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How a New Seating Arrangement Can Lead to a Happier, More Productive Classroom

When you think of your elementary school days, you likely recall mornings and afternoons spent at an old-fashioned wood and metal desk. For many American children of generations past, these single-student desks – often with built-in storage – were the ubiquitous symbol of school. However, studies of student behavior and development conducted with the most generation of learners show that perhaps this was a misstep.

Collaborative Seating – The New Way to Maximize Learning?

Many of today’s classrooms are moving toward less traditional seating arrangements. One of the most popular is arranging individual desks into groups that form a single, larger table. School furniture supply merchants sell a variety of desks that work for this seating style and come in many shapes and sizes to accommodate most users.

This seating format – sometimes referred to as collaborative or flexible seating – allows students to work together on group projects, offer each other feedback during cooperative classwork, as well as develop social skills during everyday interactions. Many modern teachers find that this arrangement not only encourages teamwork and community between their students, but is also flexible enough for nearly any group as it allows students and their desks to be moved easily and repeatedly.

Special Concerns for Special Needs Students

Of course, the same format for seating won’t work for every student any more than the same learning approach will. Some students may have attention or behavioral issues that make group seating and collaborative learning difficult. Others may have sensory or social issues to contend with, making sitting near fellow students less comfortable and more disruptive to their education.

Thankfully, there are seating solutions for every child at today’s school furniture supply retailers. Consult your local classroom supply and furniture merchant, or talk to your district’s budgeting staff about what is available within your classroom’s budget. You may find that the perfect desk for every child is different, but the effective and comfortable learning experience that each can enjoy with the right seat in class is wonderfully similar.

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