I didn’t notice any students being ashamed, neither did I hear anyone say anything against another student for his or her positioning. Although the number of students present and the lack of space could be conducive to chaotic activity, noise and shoving, we followed the tasks very seriously and quietly. I was happily surprised of the result of the activity that students qualified as “strange”.
When they had to speak to each other they managed it well. Some students showed discomfort when taking each other’s hands, so I jumped in: “It’s ok, if you do not feel like holding each other just pretend you’re holding hands, so that when you move to form the ellipse you don’t break the line”. By noticing the discomfort and saying this, the activity could go on without risking being disturbed. I noticed student’s surprise when in the end they realised how their groups had been created. For example, we had one group that included 2 students who perceived themselves as highly proficient together with 2 student who perceived their proficiency a low – a real challenge! Moreover, even if there were some students who were unhappy or surprised to end up in a micro-group with classmates they would not have chosen to be with, the fact that –
- The whole activity had left it up to them to decide where to place themselves.
- They had been responsible for the outcome, helped them accept the result and decide to go on with the work, together.