Classroom Layout

Characteristics of an Effective Classroom Layout:

  • Gathering Area: A carpet or zone for group instruction
  • Small Groups of Desks: Desks arranged for cooperative learning activities (students backs should not face teacher)
  • Small Gathering Table: Gathering table for small group instruction
  • Word Walls / Math Walls: Wall space dedicated for student learning and reference
  • Library Area & Reading Area: Classroom books and designate area for student reading activities
  • Computer Area: Computer stations for computer learning activities
  • Smart Board: If provided by district, interactive learning space
  • Shelving /Storage: Storage bins for learning materials and hands on activities
  • Assignment Bin: Designated area for students to turn in work
  • Reference Shelf:  Reference materials should be easily accessed by students
  • Student Personal Storage: Storage area for backpacks/coats

Sample Classroom Layout:


According to Marzano, “The general principle guiding classroom organization is to create physical conditions that facilitate and support teaching and learning” (p.121). This floor plan demonstrates this principle by creating space for a variety of teaching strategies. The teacher can provide whole class instruction at the overhead/smartboard, or to a small group at either of the group tables. There is also a space at the reading rug for guided reading activities, and a computer station for student work. There is plenty of shelf space for books, materials, and student belongings. Additionally, there is a large amount of wall space available for charts, posters, and word walls. This simplistic and organized floor plan allows for student collaboration and access to materials. It also supports varied instructional techniques. The classroom layout may be switched throughout the year to further benefit student learning.



Marzano, R. J. (2007). The Art and Science of Teaching: A Comprehensive Framework for Effective Instruction. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.