Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Layout Update

My row/table post the other day seemed to get some people thinking, so I thought I'd post a little mini follow up with what I did this past year.

The layouts that I posted were from the classroom that I was in two years ago when I made the switch over to tables.  This past year I was moved to a different room that was more horizontal so I had a little bit of a different set up that I actually liked better.  I also set things up using tables right from the start so tables were the norm.

This was the room this year.

What my room looks like most days

With the tables I made kids responsible for different things.

Here's what I had going on...

These were the three big jobs.
  • Supplies: One kid was in charge of taking note whether we were adding ISN pages for the day.  If so, he was in charge of stopping at the "Paper Area" on his way in and picking up enough copies of everything for everyone in his group.
  • Trash: Another kid was in charge of picking up the table trash can from the "Trash Area" on his way in.  They knew whether or not they needed it today based on whether the trash buckets were out or not.  At the end of the period it was this kid's job to just empty the trash bucket and leave it on the desk by the door.
  • Organizer: Each table had a basket that held all the ISN supplies (tape, highlighters, colored pencils, scissors, etc).  I'm a super organizer person so it was necessary that each supply was perfectly in place before the kids could leave each day.  The organizer was in charge of making that happen. 
They got used to their jobs and things ran so smoothly this way.

Also worth mentioning is that I'm still not ready to give up rows for assessments.  I don't want kids dealing with putting up barriers and whatnot so all I have to say to them is, "spin the desks front today" and my room looks like this:

Testing Seats

If I'm only testing for one period I'll tell them to put the desks back at the end.  Again, it was a routine so they were completely ok with it.  I love how kids can be so flexible and go with the flow as long as they know what to do.

Another bit about tables is that if I can avoid it, I don't like to ever fill a table all the way with kids.  Three kids at a table is my ideal number.  So although I had tables of five, I didn't actually have five kids together (except for my bigger classes where it was unavoidable at one or two tables).  I like at least one empty seat if possible so that I can sit down with kids as I walk around and help them.


  1. You said that you keep one supply basket at each table. How do you manage this with desks? I can imagine my baskets getting shifted from one desk to another, then it lands on the floor.

    1. Haha well they do land on the floor every once in a while. It's pretty rare though, they kids are good at figuring it out. I also stopped moving desks for assessments, the kids just but stuff between them to block their views.

  2. I get the impression that desks aren't getting shifted that often (only for assessments?) & then there wouldn't be the basket on the 'table' (set of desks). Hope this helps.