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How to arrange my class seats?

Discussion in 'Education news' started by schooli, Jun 21, 2017.

  1. schooli

    schooli New commenter

    I am an English teacher in J.H.S .I have about 35 students in my class who sit in 4 rows.
    I would like to hear from teachers from around the globe how do you arrange your students' seats in a regular lesson and what do you do to make them interact during your lessons.

    Looking forward to hearing from you
    Mrs. G
  2. blazer

    blazer Star commenter

    The school I worked at for many years arranged the kids in alphabetical order by last name, To prevent the same kids being at the back all the time each subject had a particular orientation. eg science was left to right front to back. English right to left front to back. French left to right back to front . Other subjects did it in vertical rows instead of horizontal. Within that plan individual teachers could adjust settings to separate difficult pairings or to have an SEN kid closer to the front or at the end of a row for easy access. I always kept the two seats immediately in front of me empty (if I could) so that i could move kids to them temporarily in a lesson if it was required.

    I produced my seating plans using a publisher sheet with a text box for each place. This made it easy to move seats around and to add new students into empty spaces. Just make a template for the classroom and use it for each class. It could also be projected onto the screen at the start of each lesson until the kids learned their spots.
  3. schooli

    schooli New commenter

    Thanks for your prompt response
    What about putting the seats in circles?Has anyone tried it?
  4. blazer

    blazer Star commenter

    I personally hate teaching in a room where the kids have their backs to me. I will just about tolerate side on but much prefer it when they all face the front. The front is where the action is!
  5. peter12171

    peter12171 Star commenter

    Try to keep it as boy-girl-boy-girl if you can.
    kazzakat934 and Laphroig like this.
  6. aypi

    aypi Senior commenter

    I have the luxury of a practical class and a max size of 20. My desks are movable and I have them arranged in a U shape. The pupils sit where they like until they annoy me too much, then I move the individual. The move might be for a day a week or until he leaves.
    I like the U because I can walk about and help them from the front of the U, or from the back. It is easy for me to access any pupil in the class.
  7. schooli

    schooli New commenter

    Thank you all
  8. schooli

    schooli New commenter

    The U shape sounds wonderful, however it is recommended nowadays that students will work in groups.Have you tried this?
  9. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter



    PS You could send the last 5 to arrive to the HT to deal with every lesson. :D
  10. lanokia

    lanokia Star commenter

    Pupils interact?

    As little as possible ...

    Though I have to pay lip service to fads like group work just to keep the dogs at bay.
  11. aypi

    aypi Senior commenter

    I encourage the pupils to help each other, inevitably some of the chat is not work related, but usually there is a high enough ratio of help to chatter. If it is formal groups, I have a max size of two, too many hangers on otherwise. Groups dont need to be formal, they do form in the U.
  12. captain scarlet

    captain scarlet Established commenter

    I have done lines/rows, group tables, big square (like a polo, but square), horse shoe. it all depends on what I am going to do in the class room. And I like the change
  13. lindenlea

    lindenlea Star commenter


    Come on people - it's Saturday night!
  14. Laphroig

    Laphroig Lead commenter

    My students sit in rows, facing the front. Some group activities most lessons. Unfashionable but I get the best results in the department.
  15. blazer

    blazer Star commenter

    I worked with a colleague who had the desks i the middle of the room facing the front but then about 12 places where the table was facing the wall. If the kids showed interest they sat in the middle, those who chose to **** about got banished to the wall facing seats.
  16. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    I favour desks facing the front, whether that is desks being parallel to the front wall of the room or a chevron layout, with a cemter aisle (and side aisles if the room is wide enough.
    The chevron layout has all pupils focussed on the centre front of the room and makes it more difficult for them to be distracted by looking through side windows.
    peter12171 likes this.
  17. Christopher  Curtis

    Christopher Curtis Occasional commenter

    I was an English and history teacher in Victoria. I’ve had different arrangements at different times.

    In my first school, in which I had all my classes in the one, big room, I had 11 tables, with two seats each, facing the front in rows and columns. I also had a big table, with eight chairs, at the back with a set-up for students to listen to a tape recorder – remember those - via headphones and do aural work. In the other corner at the back were some soft lounge chairs for individual reading.

    On one occasion, in the back corner, we built a set for a film we were making. The room was large enough to leave it there until the film was finished.

    Another year, I set that room up with a very big set of tables for my year 7 class to sit at – that’s 12 students – to work together and the other tables facing the front.

    In another a school, with a smaller room, I had a group of tables in the centre for about six students to sit together and the rest of the tables in a U-shape around the edges of the room. I would organise the tables in groups if the students had to work in groups.

    I think the arrangement depends on the purpose of the lesson. There are 500,000 studies that show students learn more when they are taught, so I tended to have teacher-directed lessons, but not exclusively, as I also had classes with students on individual programs. I even had one class that would go into the room and start work before I even got there.
  18. kazzakat934

    kazzakat934 New commenter

    In NZ, I like versions of a 'U' as I find groups are an incitement to loud, unruly students who focus on each other, not the learning.
    I encourage groups of 2 as appropriate- a student and their neighbour.

    I currently have straight rows as we have classes of 31-35 so have to squeeze them in tight. Sardines would have more space in a can than my poor students do.
  19. Flere-Imsaho

    Flere-Imsaho Star commenter

    Rows or pairs facing the front. They are trained to turn around (in pairs) to the people behind to make a group of four for group work. If we're doing groups the task and timings are strictly controlled to reduce the potential for faffing about.

    I don't like a U shape and I'm not sure how it would fit with 35 pupils.
    Laphroig likes this.
  20. drvs

    drvs Star commenter

    When I had classes of 36 I liked to arrange my room in islands of 6 like so: |=

    It does rather depend on you having a big enough room and children who can cope with this arrangement.
    peter12171 likes this.

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