It is the first time that I explain how I organize something in my class, because I estimate that there are as many excellent ways to organize its class than there are personalities of teachers and contexts different. These some lines are a testimony in my way of organizing, developed with the wire of time, and can perhaps facilitate the task of somebody who begins in great section.
My class is organized in 4 groups (4 large tables, 2x6 and 2x8 children, which faces) the ideal it is that the children see all the table, but it is not possible in my class, very small. (I place the children so that those which need it most are vis-a-vis the table, the choice of the places is very important, the place is fixed for approximately 7 weeks).
Each group does a different work. I prepare 4 activities for the week, Monday, group 1 will make activity A, Tuesday the activity B… and each group thus makes the 4 activities in the week.
The morning, the workshops turn around the trainings necessary to the CP in the afternoon the groups make visual arts, plays and data processing.
Why this system of workshops?
It is more practical, because if 30 children use the adhesive and the scissors at the same time, it is difficult to manage. One needs much material, the children meet all at the same time the same difficulties, on a great scale, it is then not possible to help well those which encounter problems. One cannot allow oneself to help 4 problem childs on the exercise if they are in 4 places different from the class.
The workshops make it possible to give different levels of difficulties, on more or less known subjects, and to pay its attention towards the groups which tackle newer or more difficult concepts.
the nature of the teaching supports
- It is necessary that work suggested is always about identical length: if a group puts 5 mn and that another puts 30 of them, there will be a problem of management.
- The supports should be varied, because if one gives 4 exercises with adhesive, one will have a situation harder to manage than if one had given the same exercise to all the class. (Bus with the system of workshop, one multiplies the instruction, which is a difficulty).
- I give for example
* a exercise of cutting-joining (longest in general)
* a exercise requiring the colouring
* a exercise of handling with a teaching play (ex the two-dimensional board, plays to count, pearls with algorithm…) but as opposed to what one can think, it is what requires the most monitoring on behalf of the adult, because it is more difficult to see whether the instructions were indeed respected, it does not have there a hard copy. I do not speak about the free building sets (like the légos) or the puzzles, but plays with which the children make a nonintuitive school apprenticeship.
* a exercise requiring of graphics.
If a exercise is really shorter, one can ask the children to color certain elements of the card.
When the children finished, they do not have the right to play all plays available in the class because those which did not finish demobilize and are obstructed by the noise. The allowed activities are drawing, puzzles, and parlour games when they learned some (memo, battles…).
Contents of the workshops
The disadvantage of this system of workshop, it is that it is necessary that the children integrate the instructions of 4 activities for the week. This is why on the cards which I give, there is in general only one instruction. Each day, at the beginning of the year, a puncture of recall is useful: a pupil or me let us reformulate what it is necessary to do. The cards turn all around the concept that I want to work (one or two).
For example, if I work on the enumeration from 5 to 10, there will be a card where it is necessary to cut out a number of labels corresponding to the figure indicated, one or one will color quantities required, a play of handling (limp to count), a graphics on the numbers. I give also cards of reinvestment on concepts already seen.
If I work on an album, my school activities all are if possible in connection with this album. (Cards where the characters of the album will be counted) in the afternoon I will make visual arts around the album.
The workshops are not for me one moment of evaluation, but one moment when the pupil will learn. I help those which have evil, the pupils are encouraged to help itself. I involve them before in moments of collective training so that they know the bases necessary to the success of their exercises. (Plays in regrouping, work on slate…)
The choice of the places is very important, and the children must for the school workshops, to be held to with it. I consider that the children learn much if they are in confidence and looking at the others. I thus make never 4 groups of level ex table A the very good ones….
The children are laid out according to their personality and their level, by taking care that there are with each table all the levels. I try to put a child who has difficulties of language beside an other which does not have any, I separate the “too talkative buddies, or who are in competition”, I place those which have evil to have contacts beside children with which they could perhaps sympathize, I put those which have the most evil in a group of 6 (and not 8), I place those which have evil in graphics vis-a-vis the table…
- to vary the supports (cutting, play, graphics, colouring…)
- to check that the exercises are about of the same length
- not to leave the children who finished to disturb the others
- to prepare thenecessary essential ones collectively to make a success of its workshops
- to repeat the instructions the every day at the beginning
- not to work on too many different competences
- to take care to place the children judiciously