Secondary teachers- how are your desks organised?

(18 Posts)
runlikeagirl Tue 17-Jun-14 17:35:49

Its that time of year when I have time to mull these things!

We generally have desks in groups at our school. At the moment I have them in tables of four. This works well for group work, but can often be hard work trying to keep them on task for independent work. And they don't all face front.

How are yours arranged?

soverylucky Tue 17-Jun-14 17:58:11

They are in rows with spaces between each desk - two to a desk. When they do group work the front desk turn to the one behind. The second row stay where they are . The third row turns to the one behind and the fourth row stay where they are. This works very well when I need them to be in groups of 4. It means the majority of the time there isn't much distraction and can work quietly on their own. Hope that makes sense.

In groups of 4 and I have 2 huge tables (like the ones they have in art) at the back for group work

stillenacht1 Tue 17-Jun-14 18:03:03

Music teachers here.. We don't have desks but clipboards for writing..chairs arranged in pairs, threes, rows, circles.. Changes most lessonssmile

SamBob Tue 17-Jun-14 18:03:15

Mine are in a double horseshoe. We have a school wide seating arrangement and are not allowed change it. The only exceptions are practical rooms. I'd rather have mine in groups to be honest.

EvilTwins Tue 17-Jun-14 18:08:13

I don't have chairs and tables, I have these.

eltsihT Tue 17-Jun-14 18:08:42

I like L shaped desks. I teach science so only have 20 pupils at a time so have 5 groups of L shapes.

L shaped desks make it easy for all pupils to see the front for demos etc easy to turn them round into groups when found a group task or easy to turn into rows for "those" classes.

kickassangel Tue 17-Jun-14 18:21:26

I teach English and have them like so erylucky.

Wholenewsituation Tue 17-Jun-14 19:06:14

Mine are in rows....tried grouped desks once and hated it.
Four students to a row with aisle then next row
Works for me.

knitknack Tue 17-Jun-14 19:56:27

I have a horseshoe shape with four tables place in each inner corner to produce four big group tables. I love this arrangement because it gives me so much control - they can all sit around the outside if necessary (great for discussion) or I can use the group tables. Of course it's also very easy to 'swing a table out' and create a whole mini desk of one for anyone unable to cope with my basic class rules....

I've been with this arrangement for two years because I really like it. I have a fairly big classroom however. KS3 and 4.

noblegiraffe Tue 17-Jun-14 20:00:27

I was all ready to come on and say that my desk isn't organised, it's covered in exercise books and worksheets. But you mean the kids's desks.

Rows all the way. I'm a maths teacher, we tend towards the traditional. Group work is all well and good if you don't mind them taking all lesson to do something you could have taught them in five minutes, and piss about as they do it.

startwig1982 Fri 20-Jun-14 20:34:21

I like rows but our policy is for E's and Fs. So basically a big horseshoe with tables coming off on the inside. I was worried about it initially but it seems fine.
Can't abide tables I groups of 4 as there are always some with their back to the board.

Phineyj Sat 21-Jun-14 09:26:21

I came across a brilliant idea when observing a colleague recently - a double horseshoe (which I also find the most practical layout) but the inner tables were pushed together, meaning when group work was required, the inner students could just spin their chairs round. She likes to do 'move on one place' type carousels, so it works for that too, and also, you've got the large table in the middle for smaller group lessons.

I do revert to rows when there are behaviour issues. Ime group tables with some backs to the board are the work of the devil!

I also find the most crucial element is where you leave gaps, so you can get to everyone efficiently.

Phineyj Sat 21-Jun-14 09:29:09

I also thought you meant your own desk. I used 5 different colleagues' rooms this week one day for an activity and I was astonished by the number of trinkets and general tutt some had on their desks -- I would go bonkers trying to work like that!

BlameItOnTheMoonlight Sat 21-Jun-14 09:31:41

Groups of 6, with a rug/beanbag area at the front. I didn't like groups though in state school - classes were too big to keep on task in groups.

trinity0097 Wed 25-Jun-14 19:51:54

Tables in rows facing the front, if I want groups of more than 2 some will turn around, they are then closer to each other so it's a bit quieter.

BobPatandIgglePiggle Wed 25-Jun-14 19:58:50

I thought you meant office desk - mine is a little bit fecking disgraceful untidy and I was just thinking today that I need a 'system' of some sort!

threepiecesuite Wed 25-Jun-14 20:47:53

noblegiraffe, you are absolutely spot on about group work, such a pity our Head is all over it, I just think it's a ticket to sit back and let one person do all the work.

Our head insists on 'nests' ie. groups of 4 or 6. I hate it. Small classrooms so not much space to get around. Kids with backs to the board. Constant chatter.

I used to have a wide classroom and could do a wide double horseshoe l_____l (like this). It was great. Moved to a modern building and lost lots of the successful and established ways.

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