Many times the size of your classroom and number of students dictates how you arrange the room. Lack of space can be a factor, but it doesn’t have to dictate how you situate your students’ desks. Rather than default to the standard four to five row setup, there are other options that can work for you. Encourage engaged learning and student collaboration with one of our classroom setup ideas.
Encourage Whole Group Learning
If it’s important to engage the entire class at the same time and encourage eye contact and communication amongst the whole class, then you need a whole group learning environment. Arrange students’ desks in a squared off horseshoe shape or half-circle so that they can easily see and communicate with everyone in the room.
Small Group Collaboration
Arrange desks in small groups of four to six to encourage discussion and collaboration. This setup is effective if you do a lot of small group work in your class. Be sure to change the groups every so often to ensure students know the entire class.
Standard and Group Seating: The Perfect Compromise
If standard rows aren’t ideal but group seating isn’t either, then a marriage of the two setups might work for you. Divide your room in half and leave free space in the middle for a long walkway. Place small groups of desks on either side of the center walkway, with both sides facing the center. This allows you to walk up and down the aisles, while also encouraging small group work and whole class communication.
Points to Consider for Every Arrangement
1. Clear Walkways
Ensure that your chosen setup allows you and your students to walk to different points in the room without tripping on furniture or bumping into other students’ desks.
2. Teacher-Student Proximity
Clear walkways and lines of vision will help you maintain classroom control no matter what the arrangement. Move students to a preferred seating spot, if needed, to encourage focus and positive behavior.
3. Don’t Get Stuck on One Arrangement
No matter what arrangement you use, you’ll want to move your students and/or desks at least a few times per school year. Stagnant seating arrangements, especially with small group seating, can encourage cliques and adversely affect whole-class cohesiveness.
4. Consider Whole Class Cohesiveness
Allow time for students to interact as a whole class to encourage a community feel.
In addition to desk arrangement, there are other factors that can impact your classroom setup. Disorganization is one of them. Let us help you attain a more organized, spacious classroom with a variety of storage products. Regardless of your classroom needs, we look forward to helping you keep students engaged and learning throughout the year.