Interviewer: I have a background of being a fine arts dance major. Working with choreography, and moving people’s bodies through a certain series or steps in a dance has been beneficial to me in the classroom. Because I pretty much choreograph my day.
I really think about the flow of them to the carpet, back to their desk, now in groups, now separated. Try to choreograph it, so that it’s smooth, and that there’s a natural flow, which cuts out on a lot of side talk when you’re switching from one activity to the next.
But even if you don’t have a background in dance, you can really focus on the flow of your classroom because we all drive. We know what it’s like to weave in and out of traffic. You have to think about the pathways in your classroom.
I literally will tell students, “This is your aisle. When you come to the carpet you’re gonna go down this aisle, and when you come to the carpet from this side you’re gonna go down this aisle,” so that there is not congestion.
Another thing that helps with flow, when you’re standing up and leaving the carpet, we all stand up at the same time. Nobody starts walking ‘til everybody’s standing up. Once everybody’s standing up, then they get the signal walk, that way nobody is stepped on.
We practice our routines. We practice our transitions. We have long conversations about what it looks like, sounds like and feels like when you go from your desk to the carpet. It’s worth the investment up front because later it allows you to spend more time actually learning.