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FAB 1.14

Key characteristics

A well lit, quiet and comfortable room for 20 students. Good for small group discussion. Inflexible and a bit limited for other uses. Not too bad for working on paper documents together, although round tables tend to encourage a single person "owning" the document and doing all of the writing - encourage students to pass the document around. Good amount of wall space for stickies and Magic Whiteboard paper. Circulation space is good. Teachers and students should be able to move around and between each table, so long as bags are kept out of the way.

Suggestions for teaching in this room

The tables are ideal for face-to-face group discussion.

Circular tables work well when each student has their own copy of resources being used. For example, if discussing a key text, and each student has their own copy. Sharing is more difficult.

The good circulation space makes this ideal for activities in which students move between tables. For example, have a topic on each table, and circulate students between tables at regular intervals to work on each topic.

Issues to be aware of

When moving between groups working on tables, the teacher should consider their own physical position. They will find themselves standing above and slightly set back from the students, looking over the heads of one of two. This has relational implications. They may want to squat down between two chairs, but the space is limited. The chairs do not have wheels, so the teacher chair is not easily moved around the room. This may result in the teacher staying at the front of the class.

Some seating faces away from the screen.

Tables are not easily rearranged, due to their round shape, they cannot be moved to form larger tables, or moved to the edge of the room.

Group work using laptops or tablets is a bit constrained, as the whole group cannot gather around a single screen on their table.

If every student at a table is using a laptop it could become crowded.

Be careful with displaying small text on the screen, resolution is good but not perfect. Use the PC, or connect via HDMI. Solstice is good if you want to move around the room and project at the same time (or if you forget the HDMI adapter for your laptop), but resolution is lower.


Centrally timetabled.