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Teaching Chorus in a Portable Classroom

Hey folks! 
 
Getting ready to start for the new year and I'm struggling. I teach chorus and music appreciation in one portable. It's roughly 23' by 31' but not all of that space is available for students (meaning a built in counter, built in closets, shelving in the way, filing cabinets, as well as space for my desk/supplies). 
 
I need hard surfaces for students to be able to do their work on (mostly for music appre). But I have no idea how to make this an efficient space for my classes. Mostly for my chorus.
 
Any other teachers out there in a similar situation? No room/support for risers in here, so that's not possible. 
 
Help?
on August 11, 2014 11:40am
Get rid of as many chairs as you possibly can, and all student desks.  They can write on clipboards or use textbooks.  Kids don't mind sprawling out on the floor to do work; I think a lot of them probably enjoy the novelty of it.
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on August 12, 2014 5:30pm
If you follow Kate's great suggestion, I would also suggest putting a few formation charts up on the wall. For example, in my elementary classroom, I use 4 rows, a circle, dots spread out around the room, and partners. The four rows and circle spots are assigned. That way, even without desks, I have structure and control over where students sit when necessary. When you want students to move to these spots, you can point to them. It works really nicely.
 
In lieu of risers, could you get step stools of some kind? The idea would be that you could give some students something to stand on if they are shorter than others. This would give them the ability to see you while still making sure that they are where you want them for best vocal effect. You could even send out a fun little letter to parents of your choir members requesting donations of step stools for your choirs. If you explained why you need them in a politically correct but clear way, you may be able to get parents annoyed enough to complain to someone who haw the power to improve your situation in future years. In my district, parents have tremendous power in situations like this.
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