Changing the layout of your classroom can be an intimidating task, and the simple rearrangement of tables and chairs is often taken for granted.
Many teachers just accept the layout of the classroom as the find it, and then never change it throughout the duration of the curriculum, but why don’t they change it?
Changing the layout can have a huge impact on the success of a lesson and enable each learner to participate effectively and meet their individual needs.
In this short article we look at three layout options and discuss the benefits of each.
Classroom layout 1 – Traditional
This layout is the most common and traditional classroom structure. It enables the learners to focus individually on their own work whilst being directed towards the front of the classroom. It limits interaction between learners and supports a lecture style lesson with note taking. This layout is good for visual and auditory learning styles but all the learning comes from listening and watching the teacher.
Classroom layout 2 – U Shape
This layout draws attention to the middle of the room which has a large area for the teacher to walk around, demonstrate, or enable activities for group participation. It encourages learners to interact with each other as they can see everyone in the class and it supports interactive lessons. To create a fully interactive lesson you can take away the desks so that learners are sitting on chairs in this shape. This is great from drama lessons or lessons which involve practical activities. This layout is good for visual, auditory, and great for kinesthetic learning styles.
Classroom layout 3- Groups
This layout arranges learners in small or large groups. It enables learners to focus on their own group as they are all looking at members in their designated team. It supports group interaction and tasks, and encourages team work. The teacher can arrange learners so that strong and weak learners are in the same group to allow stronger learners to support the weaker ones. It enables the teacher to deliver part of the lesson and set a group task with a time limit. The teacher can then spend time with each group separately. This layout is good for all three learning styles depending on the group task set.
In this short article we have looked at three types of classroom layouts and how you can pick the best one for your learners. There are many more that you can use and whatever layout you chose to try, just remember to always relate it to your learners.
Go on, we challenge you to try a new layout and would love to hear how it worked for your lesson.
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