Setting up your Classroom – How to arrange desks and students.
SETTING UP YOUR CLASSROOM: DESKS
“Seating arrangements which allow the teacher to see the faces of all students at all times have been associated with increased academic engaged time” (Askew. 1993. et. al. cited Konza, Grainger, Bradshaw. 2003. p25).
Desk Arrangement: Single Rows
Desk Arrangement: U-Shape
Desk Arrangement: Double Rows
Desk Arrangement: Work Stations
Clusters, or work station arrangements, require students to have a high set of self-management skills. It is a great set-up for creating a cooperative or ‘group’ feeling amongst the class. It is harder for a teacher to engage in eye-to-eye contact with all students and monitor student activity. Students lose their individual space, which can be an issue for some students. This arrangement is NOT RECOMMENDED if you have a difficult class or management problems are an issue.
- Make sure ALL students will be able to see you and the board from their desks;
- Allow aisle space so that you can work with individual students if required;
- Create as wider walkways as possible so you and the students can move around the room easily;
- Place centres, work area tables and storage around the perimeter of the classroom;
- Consider where students will keep their personal belongings;
- Where will student notebooks, folders, stationary etc. be kept and how will it be accessed.
SETTING UP YOUR CLASSROOM: STUDENTS
When you begin the year or term, seating students in alphabetical order and/or in a boy-girl/boy-girl order will give you the opportunity to establish control over the class as well as the chance to get to know your students. Once you feel there is a good sense of control and self-management by students, you can start letting them choose who they sit with. This gives ownership and responsibility back to the students. If they muck up, then they lose the privilege of sitting and working with their friends.
Changing the seating is an excellent way of re-establishing control or when you want to establish new working patterns when commencing a new unit of work.