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Enterprise algebra teacher turns classroom into cafe-style environment

Cooperative learning is not something new in one Enterprise High School algebra classroom, but the environment is something entirely different for these high school students. “They just seem to team better. It’s just brought a lot of life and excitement, and the colors and everything, it’s just made it fun,” said Jacqui Lewis, who teaches algebra. “With algebra, you’ve got to keep it fresh, you’ve got to keep it exciting, you’ve got to look for something new, right? So, a lot of things are taken care of here. One: they’re moving around, they’re getting blood flow to the brain. Two; it entices them more to work together than when they’re separated by desks. Three; it helps me. When I’m walking around to help them, it’s easier for me to navigate. They just seem to team better,” said Lewis.

Some students said the flexibility of the setup allows them to enjoy class more and focus better. “It’s a fun idea. So, it makes you not as tense, and you can just kind of relax. You can stand if you want to because you’re sitting down all day long. It just gives you a break, and you can just stand and do your work,” said Calen Richardson, who is a freshman at Enterprise

High School.In pushing them to work together more as Lewis says, it also pushes them to develop relationships. “It is a mixture of people, and she chose it for us. So, we’re getting to talk to people that we wouldn’t usually talk to. It’s just helping you get to know your classmates while you get to learn,” said Richardson. Lewis said, “We’re big advocates of cooperative learning. I don’t think this is new, the cooperative learning aspect. However, the configuration—having the same work space—it just lends itself to adapt quicker to the process. That’s what I think.” Lewis said she has even had high schoolers in other grades say they want these tables for their classrooms as well.

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