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13 Classroom Desk Arrangement Ideas

Back to School, Classroom Setup

Written by: Katie Palmer

Have you ever gotten the itch? Almost every school year, whether it is the beginning of the year, or the mid year I need a change now season, I get the itch to switch up my classroom desk or table arrangement. Like me, most teachers have a blast decorating their rooms, creating bulletin board masterpieces and making their classroom a home away from home. But one part of the classroom environment can be tough to figure out…classroom desk arrangement. This post will cover 13 classroom desk setup ides (and tables, too), with photos!

Desk Arrangements


When you see pictures of classrooms from any time period, you will see the desks in rows. This is because in many shaped classrooms this is how the desks fit best. However, what has changed is teachers putting their desks in “grouped” rows. What I mean by this is either pairing the desks up in 2s,3s, or one long row. This way the desks still fit great in the classroom and students can collaborate and be a community. And, all of your students will be facing the front of the room.

Photo Credit: Jessica Aldridge
Photo Credit: Taylor Nichole

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Another popular way to arrange student desks is in groups, or pods. Desks in groups allow for easy group work scenarios and build up classroom community. There are many ways to arrange desk groups from only a few desks, to large groups. Check out these examples below.

Photo Credit: Tiffany Francis

This teacher got creative and put her desks into varying sized groups of 2-3. The smaller group size also allows for more walking room between groups.

Photo Credit: Calle-Anne Garner Thompson

Now in this classroom, the teacher created much larger groups.This is a great option if you have a larger class. This teacher also varied the group size. One con to having bigger desk groups (or pods as some teachers call them), is the talking. However, teachers have amazing “teacher judgement” to determine which students should and should NOT be grouped together.

Photo Credit: Beth Doolin Hill

By facing two desks against the end of the group, this teacher still has large desk groups, without taking up as much room!

Photo Credit: Briana Celine

LOVE, love love this classroom desk arrangement! This arrangement groups four students together but also gives them some personal space and is visually appealing.

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Oddly Shaped Desks

Educational furniture companies have been stepping up their game and making desks/tables lightweight and sleek. They are also making them all sorts of shapes, including triangle desks. Although these desks are super cute, they can be hard to arrange into groups. BUT, thanks to the awesome teachers in our Lucky 2nd Grade Teachers Facebook Group, check out these cute ways to arrange triangle desks.

Photo Credit: Chelsea Bradfor

This teacher, having a large class, fit the triangles together with students facing every other way. This arrangement works great for collaboration, but would need clear expectations for students when it came to independent work time.

Photo Credit: Lindsey Seegers Dobbs

This desk arrangement is OH SO CUTE. The diamond shape in the middle, love!

U-Shaped & S-Shaped

A great way to establish a total classroom community feel AND have all students facing the front of the room is U or S-shaped arrangements. Once in the arrangement, teachers may have to move students around a bit to adjust their classroom volume.


Photo Credit: Earsy Crockett
Photo Credit: Kathryn Bernato Minerva


Photo Credit: Allie Drake

Table Arrangements

If your classroom has tables instead of desks, never fear! There are a few ways to rearrange the tables to give your classroom a fresh, new look.

Grouped Together

Photo Credit: Marti Byers

Pushing two tables together, like this teacher did, allows for a bigger student group and gives the students a large workspace.

Facing Different Directions

Photo Credit: Amanda Campbell

If you are looking to get away from the traditional tables in straight rows look, this might be the arrangement for you. It also might create more space!

Against the Wall

Photo Credit: Chelsey Harmon

This table arrangement is all about space saving, and might give students a nature view if they are by a window! By pushing the table against the wall, the middle of the room is left with more space. And, if is a small enough class, the table could even be flush against the wall to create even more space.

Hopefully these suggestions and photos help you create the classroom of your dreams! If you have now figured out your desk/table arrangement, it might be time for classroom decor! Did you know Lucky Little Learners has a Classroom Setup Packs that have everything you need to get your room ready and welcomig? Click below to start downloading ALL THE THINGS!

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  1. Private

    What about grouping ideas for large class sizes of 30-35 kids? Best tips?

  2. Penisher Carter

    What are the blue things on the student’s desk called? Looks like it can used for them to store their pencil when they aren’t using it?

    • Jess Dalrymple

      Those are student desk organizers! Just google “top of student desk organizers” and you’ll see lots of different options to choose from.


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