For this week's Tried It Tuesday linky from Fourth Grade Flipper, I tried switching from desks to tables.
We departmentalized the year I switched rooms. I grew tired of hearing students complain their pencils, pens, scissors, glue, etc. had been taken. Last year, I turned all the desks backwards to form tables, and made students keep supplies only in their cubbies.
This year, I took the plunge, and swapped desks for the round tables. I decided tables freed up walk space. The cubbies had reduced the amount of visual clutter. The round tables, although they don't all match, are more visually appealing and lend themselves to collaborative work and discussion, a must in my classroom. The tables do encourage a little extra talking, but when students have the opportunity to choose their seats, they will fight to keep them. Excessive talking moves them to the "time out" table.
What things have you tried that made a difference in your classroom? Link Up!