the fact that she is starting to feel overwhelmed and needs some time out.

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DrMadelineMaxwell · 02/10/2018 07:19

Currently using the talking partners too, so they sit with someone different each week. They are coping well with that at the moment.

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MaisyPops · 03/10/2018 20:04

I love rows and actually much as students like tables for odd lessons, rows are always a winner.
When they come up to us at secondary rows are quite common (unless they go to a school with a mandatory everyone out their seats every 5 lessons style of teaching)

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OpiningGambit · 03/10/2018 20:15

Rows are hard for group work where there's stuff everywhere. I also find it harder for table resources, like pencils, as they're not in reach for everyone and keep getting knocked off. There isn't a 'middle' to stick everything in.

I like rows, but with my current class (all perfect cherubs) I don't need them so I have tables.

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mamaduckbone · 03/10/2018 20:25

I struggle with rows - there’s nowhere to keep stuff, group work doesn’t work and I like to give table points as a reward system. However, I have a VERY chatty bunch this year so I’m thinking about it. If anyone has any good solutions to my problems please share them!

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MaisyPops · 03/10/2018 20:34

mama
For y7 so not sure if this will work in primary
Line managers who collect for their row and bring to the front.
When students enter the room I tell them which equipment they need and they collect it on the way to their seats.
Central resource area. If students need a resource during private writing time, they get up, sensibly get it, use it and return. It's a trained routine.

Students have to be quick at tidying up but that's always a good habit for secondary (it amazes me how slow some of them are in September to get books into a pile/book box).

I can't be doing with having everything in the middle of tables. It causes me irritation.

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Subla2401 · 03/10/2018 22:18

I can't fit rows into my classroom but I have been able to squeeze in a 'double horseshoe' shape which I love! It works really well in terms of minimising distractions and ensuring all children can clearly see the board.

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OneOfTheGrundys · 05/10/2018 21:11

Secondary here, rows for me all the way.
Parent of y5 with HI and ASD. Rows loved by him too. Just cuts distractions from learning.

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HelenaJustina · 06/10/2018 08:35

@OneOfTheGrundys
That’s really interesting to hear. My DD has the same experience but they went back to tables after about two weeks (it was trialled both last year and the year before).

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anatol · 07/10/2018 19:02

Last year I got put into an upper primary class that had serious behaviour issues (I was put in from another class because the previous teacher left due to a particularly serious violent incident). They were in groups and would literally ignore any adult speaking to them as a class to talk amongst themselves in their groups. We talked as a class and decided on rows. Behaviour was so much better- they were more focussed on adults and children talking, there wasn't the opportunity for arguments to begin or escalate because it wasn't as easy for them to chat. There were other things put in place also obviously to support the behaviour and the rows were just a part of that but it was a total turnaround and the children themselves said they liked it better that way.

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