Reflection: Classroom Setup Discovering The Science Behind the Kaleidoscope - Section 2: Time To Play a Little


If you walk into my classroom, you would see desks arranged in small groups of 4 to 5 children who I have carefully grouped through using TRIBES methods. This includes both their input and my observations and understanding of the needs of the individual. It happens over a period of the first month or two of school and is flexible in case the grouping is not as productive and supportive as I had wanted. People grow and change too, and it allows for that flexibility. But change is rare. Usually students sit in the same group all year with a variety of partners to work with when they do pairing.

The boards in the room have floor space around them so that students can sit in front of the boards at times when I call them up there to do so, or anytime I am teaching and they choose to be closer to the instruction. This seating arrangement and setup is extremely complimentary to an inquiry based science classroom (as well as any other situation.) 

From time to time, there are students who cannot manage sitting in small groups because of their physical or emotional needs, but honestly, it's rare for me to have this. If there is, that student always has two desks. One desk is where the student needs to sit for independent learning time. This desk contains books and materials as well. The other desk is their group seat. The student may choose to go to that desk anytime there are lessons like this one going on. However, this is always monitored and carefully observed to make sure that student has the benefit of the best learning environment. Sometimes, it has taken almost a whole year to transition into those social situations. This year, I do not have these special situations and my classroom functions well with this seating and the group interactions it encourages.

In this lesson, I could feel the energy build and I would be foolish not to roll with it and allow time to play for 5 minutes. I set the timer this time so they knew there was a limit and that the science work would have to get done today. It's alright and very productive learning!

  Inquiry Atmosphere
  Classroom Setup: Inquiry Atmosphere
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Discovering The Science Behind the Kaleidoscope

Unit 5: Energy
Lesson 10 of 11

Objective: Students connect how light energy works within a kaleidoscope.

Big Idea: Today, students discover the scientific phenomena behind the kaleidoscope they constructed the day before.

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8 teachers like this lesson
Science, light wave, Light, refraction (Light), Sound, circuit, reflection, KLEWS chart, kaleidoscope, light energy, eye
  50 minutes
screen shot 2015 03 31 at 6 20 26 am
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