Considerations for Furniture Arrangement in a Differentiated Classroom

Considerations for Furniture Arrangement in a Differentiated Classroom
Teachers desk Teacher’s desk

  • Not in a central location but out of the way*
  • Away from students’ desks
Students desks Students’ desks

  • Arranged so that the teacher can walk around and monitor students
  • Options that address individual’s need for space or close proximity to peers
  • One group of four to eight desks for students who need to work independently (e.g., students who prefer to work alone, students who get overstimulated and need down time)
book shelf Storage (e.g., bookcases, filing cabinets, shelves)

  • Ample storage for a variety of materials and supplies
  • Easily accessible and do not require walking through work areas
  • If frequently used, located in a convenient location (e.g., next to work area)
  • If not frequently used, located in an out-of-the-way location (e.g., a corner)
students around table Small-group work areas

  • Tables (rather than individual desks) to promote collaboration
  • U-shaped tables to promote discussion among students
  • Area rugs for use with younger students
Centers Centers

  • Visible to the teacher
  • Out of the way so as to not distract other students

Adapted from Tomlinson & Imbeau (2010).

* Note: In a differentiated classroom, teachers seldom use their desk during instructional time.

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