In my building (a shared space between a church and school where the school doesn't get to decide on furniture) we have kidney shaped tables for our classrooms. I've found this particularly difficult in deciding how to get teams set up and how to position tables. I have four kidney shaped tables with 13 students. The tables are arranged with what I would call the "teacher seat" closest to the front of the room. Students sit around the curve of the table so they face the front.
At first I was thinking Kagan would recommend 2 teams of 4 and one team of 5. However, the table really accommodates 3 students and the "teacher seat". This makes the challenge especially difficult. 5 definitely can't fit at that one table. Also, I'm not sure how parents/admins would receive 5 students cramped into one table while another table sits completely empty. It's a curse of bad furniture.
Now I'm thinking 3 groups of 3 and one group of 4. However this leaves a student sitting in the "teacher seat" of a kidney table which I don't like as their back would be to the board. Also, this makes it awkward for students to know who their shoulder buddy would be across teams. If I went with this option could someone help me figure out what the partnerships would look like and how I would arrange them heterogeneously? Or, if you have another solution I am all ears.
Thanks for any advice you have!!
Questions or discussion about Kagan theory, research, or implementing Kagan in your classroom.
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- Joined: Mon Jan 09, 2012 6:59 pm
Thank you so much for your question. Keeping the students in teams of four is our priority for so many reasons. Instead of having five cramped with an empty table not being used, could you set three at one table and two at the other? These five students are still considered a team and will need to experience team builders together. When this occurs, have the students move to the floor or stand. They may even squeeze around one table for that activity. For the rest of the class period, have them go back to the other tables so they have space. I hope this provides so help.