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desk arrangement
Old 08-16-2011, 08:55 AM
 
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Ok so i am setting up my classroom and wondering what is the best way to arrange my students desks. Is it better to put them in groups or in rows? This is my first year teaching 4th grade so i need ideas! Thanks for your help


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I have both
Old 08-16-2011, 10:15 AM
 
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I am just beginning to teach 4th grade as well. Lets just say my new room is not ideal. The smartboard is in a weird location so it's very hard to fit 28 desks in a place where they can all see. I have five groups but two of the groups are placed very unusual. I think it's important to remember it will change and having different options works for different learners.
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desk arrangement
Old 08-16-2011, 10:35 AM
 
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Desk arrangements often depend on your teaching style. If you have your students engage in small group work often then groups are better. I have them in groups of 4 or 5 to fit 28 student desks this year! The ones who are far from the Smartboard always have the option of bringing their work up closer (they can sit on the carpet in front when needed).

And we change throughout the year so that students have the opportunity to work with varied groups.
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Old 08-16-2011, 11:53 AM
 
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I prefer groups of 4-6 desks and have always had my carpet up by the smart board so students can move if they have trouble seeing or their back would be to the board.

Another arrangement I like is a U shape, with the opening toward the board. All students face the inside and are seated side by side. This way all students can see the board. They are still sitting next to a classmate for turn and talk activities, but when I do small group activities I usually have students move chairs to make clusters of 4 or 5.

I don't like traditional rows because I like my students to interact with each other and that arrangement make it more difficult.
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Old 08-16-2011, 01:46 PM
 
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It does really depend on your style and you will come to know how it best works for you as the year goes. Please don't feel like you have to arrange like someone else does. Look around for ideas and be willing to try a new one if arrangement seems to be a problem.
I like all students facing the front where my promethean board is located. I do a great deal and they participate a great deal at the board. I also like to have students sitting side by side in rows across - in groups of 4, sometimes longer. That way they always have a pair-share partner built in. Also, groups in tables can be made lickety-split by having one row turn their desks to face the row behind them. (Does his make any sense???) This year I have fewer kids so my room looks like two E's facing each other. The long sides are facing in from the East and West walls with North being front. I couldn't do this before and it seems to give the students a closer view to the front. I also like to have a few tables for small group on where the children can work during centers.
Don't be afraid to try a few and different classes will work best with different arrangements. Some kids just can't be in a table of 4 and 5, while others work great.


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Old 08-16-2011, 02:03 PM
 
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Depends on how many students you have. I always do rows. I leave space open by my smartboard and they move to sit in front of it if they can't see. I don't do groups for a while

I tried putting my kids in U shape yesterday and it just takes up too much room in my class.

For small group activities, I get my kids out of their seats and space them around the room.
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Old 08-16-2011, 02:09 PM
 
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One thing that I wish I had felt free to do my first year was to start out in rows (thought it too "old fashioned" and stifling) and then when students were self-managing well, move them into twos, and later into groups of 4 or so. I think that with the number of things that you need to learn the first 2 - 3 years, classroom management might be easier to handle this way because both you and the students take "baby steps" towards making a good learning environment. Just sayin' . . .
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rows then groups
Old 08-16-2011, 02:27 PM
 
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I agree with Mooseweaver. I start out the year with rows of tables and then make a big deal when they move into groups of 4 or 6. (I like to get them into a few good habits before 'adding the temptation' to visit )
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Old 08-16-2011, 04:28 PM
 
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I do pairs the majority ofthe year. If there is something we are doing that needs rearrangement, I do it then. I find I get better participation in pairs.
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Old 08-16-2011, 06:43 PM
 
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I also do pairs, in rows. So 2 in front of 2. If we do group work, 2 just flip their desks or chairs around.


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Old 08-16-2011, 07:25 PM
 
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Thanks everyone for your help!!
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Desk Arrangement
Old 08-17-2011, 04:11 AM
 
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In the beginning of the school year I like to have groups of desks-5 or 6 per group. We do a lot of group activities at the beginning of the year, so groups of desks helps for this purpose. However, by the end of the second or third week, students become too comfortable and chatty so I rearrange the desks in rows or some other arrangement I come up with.
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I have a small room
Old 08-17-2011, 05:39 AM
 
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I arranged my 19 desks in a U shape... but I now need to add in 2 more! My U may now become and M or W I think. I like to use the open area left as my gathering space for the kiddos.
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Desks
Old 08-17-2011, 06:49 AM
 
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I also use the two E's that face each other. I have 34 students in my room. It actually ended up with 2 rows in the center rather than just one. I like this arrangement because it allows me access to each student. I place the "chatty" ones on the end so they only have one person on either side. :0)
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I have little choice
Old 08-17-2011, 12:56 PM
 
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I have thirty-four desks in my room and with the size about the only way I can arrange them is in groups of 8 with 2 groups having an end-person desk.
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desks
Old 08-17-2011, 04:35 PM
 
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last year I did the U shape to start the year and I liked it! However, like a PP mentioned, I do A LOT of group work so this year I am starting off with groups of 3 and 4 (26 desks) and crossing my fingers the kids can handle it!
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Seating
Old 08-18-2011, 07:28 AM
 
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I start out with rows too, then work my way up to pairs then groups. Less talking in the beginning so they can pay attention and learn the procedures. My smartboard is located on the the side of the room, my students are facing forward for most part of the day and when I use the sb I just have them turn their seats.
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Old 08-18-2011, 09:39 AM
 
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I start in rows and then work my way into groups. I get to learn who the chatters are, who needs to sit by the teacher, and who can't work together in groups before I actually group them.
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Old 08-18-2011, 06:20 PM
 
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Thank you all SO much...I really appreciate your help
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