Mind Your Pieces: Mastering the Seating Plan Jigsaw Puzzle

5 min

Enjoy a few top tips for getting the most out of your classroom layout.

Setting up your classroom

Fitting together all the pieces of classroom management is a daily challenge for teachers. Seating plans are a teacher’s bread and butter, but can be time-consuming and overwhelming considering how many configurations are possible. Keeping students on task and engaged is the key aim of seating arrangements in your classroom. 

In this blogpost, we’re sharing the Pros and Cons of some of the most popular seating arrangements, and how to personalize them using Classroomscreen. We’ll throw in some extra tips for setting up groups amongst your students too! 

Classroom seating arrangement ideas

With so many layouts to choose from, there are a number of factors you should consider while looking through our following suggestions. How big is your classroom? How many students do you have? Some seating arrangements are better suited to certain age groups too, so keep that in mind!

Row, row, row your boat

Keeping it simple with traditional rows  

Pros:

  • It emphasizes the teacher as the focal point, making it easier to maintain focus during lectures or presentations.
  • Rows create a structured environment, reducing distractions and promoting a sense of discipline.
  • Maximizes space in the classroom, allowing for students to fit comfortably in the room.

Cons:

  • Teachers might spend a lot of their time in front of the class so make sure to plan rotations throughout the classroom to ensure all students have equal opportunity for teacher support. 
  • Limited interaction between students can hinder collaborative learning, it is much harder to work in groups in this layout!
  • Discussions are much harder in this setup as students are turning around constantly to face each other in this arrangement.

Making rows with our random name generator

To use this seating arrangement in Classroomscreen, you can use two of our random name pickers (Randomizer widget). Simply add the students' names to one of them, along with another containing a list of numbers (1,2,3,4) up to how many tables you have. Activate both widgets, so that a student is called along with a number which will be their desk - such as Annabel, 4. Keep randomizing using both widgets until everyone has a seat!

If you want to learn more about the Randomizer widget, head to our knowledge base.

Teamwork makes the dream work

Bring your students together with group tables

Pros:

  • Encourages collaboration, and peer interaction, fostering a more interactive learning environment.
  • Much easier for teachers to engage with each group collectively.
  • Ideal for activities that require students to work in small groups or with shared supplies (like art class!), enhancing engagement and participation.

Cons:

  • Close proximity to other groups can lead to distractions, especially if they are a very talkative group.
  • Some students might dominate discussions in a group desk layout while others may not actively participate.
  • Some students will be sitting with their backs facing the whiteboard, so watch out for this when presenting!

Set up this seating plan using the Group maker widget

Have you thought about creating a seating plan using our group generator? Simply use your existing student lists, number your tables and off you go. Try out our Group maker widget in your classroom with this nifty Group maker template!

I’ve got my eye on U 

Get your class talking with a U-shape formation

Pros:

  • Facilitates interactive discussions, allowing students to engage with the teacher and their peers more effectively.
  • Creates a more intimate setting with the teacher able to stand in the center, enabling closer interaction between the teacher and individual students.
  • Provides a clear line of sight between students, making it easier for them to engage with each other during discussions.

Cons:

  • Requires more space in the classroom compared to traditional rows, which might be a challenge in smaller classrooms.
  • Students may have limited visibility of the board or screen, depending on the size of the U shape, potentially hindering their view during presentations.
  • Facing each other might tempt some students to distract others.

Still looking for the right layout?

Of course, these three examples are just the tip of the iceberg. From O-shapes to Herringbones, there are lots more layouts for classrooms that you can try. While the above layouts are great to start with, you might want to get even more creative with seating charts. We recommend checking out other great articles like this one to really get stuck into the benefits of seating arrangements. 

Let's get testing!

While it may take a few attempts to get the right seating plan for your class, it will make all the difference in your teaching. With our group generator and other widgets, you can easily change it up if needed. Sometimes all that is needed in good classroom management is getting all the puzzle bits together and getting started. Happy teaching!


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