Seating Arrangements with Work Stations
Lesson Objective: Arrange seating and materials to facilitate learning
All Grades / All Subjects / Organization

Thought starters

  1. What does Ms. Spies take into account when making seating arrangements?
  2. How do work stations help Ms. Spies maximize instructional time?
  3. What kinds of materials does Ms. Spies put in the work stations?

I like this arrangement and the easy access to supplies. I'm wondering if this would work for high school? If the desks are like this all the time, would this encourage cheating and more talking? I currently have my desks in sections and they talk/signal across the room. Feedback/Suggestions?

Recommended (0)
Isela, thank you for the feedback and I couldn't agree more! I invite you to watch the video of a math lesson to see just how much movement is typical in my classroom. Students are up working on team posters, moving when sharing, and then chose where to work in the final portion of the lesson (you'll see the group that selected to sit up front on the floor while others were standing around a table in the back). You'll also notice I have a Kagan work mat and utilize those cooperative structures throughout the day so that students are up and moving while working with different classmates. The workstations help keep their supplies organized and easily accessible but do not keep them locked in their desks, I assure you!
Recommended (0) children don't move???? Is this seriously perceived as best practice? Children should be moving...actively engaged, working on an array of meaningful experiences. Sitting at desks for long periods of time goes against what neuroscience tells us about what children need to learn!
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Thanks, Muyibat, for the question! I've used something similar when teaching secondary math. They still had desks, though, and were able to re-position them. Seats were assigned a number (1-4) and I had a spinner to determine which person would be responsible for various roles during cooperative activities. Other teachers with tables have done something similar and still have the tower of drawers at the end of the tables. Hope that helps!
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Excellent idea Amy. Can this seating arrangement go for a secondary school students in grade 10-12.? I teach chemistry at the senior level and most of the time it is held in the laboratory where the seats are fixed.
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  • Seating Arrangements with Work Stations Transcript

    Amy Spies: One strategy I use to help encourage cooperative learning is to have the

    Seating Arrangements with Work Stations Transcript

    Amy Spies: One strategy I use to help encourage cooperative learning is to have the desk grouped in four. I want to ensure that everyone still can see the front boards so I have no backs facing the board.
    Amy Spies: What else do you notice is similar?
    Amy Spies: I have found that having the students face each other and still have access to the board is important.
    Amy Spies: Where'd this come from, my goodness, I didn't see that before.
    +++ 00:00:36;16 +++
    Amy Spies: To helpe eliminate movement and have student have easy access to any materials or supplies that they need, I've grouped their four desks around a work station placed in the center and most of the supplies that students would need are located in the center. So they hve easy access. They're not moving around the room and they can get what they need without interrupting class time.

School Details

Cypress Creek Elementary School
6100 South Williamson Boulevard
Port Orange FL 32128
Population: 787

Data Provided By:



Amy Spies


Teaching Practice

All Grades / All Subjects / Collaboration

Teaching Practice

All Grades / All Subjects / Planning

Teaching Practice

All Grades / All Subjects / Engagement

Lesson Idea

Grades 9-12 / ELA / Tch DIY