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Charity Preston's picture
Charity Preston, M.A., is a national presenter, consultant and author. She has completed studies in gifted training, cooperative learning and differentiation, as well as a master's degree in...
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Creating a Great Seating Arrangement

Classroom desk arrangements can be a tedious process for some and non-existent for others. Many veteran teachers feel that straight rows are the only way to go~ while "newbie's" in the building feel that effective classroom arrangement should change up nearly every week.

While there is only personal preference to the matter~ teachers may want to stop and think about why classroom desk set up is so important. Mainly for student success and learning to take place.

If the U-shape desk facing each other is too distracting~ move students into smaller groups. If the rows and columns of the veteran teachers are creating more struggle for the struggling readers~ feel free to try a new approach.

I have always found that small groups of three or four preferably four) students works best for my classroom. I try to match up 2 high students with 2 lower-achieving students so that proper modeling and support is evident. I also attempt to group together 2 of each gender so that all must participate. Of course~ you will want to separate behavior problems as much as can be done - attempting to keep them facing in opposite directions of one another.

From that point~ I even take it a step further by placing a red or blue dot in the corner with a number 1-4 on it. I then cover these dots with laminate paper. When this is in place~ my students are able to quickly be able to be grouped into four groups (#1's together~ #2's~ etc)~ as well as by red or blue dots. In addition~ by having a pod of four desks together~ those students can form a group of four or two groups of two depending on the day and need.

I rarely allow the students to randomly choose a partner (social issues arise quickly from this tactic)~ and the management is much easier to get a handle of in day-to-day activities.

Happy arranging!

Charity Preston - The Organized Classroom