The seating plan is something that I have just changed in my classroom. I have read lots of articles and posts from other teachers about what works best and different ideas. I tried four different ways before I found my favourite. Today I'm going to tell you about each one i tried, what I thought about it and why then let you know which I settled on.
Rows of four
This was the layout of my room on day 1, the first time I taught in a classroom. As a result it was the way I had my room for the first two terms during my schools direct training year.
Pros - everyone is facing the front, it is easy to share equipment boxes if you have them and it is quite easy to prevent conversations while you are teaching.
Cons - not very good for group work and can be difficult to get to the middle of the rows to help students with their work.
Single tables of twos
This layout needs plenty of space which was really difficult in my classroom as it is very small and I have 32 seats
Pros - great for independent work, keeps everyone facing the right way in the classroom, if your room is big enough it is really easy to get between the tables to see what students are doing and help them with their work.
Cons - takes up a lot of space in order to have good gaps between tables, no good for group work (although they can turn round and work with the two behind if needed), Not much room to have equipment on desks
when I tried this I went for groups of four made with two tables pushed together and the chairs down the sides so that no one had their back to the board
Pros - great for group work, easy to share equipment boxes, better space on the table for students to spread out.
Cons - can be very difficult to prevent low level chatter when teaching, some students struggle to sit at group tables, it can also be difficult for some students to see the board when everyone is side on.
This is my current classroom layout and I love it. I don't have the equipment on the desks as I find it easier to look after if I hand it out as they need it anyway. This design gives me the opportunity to place the student in places where they can work best in the room
Pros - Lots of different types of seating available so you can do your seating plan based on the requirements of your students, you can angle the seats for a good view of the board.
Cons - working out the best place to sit students can take several attempts, takes up quite a bit of spaces, works better for some classes than others
Other suggestions for seating arrangements that I have seen are horse shoes, tables angled towards the centre and individual desks. Individual desks are not an option at my school as they are all two seat desks. Let me know what ideas you have tried and if there are any ideas that you particularly love.
I am a Maths teacher working in the UK. My blog started in February 2018 and I am using it to share ideas to help you in the classroom and to improve your work life balance. I also have some free course and resource along with my new tutoring agency.