We gather in front on crates. It works really well since each child has their own space. Some kids struggle with keeping still while sitting on the carpet and this helps with that a lot.
I 'stole' this idea from a teacher I worked with a few years ago. Here is a picture from her room:
I have my students store their white boards and markers in their crates.
I got the crates from WalMart a few years ago- they have a 'lip' all around the outside. My father-in-law cut wood to fit (mine have one large hole in the middle).