In Japan, teachers are often found providing instruction to students while moving throughout the student desks. American educators Bradley Ermeling and Genevieve Graff-Ermeling observed the method, known as kikan-shidō, during a professional study visit to Saitama, Japan in 2014. In their article Teaching Between Desks, Ermeling and Graff-Ermeling noted the following functions that were used to facilitate deeper student learning:
- Monitoring student activity. Teachers find it easier to keep track of what students are doing when they spend time walking throughout the desks. Teachers can address off-task behaviors quickly and directly.
- Guiding student activity. Teachers can quickly assess the learning taking place at student desks and move students along by asking guiding questions and/or responding to student questions.
- Organizing materials and the physical setup. Teachers can help students with the items needed to complete learning experiences while they are walking throughout the student desks.
- Engaging in social talk. Teachers can use the walkthrough time to talk with students about content or whatever else may arise, further strengthening the student-teacher relationship.
Throughout the walk, teachers can offer instruction, clarification, and feedback to students in real time. To read more about kikan-shidō, access the article here: http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/oct14/vol72/num02/Teaching-Between-Desks.aspx. As you plan for next week, consider changing up your instructional routine and apply kikan-shidō. You and your students might enjoy it!