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Possible seating arrangements in the classroom Seating arrangements in a classroom are very important to vary the learning, build community, keep students engaged in their learning and allow the teacher to continually assess how the students are progressing. There are a variety of possible seating arrangements. I will discuss these possibilities in my essay. A circle setup is useful for creating a community feel. Desks can be moved to create a circle or a circle can be made by sitting or standing. Circles are a great way to get to know your students a little better at the beginning of a class. It allows the teacher to be in the same space as the students to better listen to pronunciations, vocabulary retention, and content of conversations or work. There are many games and teaching ideas available for circles. If it is a big class, several smaller circles could be used. The U-shaped table or arrangement of desks enables the teacher to be at the center, but also able to walk around the middle to see how students are doing. This setup is ideal for whole group discussions and partner work. Round tables are great for small group work. However, this setup could pose problems for whole-class work in terms of keeping all students engaged during the lesson. Rectangle tables can be used in a variety of ways. Students can be seated around the whole table, or if the class is small enough one or two students per table. It is also possible to make a U-shape or a square with the tables to make a cohesive group. Depending on the arrangement of the tables, students can participate in whole-class discussions, partner work, and individual work. A traditional desk setup is the best for individual work. It may be necessary for very large classes. Even in this case, it still may be possible to turn the desks to allow for partner or small group work. In some cases, it may also be possible to re-arrange the desks into a large semi-circle leaving a large open space in the middle of the room, which could then be used for activities such as role-playing or circle games. In most instances, the seating arrangement will be predetermined by the school or availability of classroom furniture. A creative teacher can use this to his/her advantage by making full use of the tools they are given. A varied seating arrangement helps keep the attention of the students in the class and will help keep them engaged during the lesson. When possible the type of task should determine the seating arrangement. If students are in the study phase and using a worksheet, individual or partner work may be appropriate. If students are in the active phase and role-playing, perhaps an open area would be advantageous. The seating arrangement also depends on the role of the teacher within the task at hand. Depending on the task, the teacher can observe from afar or possibly need to be very close to the students. Overall, I think a varied arrangement of seating is ideal. When possible, a different seating option is a great way to keep students engaged and interested during a lesson. If there is no option for a varied seating arrangement during a lesson, a teacher should ensure that the students are moving or standing up at different times during the lesson. A varied seating arrangement can be a great tool in the classroom. Many possible seating arrangements that can be used in a variety of different situations within a classroom. Depending on the teaching space and what is available in your teaching location may determine the type of seating options available to you. It is important to take full advantage of all of your options.