Arrangement of Furniture and Use of Physical Resources
The arrangement of furniture in a classroom can have an effect on learning and teachers preference ondelivering instruction. Room arrangements, placement of classroom furniture and student seating provisions reflects the teachers’ style of teaching. By changing the physical space in a classroom teacherscan facilitate student interaction, activity structure, learning centers, and student transitions. Theclassroom furniture has a direct relationship in facilitating learning functions and can be identified inthree basic formations, rows, circles, and clusters.The traditional formation of classroom seating is rows and columns. When classrooms are organized inrows the teacher wants the attention focused in one direction, usually toward a podium or teachers desk.This type of formal classroom arrangement indicates less student to student collaboration and moreteacher directed instruction. It is important to note that classroom seating arrangements to encouragestudent collaboration has a tendency to decline in secondary settings.The circle arrangement of student seating is useful for class discussions and independent seatwork. Thecircle formation allows students to view each other from across the class and helps teacher monitoring of seatwork. The downside of the circle classroom seating arrangement is that some students will face theteachers back during presentations and demonstrations. Semicircles best fits room arrangements for classroom discussions with the teacher making direct eye contact with students.Student seating cluster furniture arrangements are useful for cooperative learning, collaborativeinstruction, group discussions, or project based task where students use learning time to interact. Thecluster seating arrangement is prominent in those classrooms where teachers provide time for students towork cooperatively on activities and grouping of students is part of the learning structure.
Strategies for Assessing Arrangement of Furniture and Use of Physical Resources
To assess teacher performance in the use of physical resources the principal would observe the classroomin terms of where desk are located and teacher’s. For example, the evaluator conducts a walkthroughobservation and recognizes that two students are isolated in the back corner of the room while the teacher is providing a guided lesson. During the guided lesson the teacher interacts with the class on importantinformation that is needed to complete the assignment while having little interaction with the students inthe back of the room.In this case the evaluator would want to address the guided activity by making a reflective statement suchas; “I liked the way you demonstrated each step of the math problem while asking students to give their own ideas. I noticed that there was a lot of participation with students in the front of the room where the