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Ditching the Desks for a More Open Classroom


Found in: Classroom Setup

I have tried just about every way possible to set up desks and tables in my room and I finally found a way that works well for me.

First, I traded my desks for tables. I didn't like the kids always messing with things in their desks so I got rid of them. I position my tables so they go around the outer edge of the room (horseshoe like) with kids sitting on both sides. I have a chair in the front by the board. The center of my room is open and I have the kids sit on the floor when I use the Smart Board, read to them, or provide direct instruction and want to see everyone. I often have them bring clipboards or a white board to the "carpet" with them to write on. When it is time for independent work, they return to their tables. We also use the open space for reading time, collaborative work, or projects.

My room looks bigger and has a nice open feel to it. I can easily move around and it isn't hard to monitor the kids working independently. I also like that the movement from tables to carpet and back gets them moving a little and keeps them awake.

I have tubs for supplies and notebooks so we really do not miss having desks. My kids love to lie on the floor and read or write. I love that I am not always squeezing between desks to get around the room. I am also not stuck up front since it is easy for me to teach from anywhere in the room. In the past, I have done the same layout with desks but I prefer tables.

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