This post originally appeared on the blog The Classroom Key.

I’ve done a lot of experimenting with desk arrangements over the years. I’ve definitely found my favorite. Keep reading; I’ll tell you about it. I’ve also discovered that it’s smart to pick a few arrangements that you like and teach your students how to quickly move between the positions when the activity requires it. I like to have a whole group lesson position, a group work position, and a testing position.


The Double Horseshoe seating arrangement

The Double Horseshoe

Pros – All students are facing toward the front

Cons – It’s hard to get to the students in the back row


Three column classroom seating arrangement

Three Columns

Pros – Saves space in your classroom, sharing materials is easy

Cons – Some students have to turn to face the front


Small group classroom desk arrangement

Small Groups

Pros – Saves space in your classroom, sharing materials is easy

Cons – Some students have their backs to the front

 


Modified Horseshoe classroom arrangement

The Modified Horseshoe

Pros – Everyone faces toward the front, a little easier to get to all the kids than with the traditional horseshoe

Cons – Takes up a lot of space, hard to share materials


The butterfly classroom seating arrangement

The Butterfly

Pros – Everyone faces toward the front, it’s easy to get near all students

Cons – Takes up a lot of space, hard to share materials


The hybrid classroom seating arrangement

The Hybrid (My Favorite!)

Pros – Everyone faces toward the front, easy to get to all students

Cons – Hmm, I got nothin’. This arrangement is pretty good


Paired up seating arrangement

Pairs

Pros – Easy to separate students that don’t work well together, everyone faces the front

Cons – Takes up a lot of space


One by one seating classroom arrangement

One by One

Pros – Discourages talking, everyone faces the front, great for testing

Cons – Takes up a lot of space, not good for group work


Row classroom seating arrangement

Rows

Pros – Everyone faces the front

Cons – Takes up a lot of space


Circles classroom seating arrangement

Circles

Pros – Great for discussions and sharing

Cons – Some students do not face the front, difficult to get to all students


Around the edges classroom seating arrangement

Around the Edges

Pros – Leaves space in the middle for activities, easy to share materials

Cons – Some students do not face the front

Which arrangement works the best in your classroom? Which arrangements am I missing?

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Headshot of Hannah Braun from The Classroom KeyHannah Braun taught 2nd grade and was a library specialist for a total of eight years. She blogs at The Classroom Key, where she makes education theories, research, and new techniques easily accessible for the busy teacher. Hannah sells low to no-prep materials for writing, Common Core math, holidays, and much more at her TpT store. If you like teacher humor, you should definitely follow Hannah on Instagram. You can also find her on Facebook and Pinterest. When not creating curriculum, you can find Hannah keeping up with her 2 and 10-year-old, crafting handmade cards, or busting stress at a Zumba or yoga class.