How do you arrange your desks, and why?
double horse shoe. They feel fellowship with each other. I can walk around easily and they can all see the board. Also because best fits my room.
Completely basic and boring: five columns facing the front. There is an aisle dividing it into a front half and back half so I can walk across, and I can walk up and down each aisle. I like this because the students are all facing the front so distractions are limited and I can reach all students quickly. They have a procedure for partnering where the first and third columns slide their desks over, so partner work and collaboration is easy.
I move mine about every two weeks – first I had them in straight rows. Then in groups of 3 (so they could help each other without always asking me for help), then in groups of 4 (for co-operative learning, but I didn’t like so many student’s having their back to me), then I just pairs scattered across the room so they could help one another but to reduce the temptation to talk. Before I left for break, I put them in a double horseshoe with desks paired together. All in all, I like them in some type of group so they ask one another for help before asking me (and creates more space for me to walk around).
I just switched from vertical rows to groups of four, facing each other. It makes testing awkward since I have to constantly remind kids not to let their eyes wander, but otherwise it’s awesome for collaborative learning, poster-making, keeping each other accountable to taking good notes, etc.
It depends on the age group, the subject matter, and the number for me. I like groups, but sometimes it doesn’t work. Rows/columns are very stale, but in some situations you have to use them. I like to be able to get to every student, but I also like to be able to pair them up or put them into groups easily. Honestly, this would take a while to explain, because for me there are too many factors.
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rural Arkansas, eh?