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Re: Classroom setup: Rows vs Groups


From: Bunki Kramer (bkramer_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Sat Jun 23 2001 - 08:43:01 PDT

from: Bunki Kramer (
Los Cerros Middle School
968 Blemer Road
Danville, CA 94526
art webpage -
I like to change my room arrangement twice every year just for some spice. I
have a odd shaped room which gives me five walls. When you enter the room,
the furniture is usually at an angle which is the first thing you notice so
even if you DO rows, it doesn't look like it.

To solve my problems easily, I made a scaled floor plan on tagboard and
little pieces to scale of furniture. I just sit down and rearrange pieces
until I see a nice flow around the supply tables, etc. Saves moving all
those heavy tables until you've decided.

This past year I put them into tables of two (tables being 3x5') which
allowed for 6 kids together comfortably. Having twelve tables allowed for 36
comfortable seating arrangements. I was expecting the kids to be more talky
but I thought I'd try it. I found LESS talking across the room and better
job sharing. I also noticed better demo areas for me because I could more
easily have all the kids around the "big" table see everything. All of these
tables are angled so it seems "softer" and less formal. I haven't tried rows
because I guess I'm just not a "row" person and think it might make the room
more static and unwelcoming.

One of my favorite arrangements was set up like an outdoor theater (or
orchestra) with curved rows (for lack of a better word) where the back forty
had more tables curved and in the front fewer. Problem was the kids would
slightly adjust the tables when moving around for supplies and the curves
would realign themselves into a mess.

Always looking for new ideas so pass them along if you have any!