Mrs. Landry's Land of Learning

A place dedicated to learning for ALL students!

Arranging those desks

on July 25, 2012

So I’ve not been able to be in my classroom really working as I’ve still not gone shopping.  😦  I’ve also been at a couple of meetings, a workshop, and helped to select a new member for my first grade team!  Hurray!  But I did manage to get in and arrange my desks.  Now I’m having to plan for some large numbers.  Although since we’re bringing in another first grade teacher, it won’t be 23 anymore.  Whew!  But I’m making sure I can get a good number in there- 20 to be exact.  Like many of you fellow educators, I struggle every year with the decision on how to arrange my student desks.  And it’s not just a beginning of the year problem.  Oh no.  It’s all year long.  And once those darling kiddos walk in my door, the added challenge of putting them in the right place just makes my head spin!

But last year, I had a couple of students who qualified for special ed. inclusion support.  This meant either an aide or a special ed. teacher came to my room to work with these students.  Fortunately, I was allowed to take advantage of this and they also helped me work with my other strugglers.  I could have 2 groups going simultaneously.  But here was a tricky part.  I have only one small group table (love that table too!) and both of us could not use it at the same time.  I also worked to keep those students grouped together so that the aide or myself could be in one place for the most part.  Well that was easy.  Then one day I was in my doormate’s room and she had a group of desks arranged differently.  The lightbulb clicked!  I asked her what made her do it that way and she said it allowed her to stay at the front of the room, and teach sitting right in front of those students to help keep them focused. Then, when they moved into an independent practice, there was no time wasted moving to the table and all students could get right to work and she could easily observe those needy babies while still watching the rest of the class.  I immediately went to my room and made a change.  Love it!  This is what I did:

So simple and yet so great!  I put an extra student chair (grown-up sized chairs are rare in my world of small children) in the middle space.  It worked great.  I sometimes moved some students to work with my aide/teacher support and the students did fine.  If there was no sub for my aide and I was on my own, I was able to teach easily from the seat and still be right there next to my little darlings.  So this year I decided to do this with 2 groups.  Why?  Just to try it.  I know I’m going to have several struggling students and I might have to spread them out a bit for some basic logistics.  Not sure yet as I don’t have a finalized list and I won’t until right before school.  But at least I have the floor space!

The picture below shows a minor adjustment that I forgot I made last year as well.  Big thanks to Jan (my doormate) for helping me remember!

I rotated my large cubby shelf and was able to move my computer desks down.  This gives me more room up front, easy access to the station tubs that will go on the shelves, and a small area between the computers and the shelf to put my pocket chart stand when not in use (which reminds me I need to find that thing as it’s not found its way home yet!).  I’m sure you can see that I’ve labeled my shelves and I can tell you’re curious.  Just wait.  😉  I’ll get to those.

So how is your room coming along?  Are you just getting started, almost done, or not even thinking about it yet?  Let me know!

Happy Teaching!

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