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Old 08-14-2005, 03:16 PM
Happy1 Happy1 is offline
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 5
Wink Classroom Seating Arrangements


I am looking for ideas regarding how to arrange the desks in my 5th grade classroom. Harry Wong's book recommended that everyone initially be arranged in rows and facing the teacher. He says this eliminates the need to worry about student discussion, while you are teaching, and also will give you a good feel about each student. He suggests that you can always change later.

My class is 24 students and I will be working in groups in all subjects. My thoughts were to arrange in six groups of 4 or four groups of 6 to facilitate the group work. Additionally, my classroom is the collaborative classroom, so a Special Ed teacher will be coming in to work with many students throughout the day.

I am setting up my room this week and I am looking to benefit from everyone's expertise.


Old 08-14-2005, 04:45 PM
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JaimeMarie JaimeMarie is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 10,125
Kindergarten Teacher
It sounds like grouping the desks would work best for you.
Do you have any hearing impaired students? If you do you want to think about arranging the desk so the child can see everyones faces (U shaped arrangement).
Old 08-14-2005, 05:04 PM
Happy1 Happy1 is offline
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 5
Thanks for the response. I think I will start with grouping. Since I am a new teacher, can you tell me when the nervous stomach subsides. I have had other jobs and never felt this sense of nervousness or perhaps excitement.

Thanks again,
Happy 1
Old 08-14-2005, 08:18 PM
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Missy Missy is offline
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 3,224
3rd Grade Teacher
I like to put the desks in table groups as you described. It makes it much easier for students to work together. Once or twice I have had to put them in rows if the talking got out of hand, but when they don't like that they catch on and we go back to tables in a few days.
Old 08-14-2005, 09:16 PM
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sunfl3815 sunfl3815 is offline
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 59
hi, im teaching 5th also this year. I will be starting out with rows for the first week, to ensure attention is where it should be...it will give me a chance to see how each child acts also. then i will be moving them to groups of four most likely.
Old 08-14-2005, 09:19 PM
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dee dee is offline
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 195
Franklin, LA
I would choose 6 groups of fours rather that 4 groups of 6.
Old 08-14-2005, 09:59 PM
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katerina03 katerina03 is offline
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 1,118
south eastern US
when I get my own room (someday) I will do the traditional rows for the first few days (like Harry says) but then I plan to do 2 or 3 long rows (side by side) instead of the traditional rows and columns. I have never seen this done except in collges but I think it allows easier movement around the room. I guess it's trial and error. I do plan to use groups often as well.
Old 08-15-2005, 08:57 AM
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czacza czacza is offline
Join Date: Sep 2001
Posts: 22,018
New Jersey
Grade 3
The research on cooperative learning supports the grouping arrangement. With good classroom management you can handle the 'chatting'. I love Harry Wong but I think he's wrong on this one! Also- think about the climate of your building- rows would be considered 'old fashioned' in my building.
Old 08-15-2005, 09:10 PM
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SmartCookie SmartCookie is offline
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 261
Los Angeles
Curriculum Specialist
I use a sort of a modifed U, well its more like a square with an opening at the front and back. I find that this works out well with my whole group lessons. When thay need to get into groups two kids move thir chairs to the inside of the square and face their other two partners. Esentially 4 kids work at one double table.
Old 08-16-2005, 10:36 AM
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SpaceAngel SpaceAngel is offline
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 307
I can't even think about seating arrangement yet.....I don't know if I will have desks, tables or what.

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