New Desk Arrangment and Christmas in July Continued! - Queen of the First Grade Jungle

New Desk Arrangment and Christmas in July Continued!

My teammates and I have lots of discussions about seating arrangements.  They like rows.  I prefer group seating.  To each their own, but hear me out.

1.  Cooperative Learning.  My first year teaching I was blessed to attend a full week training on cooperative learning at the Kagan Institute.  Kagan stresses the importance of engagement and accountability which you can accomplish through structured group work.  

2.  Communication.  I am going to make myself feel really old here, but now more than ever we need to teach our children to communicate.  So many of our kids sit in front of televisions, ipads, ipods, or iphones without having to speak to other human beings. They need us to show them how to speak purposefully and kindly.

3.  Relationships.  Kids build great relationships with each other during the school day.  Let me give you an example.  I had a little girl come to my class from Mexico last year.  She knew zero English.  She was scared out of her mind. I purposefully sat her beside a kind and chatty little girl.  They became the best of friends and were inseparable by October.  I attribute their friendship  as the majority of the reason my little girl from Mexico learned to speak English proficiently by the end of the year.

For all of these reasons...I will be heading into my 9th year of teaching with kids in groups of four, but this year with a little twist. 

I love having desks simply because I hate wasted time.  When I ask my kids to get out their math books, I really dislike waiting for the math books to be passed out.  I also like that desks teach kids responsibility.  I do think that there may have been too much in my students' desks this year so I love the added table storage that I have going on here. My inspiration comes from this adorable photo here:

I will be adding labels to the front of the containers and table numbers to my caddies as well, but I wanted you to have a teeny peek in what is going on in my room!

In other news for Christmas in July I am putting my Superhero Back to School Unit on SALE today and tomorrow! You can snag it for a really good deal!

Here are my own cuties using my unit at home!

your photo name


  1. I completely agree about groups vs. rows! All of those skills you mentioned are so important for kids to work on. They model the "real" world and are some of the skills they'll need to be successful later in life. Good for you for sticking to what you know to be important for kids today.

  2. I agree with you about groups vs. rows. Last year was the first year I used drawers with caddies on top of them. My kids kept some things in their desks. All other things were kept in drawers. The only thing I struggled with was when I changed their seating. We then had to go through all the drawers and rearrange those as well. I can't wait to see what I have this year in a brand new classroom with all new furniture. I love your caddies. :)

  3. Anxious to hear what you are going to put inside the bins and caddies!

    For the Love of First Grade

  4. This is making me feel a little better about having desk. I really want tables but I love this!!

  5. Where did you find your caddies?

  6. I've never thought of putting an organizer with drawers with the student tables. We don't have individual desks so we do a lot of community supplies. I think that might help with that organization so much! Thank you for sharing!

    Not Just Child's Play

  7. I also always have kids in groups! Love how it gives them a chance to interact with each other throughout the day. I love the new table grouping. Great idea to keep everything there for them while still having them in groups.

    Team V's Second Grade Fun

  8. I ♥ the cart for each group!
    Our K and 1st classroom have tables and use seat sacks for the chairs. I really like the set-up, but desks would be easier to move around. Love your pictures :)

  9. I love this set up...last year I taught kindergarten and they had tables..I was ok with it, but hated not having the flexibility to really move kids around. This year I'm back in first and they have desks...I am so excited! :)


  10. I also agree with cooperative groups. I have always had success using this type of seating arrangement. I, too, hate wasting time by having to pass out materials. I LOVE this idea. Adding it to my "To Do" list! Thanks for sharing!

  11. You go, Katie!!! I agree 150% with you in all aspects and points in your post! I LOVE the desk arrangements. They are so cute and simple but very sensible. We have tables and chairs and use chair pockets. I threw them away, so I don't know what I'll use this year. Thanks for all your posts and sharing with all of us!

  12. What do you have the students put in the 3 drawer storage container?

  13. I tried something like this when I had a homeroom and I really liked it. I like that you added the storage, but I also want to know what you plan on putting in the drawers. I have a small group literacy class with 7 students, so it would be an odd number, but I could easily use the 8th desk as storage.


  14. Missed the sale but this pack is totally in my cart, especially because our schools theme this year is superhero!
    Ms. K/1 ELL
    A Teacher's Plan

  15. Love it! Thanks for the shout out ;)

  16. Saw something similar while subbing (they even had kleenex boxes) and did something similar in my own room one year. Where I am now, we have oddly shaped trapezoid desks that are large, heavy, and hard to maneuver. I have table groups this year but due to our high classroom numbers, there is not a spare inch for a storage unit. However, because of the trapezoid shape of the desk, a diamond shaped gap/hole results when four desks are put together. I'm straining my brain for how I could use that odd space. Yours will be great!

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