February 28, 2013

Best Way to Arrange Desks


(Or at least, the one that worked the best for me!)

Yesterday, we shared some of our favorite desk arrangements.

Today, I'm going to share some ways I've tried arranging desk, along with my all-time favorite.

Here are some good options for setting up your student desks:

·         U-shaped: arrange desks in a large u-shape, leaving one space open on each side to make moving around the room easier. This creates a great ‘stage area’ in the middle for doing presentations, skits, or a large group activity.

·         Groups: this is a more traditional way to arrange desks. It works especially well if you class has a lot of group activities (such as science experiments) that require having a large work surface. If you have the room, put one empty desk in each group that can hold that group’s materials (extra glue sticks, pencils, folders, etc.). Update: or use this great idea I found on Pinterest.

And without further ado, here is my personal favorite:


 L-Shape.

(I'll pause for your dramatic gasp. Go ahead..... *gasp*)

I know, earth shattering, right? ;)

The desks are set up in four L-shaped groups (see example below…the front of the room is the left side of the screen)


(Have more than 20 kids in your class? Check out this post to show how this arrangement can fit up to 30.)

This arrangement can easily be changed to fit each lesson’s needs. For example: if you need the desks to be in a group, have the two desks that are facing the front of the room ‘fold’ in to face the rest of their group. If you need a U-shape, move the four front desks to the outside of the U. If you need a circle (square) just push those four desk to the front of the room

This group works well for teacher-led groups, like reading groups. The teacher just had to roll his/her chair to the corner of each ‘L’ and each student was within an arm’s reach.

This worked for me....What works for you?

10 comments:

  1. Genius! I will definitely be starting off my year like this! Thanks for the great tip!

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  2. This is exactly how I arranged my desks last year, and I loved it! Definitely going to arrange them this way again. Love it!!!

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  3. I have 28 kids..any ideas for that amount..fourth grade

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    1. I actually started with 30 kids one year when I taught 3rd grade. I modified this arrangement to accommodate that many desks. I've gotten a few questions recently on how to use this arrangement for more kids, so I wrote a quick post about it. I updated this post to include a link to the larger arrangement, so hopefully that will help! Good luck with your super-sized class!

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  5. Any suggestions for a class of 34? Thanks!

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    1. Wow- you've got a lot of kiddos on your hands! :) I wrote a post about how this arrangement can be changed to fit up to 30 (see the link in the post above)... to accommodate 34 desks, I would make each group a U shape and use 9 desks- 3 on each side of the U. This would be 36 desks, so you could eliminate 2 from the front group to give you more space to teach. Of course, this would depend on the size of your room. Fingers crossed that you are able to the just the right arrangement for your class :)

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  6. Any ideas for a group of 12?? Right now they are all facing forward as individual desks. I'm getting bored of it and so are my kiddos.

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    1. Rachel- I've never had a group of 12 to work with (what a blessing that is for you!), but if you are looking for an arrangement similar to the one above, you could always do three groups of 4, which each group arranged in the L shape. You can easily turn them into groups by having two kids at each L fold their desks in to face the other two.

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