Monday, August 6, 2012

Cone of Silence (Think Get Smart!)

CONE OF SILENCE (Think Get Smart! TV show from the 60's)

I got the idea for this week's M4MM from a Twitter conversation I had with @druinok and @LaurenDeReche about setting up desks in our rooms.

@druinok has her desks set up in groups of four like this@LaurenDeRoche had referenced a blog post she saw here which basically is the same set up that @druinok has.

So I was sold.  Here are the way I will set up my desks:

But, I really hate giving my lovelies an even better opportunity to how can I stop it?  Well, I could rearrange desk for assessments or put up folders to block their vision across desks.  That simply doesn't work for me.

I need to make this as complicated as possible for myself, so I decided to make vision blockers out of PVC pipe.  @druinok's response was

"lol - you and your pvc pipe! :) Love it".  

She was referring to my M4MM from last week.

I thought and realized there has to be an easier way!  A way that appears complicated and out of the box, but is simple and inexpensive.

On a trip to Costco later in the day I found the answer!  Here is the solution I came up with in action...

That's right! Those flat cardboard pieces are perfectly sized to create cubicles in my room!  Almost as if they knew I was coming! Do the folks at Costco follow us on Twitter?  Maybe!

So I call this contraption the "cone of silence" named after one of my favorite shows from when I was a kid and played hookie!

Maybe I could have the kids paint scenery of sunshine and blue skies or a quiet pond with fluffy clouds to keep them in a good mood during tests?

I'm off now to grab about 10 more pieces of cone of silence.  :-)


Here's another possibly better solution posted by Amy Gruen.  I like her idea because it seems very easy to execute.  I am off to Pizza Hut today!  I was considering cutting my cardboard pieces to fit on top of the desks, but this idea is just so perfect!  Thanks Amy!


  1. The cardboard cubicles are a great idea! When I test, I have the kids move their desks to a more traditional format, but I really like this idea too... I wish I had the storage room for the cardboard!

  2. Love that! I just arranged my desks like that, too, and was trying to figure out what to do on test/quiz days. Are those pieces of cardboard something they sell or are they discards from boxes?

    1. They are discards :-) but I suppose you could use any cardboard box.

  3. Before I got my tables, I used this desk arrangement for a year. You solved one of the two drawbacks I found--tests, but you've kind of exacerbated the other. Have you actually tried getting into (or out of) the desks? Three of the four chairs work great in this arrangement, but you need to assign someone small and/or agile for that fourth chair because they are always going to be contorting themselves to get into it.

    All that being said, this is a brilliant idea that I wish I had thought of. If people can't find cardboard that big, they might want to look into the tri-fold presentation boards.