Topic Progress:

MOVING. While instructing the class may mean gaining attention and pausing or standing in the front of the room, supervision of work or activities includes moving or circulating among students with whom you are working. Continuous movement and proximity heighten students’ attention to tasks and the expected behaviors.

This movement should be random or unpredictable.  This allows students in all areas of the room to feel there is a reasonable chance you will move in their direction.  Frequently, teachers get into a habit of moving in a pattern around the room, or only moving back and forth in the front of the room.  Ensuring your room is arranged to allow access to all areas efficiently will help.

Movement should also include moving close to students who struggle with expectations as needed, and more frequent contacts with traditionally challenging areas (back row, furthest table, etc.) (Lampi, Fenty, & Beaunae, 2005). Circulating allows you to be near students to demonstrate your interest in them, assist with learning tasks by answering questions, build relationships, and provide feedback–both positive and corrective.

Movement can be a challenge when working with a small group or an individual student and also needing to supervise other students. You can still build in ways to periodically and unpredictably supervise the entire group. For example, during small group writing instruction, you can give students a brief task to complete while you get up and move among the large group of students briefly, then resume working with the small group.

Teacher sitting at table with students smiling. Books are open and pencils poised. All eyes are on one girl as she talks to teacher.