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Seating plans/arrangement of desks

Discussion in 'Secondary' started by Julia0204, Sep 1, 2011.

  1. Hi was wondering what everyone thought about seating plans/arrangement of desks? I have taken over my new classroom and currently they are arranged in banks of four. All the other classrooms in the school have the desks set up in rows and not banks, as they feel that this allows them more control of the pupils. What does everyone else think?
  2. Henriettawasp

    Henriettawasp New commenter

    Definitely rows. Pupils work better individually with fewer distractions but can still work in pairs and if you need to do group work they either turn round or you move the desks.
  3. Completely endorse this. It's the best of both worlds. You can easily go from 'traditional face this way' with rows, but rows do not hinder groupwork in any way. Grouped tables tend to encourage more social interaction and it is genuinely harder for all students to see what's going on at the front.
  4. Agree totally with both responses having tried various other arrangements. The least successful was the double horseshoe thing - classroom not quite big enough really and huge year 1 boys regularly hurled themselves under desks to get to their seats when they couldn't get round the sides. Not good!
  5. I vary the layout during the year, depending on the learning. Currently all my desks are around the walls, so individually there's little distraction, and there's not the desk creep that forces you back against the wall eventually... This means I have a large space in the centre of the room to share, explore, sit in groups, perform... If they need to see the board, I get them to turn around, which means I know they're focussed too. This worked really well last term. I should say, I loathe rows of desks and haven't used them in a decade.
  6. If you are a new teacher, stick with rows. It is definitely easier to manage behaviour. However, long term, I would suggest going with other arrangements. My style of teaching is particularly suited to desks in groups, so I tend to use that. I think your teaching style is the key factor here, but in your first year of teaching I would stick with rows.
  7. lucyrose50

    lucyrose50 Occasional commenter

    This disagrees with what other people have said, but I much prefer having my tables in groups. I moved classrooms last year and changed from having tables in rows (there wasn't enough space for anything else) to having 5 tables of 6 pupils and the difference in effort, behaviour and work was incredible. I'd had my doubts about it as I thought it might mean that pupils talked more, but they really didn't. I give extra motivation by treating each table as a team, and they can earn points by answering questions, taking part in games, completing work/homework, doing something helpful for me and so on - I keep a score on the board and pupils on the winning table get house points at the end of each lesson, plus I keep the running total and at the end of each half term the table with the most points get a prize. This means that pupils self-police by telling any slowcoaches to get on with their work or to be quiet if they're talking when they shouldn't, which makes my life much easier, and they seem to feel much more like a team than if they're just sitting in rows.
    I can also get around the classroom much more easily when the tables are in groups, as when they're in rows it can be very difficult to get to pupils in the middle of a row.
  8. I can`t even remember how I left my classroom! I think it is grouped!
  9. Dragonlady30

    Dragonlady30 Star commenter

    Rows every time.
  10. Looked in a my classroom earlier and it is grouped with one lone table at the front...naughty table....well it had no where else to go!
  11. This is exactly how I have my class, and each table is a team and every week there is a winning team, I should mention though that the teams are set by me, and the seating plan for every class I have is boy girl, alphabetical order, since implementing this I rarely have any behaviour issues.
  12. bigpedro

    bigpedro New commenter

    Rows generally, but occasionally push them together into groups if i think things would work better this way.
  13. pencho

    pencho New commenter

    My understanding is that L shapes are the most effective from a T&L point of view.
  14. maggie m

    maggie m Established commenter

    Oh to have the luxury of choice. I teach science and have fixed octagonal pods ( as do all the science labs). The only way to seat the 32 students I have in most of my classes is to have some of them with their backs to you. It is a nightmare and we have the previous head to thank for this . She thought this arrangement looked nice in a catalogue when the new science block was being built 5 years ago................
  15. gruoch

    gruoch Occasional commenter

    Mine are in rows at the moment as I had 100% 'challenging' pupils last year and it works as a behaviour management strategy. I go for L shapes every time when I can - and I aim not to have a back of the class, too. Not possible at the moment as my desk is tied to the technology, but wrireless laptops are being provided soon and that will change everything.

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