The placement of desks is important to foster different types of activities. For example, placing desks together in small groups allows students to collaborate. For large group discussions, setting the desks in a U-shape or in a circle would be better.
“Arrange the room so that you can make eye contact with every student and reach every student with ease."¹ Teachers can also rearrange their room at the end of each month or at the end of each unit in order to allow all children to cooperate with all other students.
The physical layout should also represent and reflect the teacher. Plants, rugs, posters, and other artwork and decorations can make students feel more comfortable. Other important environmental features include temperature, lighting, and noise level.¹ Easily accessible materials and supplies can eliminate delays, disruptions, and confusion among students.
Teachers should create both a well-lit and dimly lit area in the classroom. Allow students to sit where they are more comfortable. Teachers should also establish informal furniture arrangements. For young children, sitting in a chair is uncomfortable and may cause fatigue, discomfort, and the need for frequent changes in posture.¹
“Creating a caring, child-centered environment takes lots of thought and planning … basic bulletin boards are not enough. I believe in a very colorful classroom with posters, functional bulletin boards, and other ‘interesting’ items to enhance the environment, such as a small refrigerator, TV, and a stereo system with a CD player."¹
1. Scholastic. Classroom Organization: The Physical Environment. Retrieved May 14, 2014, from http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/article/classroom-organization-physical-environment