A classroom with a U-shaped seating arrangement

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Here we go againā€¦.

Today was the first day I enter my new classroom and start decorating. I am so happy that this year I have a spacious classroom perfect for my circle time routine. Smile 

The first thing a teacher must do is figure out the seating arrangement in her classroom. I decided to start the seating arrangement in a U-Shape. There are so many benefits for a u-shaped classroom.

  1. Group Discussion

    • For teachers instructing discussion-heavy classes like art, writing or literature, a U-shaped desk configuration can be ideal. The arrangement supports frequent whole-group conversations as students are all able to see each other and you at the same time. No one is able to hide in the back of the class and avoid participation, so even the most introverted students can be drawn in.

    Behavior Management

    • Since a U-shaped desk arrangement promotes eye contact and unobstructed passage for teachers, a U-shaped configuration can help improve classroom behavior. This arrangement helps the teacher keep an eye on everyone’s actions and quickly reach and resolve conflicts or discipline problems. As with classroom discussions, students do not feel hidden in this configuration, and that may encourage them to improve their behavior.

    Hands-On Demonstrations

    • In chemistry, art or other hands-on learning environments, a U-shaped desk configuration allows all students equal access to viewing demonstrations. Positioning the students so they can see the whiteboard and the front of the lab or workspace will allow the teacher to explain and demonstrate the day’s lesson without interruptions for rearranging or moving around the classroom. Similarly, this configuration creates a natural stage for student performances and presentations throughout the school year.

    Student Traffic

    • The U-shaped desk arrangement may take up more space in the classroom, but it will give a classroom many options to manage traffic-flow. For the teacher, nothing is obstructing a walk into the U to collect papers or answer questions. When introducing students to the new seating configuration, you can establish the room as a one-way street where students must always walk up clockwise around the room. For young students, this may be important in preventing traffic jams and conflicts with students. The open portion of the U also provides space for students to move around during breaks.

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