I am not a traditional seats in a straight row kind of teacher and neither are 90% of my students.
I do a decent amount of group work.
What seating arrangements work for your high school classroom?
I've done many variations, I like the grouping of seats-saves time with group work, however, some people aren't facing the front, tests (enough said), and ..perhaps because its almost Christmas Break, it is causing them to talk a lot more when they should be listening.
Sorry, I misunderstood. I thought you said that you were looking for suggestions about seating arrangements because your students were chatting too much when they should be listening. That's why I suggested a temporary change-up to rows.
I have the desks facing each other. There are 9 desks on one side of the room, and 16 on the opposite side. It's obviously not 50/50, but it works well for my purposes! I used traditional rows for several years, but I don't think I would ever go back to that configuration again. This way allows me to get to every student, and to circulate around the classroom, so much more easily.
If I had teachers, or even when I was in a classroom helping teachers, who did a lot of group work they would use circles. Depending on the amount of students in the group. If it was an entire class- 1 big circle, a few students in each 2-3 circles, etc.