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SEL Series – Let’s Focus

Using Seating Arrangements in the Classroom

I was speaking with a friend one day and we got into a discussion about her productivity levels. She is currently a graduate student and also teaches. She explained to me that classroom and study environments are tremendously impactful on student’s ability to focus and stay engaged in the classroom. “Personally, I really do well in naturally lit areas, and spaces with comfy chairs. One of the most fascinating aspects about classrooms are how they are arranged. The board and teacher direct attention to the front, usually if the room is square, and the seating arrangements help provide structure for the students and give organization to the space”, she explained. That’s when I chimed in! I asked, “Did you know that seating arrangements significantly influence the learning process for students with ADHD?” She explained that this was new news to her!

Researches have reported that seating arrangements affect the learning process. Students with ADHD who are not correctly seated in the classroom may be a cause for the decline of student achievement, attention span, concentration, comprehension, and the retaining of information.

If you have a student with ADHD here are some quick tips for seating them.

● Seat the student with ADHD away from distractions and close to the   teaching action.

● Place the student near instruction so the teacher can monitor the student’s work.

● Place the student by peers who are attentive workers.

● Place the student away from distractions such as windows, the pencil sharpener, the door, and other high-traffic areas.

● Add distance between student desks.

● For independent work, use desks with attached chairs rather than tables where several students are seated.

Seating arrangements play a very large role in how children perform in school. So it’s wise if you select an arrangement that suits the personality of each class you get.



Tiana Brown is the Assistant Director of the Norwalk Housing Authority Learning Centers


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