I spent most of the morning setting up my room and hunting for my laptops from last year. While I was able to get the desks arranged, the laptops continue to be locked away...I'll have to make a stronger attempt tomorrow. As for my room, it's actually a bit of a puzzle. For the first three years, I had all of my desks in rows, and last year I switched to all tables. While tables made the room feel a bit more open, it was much more difficult to keep students from talking instead of working, and it was even more difficult to get everyone's attention for those rare moments of direct instruction. I considered going back to rows, but the tables had a lot of value as well. My final solution was a bit of a hybrid answer: I have seven tables, but each table is more of an opened "L" rather than a closed circle. The idea here is that students will naturally be facing the front/side of the room, and won't have to be staring at another student the entire time, but still be able to work with others easily if necessary.
The toughest part with any new set up is the lack of space. I always have it in my head that if I just arranged the desks in a certain way, I'll be able to unlock some hidden free space somewhere in the room. Of course, that's never true. There's a reason desks have been arranged in rows for 125 years...it's the most space efficient. Messing with the formula may lead to more engaging seating arrangements....but there's only so much space for 30 desks.
Regardless, I'm content with my solution in theory...the question remains if it will hold up when
English Teacher | Instructional Technology Specialist | 2014-15 PBS Digital Innovator | Gamification Researcher | Marathon Runner | Ph.D RMU 2015