Classroom seating arrangements
by Alan Haskvitz
National Teachers Hall of Fame
Most teachers continue to seat students in rows with all seats facing the front. However, if the seats are moveable, feel free to try a variety of arrangements for different purposes. For example, moving the seats can make it easier for groups to meet.
Some teachers have tables, which are more cumbersome, but also can be moved for a variety of classroom projects. Of course, electric outlets, computer terminals, screens, and fire exits are all considerations.
Remember, it is also critical to adhere to the local fire codes on flammable material limits for covering walls. In most places only 20 percent of the walls and none of the ceilings or doors, can be covered. I recommend you update a small bulletin board weekly to keep it topical. Consider asking the students to create teams to add their own bulletin board weekly. The bottom line is that effective seating arrangements improve student learning.
For ideas and inspiration, check out the following sites:
Ask.com Classroom Photos
Autism Classroom Set-up Tips
Class Set-up Tool
This site allows you to arrange the room in a variety of ways using an architecture-type application.
Classroom Beautiful: Do It Yourself
NEA collection — nice to have these types of resources
This video on setting up classrooms advocates spending time considering the lay-out and its impact on learning — excellent.
Creating a Positive Classroom Environment
A slide presentation
A large selection of primary classroom set-ups
Seven Steps for Setting Up a Stellar Autism Classroom: Classroom Structure
Tons of ideas, including printouts, from Google.
Various Classroom Set-ups
Hundreds of photos of classrooms from Google images, but mainly elementary