Working The Crowd And Room Arrangement

1396 words - 6 pages

Working the Crowd and Room Arrangement
"Either you work the crowd, or the crowd works you." This is repeated over and over by Jones. He leads into the video with a section on proximity and working the crowd. He compared classrooms to a stoplight. Red is the fews feet around you, where the least amount of issues are bound to creep up, yellow is a few feet beyond that, where the middle ground is and students may be off task, and the green is the section where off task behavior will start. He stressed the importance of working the room. He said it is important to be able to go through all three colors within steps.
He drew a diagram on the board of a typical classroom set up found in most any classroom in the United States. He stressed that this layout is most convenient to only one person, the school janitors. He said it is easy to clean, but creates problems for the classroom teachers. He suggested that there is not one set layout for classrooms, because of room size, furniture makeup, and etc. He said the most important thing in room arrangement is to create great flow with minimal "cost" to the teacher. He stresses that teachers need to be able to exert the minimal amount of effort to reach all students. The cost refers to the amount of energy exerted by the teacher.
He suggests a compacted room design that creates horizontal aisles instead of horizontal ones. According to Jones, "The purpose of room arrangement is to facilitate mobility and proximity." He says it is important to have interior loops in your classroom furniture arrangement to allow the easiest access to all students. He also said to not have small narrow walkways, but instead wide boulevards.
I rearrange my room quite a bit, but I don't know if I have ever made horizontal aisles. I am going to re-arrange my classroom this week, but I am not sure how this format will work with with single student desks. Jones suggests discussing your room rearrangement with your custodian so they don't un-rearrange your classroom. He also says that it is important to move the teacher's desk from the front of the room to allow for student space.
I have rearranged the direction of my desk to put it flat against the front wall, due to my computer setup. He also suggests trying out the student seats in the classroom to get a feel for what the students will be experiencing.
Praise, Prompt, and Leave: The Verbal Modality
In the video Jones re-enacts a typical classroom scene. The assignment is first modeled on the board by the teacher, guidelines are outlined and there is a brief question and answer period. The teacher then tells the group, "OK I am going to have you work some problems on your own while I walk around and help those of you who are having issues. If you have a problem or question, please raise your hand." He asked the group, "What happens now?" Every hand goes up. He comments that that is usually what happens, everyone wants help, but you can't help everyone at once, so he...

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