Assigned seating not working

Discussion in 'Middle School / Junior High' started by ScottUSF1, Apr 15, 2008.

  1. ScottUSF1

    ScottUSF1 Rookie

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    Apr 15, 2008

    Hi everybody,

    I have a particular period that bitterly refuses to sit in their assigned seats. It usually takes me the first 10 minutes of class to debate with each student why they need to be in their assigned desk. I've tried holding them back after class for all of the time they robbed from me, but they actually like that because they don't like their next teacher. I've done the usual detentions as well, but I was wondering if anyone has a creative solution to this problem that I can try?

    Thanks!
     
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  3. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Apr 15, 2008

    Have you tried allowing this group to sit where they want with the expectation that as long as you are teaching or someone else is speaking, they are not allowed to talk to their neighbors?

    Also, you don't have to explain to anyone why they have to sit in assigned seats. Its your classroom and they should respect the fact that this is a rule you have.
     
  4. Rockguykev

    Rockguykev Connoisseur

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    Apr 15, 2008

    At this point I would not let them sit where they want. If you had at the very beginning of the argument allowed it I could see it working but doing so now would make you look like a doormat.

    I know this may seem basic but have you called home on those who won't play along? Usually you just have to call until you find the catalyst who is driving this and that will end it. Alternatively you can, if your school allows it, send those students out of class. Holding them after doesn't work as it will make those kids who do play along resentful that they are being punished.
     
  5. Miss W

    Miss W Phenom

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    Apr 15, 2008

    I agree at this point to not let them sit where they choose. Maybe if they actually sat where they were supposed to for a preaggreed upon time, that could be an incentive.

    I wonder if you could add up the time that they waste, and on Fridays have class after school for that amount of time. Their parents would have to pick them up, and they might not be too happy about that. I'm not sure. That would be something you would have to have approved from the principal.
     
  6. teacherpippi

    teacherpippi Habitué

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    Here's something I tried for middle school students once- I assigned them colors (5 students each color- red, green, blue, yellow, orange, and purple). Then, I let them sit at a desk of that color (small dots of that color on the desks).

    The trick was, I gave students who didn't work well next to each other the same color and spread them out around the room. That way, they didn't sit next to each other and goof off, but they still had some choice in where to sit.
     
  7. Miss W

    Miss W Phenom

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    OOhHHhhh! Good idea.
     
  8. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Great idea!
     
  9. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    ohhh, I LIKE that idea. I was searching for a seating chart solution and I think you just provided it.
     
  10. Vegas Art Guy

    Vegas Art Guy Rookie

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    Apr 15, 2008

    OR, you can start referring kids to the dean and calling parents. The seating chart is non negotiable and should stay as such. Re-arrange the seating one time, warn the class that ANY argument gets them a dean's referral (fill them out ahead of time, I'm sure 5 names jumped out at you) and then start seating them. The first one that even starts to complain gets sent to the dean for class disruption, defiance and insubordination. Then the next day when they try to sit where they want send those to the dean. They'll get the hint very quickly assuming the dean's actually discipline the students...
     
  11. Loomistrout

    Loomistrout Devotee

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    Apr 15, 2008

    "If you do not structure the class for your goals the students will structure it for their goals." -FJ. Majority of students want to sit where they want so they can socialize and goof-off. If this is one of your goals, run with it. Assigned seating for most is a proactive investment to help keep teacher out of business of reacting to disruptions.

    There is no simple answer to your dilemma. It mainly has to do with Structure or teaching rules and routines. It has to do with the way the teacher greets students the first ten seconds of school year to terminating instruction at any time to reteach a rule or routine. It has to do with working the crowd and using proximity to say what your mouth was going to say. Anyway, if you are really interested in getting discipline off your back consider Fred Jones' Tools For Teaching and attending his seminar.
     
  12. ValinFW

    ValinFW Comrade

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    Apr 17, 2008

    Does your school have consequences for tardies? If so, you could start counting the students who are not in their assigned seats when the bell rings tardy.
     
  13. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Sidebar-I put into place the colored sticker thing and there has been major improvement in my classroom. All of my classes are happier and I get to keep students who should be seperated apart from each other. Thank you so much for the suggestion. I hope it continues to work so beautifully.
     
  14. ScottUSF1

    ScottUSF1 Rookie

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    Apr 24, 2008

    So I've tried the assigned seats by color this week and it seems to work for both the kids and myself. I did have to make some minor modifications to the original plan; I used those little colored stars on the desks to assign the colors, but 1st period stole them all. We just now have the rule that no two people of the same color can sit together at the table. Also, there are still certain students that want to buck the trend but after a couple of parent phone calls they've been straightened out. Overall though, it's been a great success and I'll probably carry it over for next school year. Thanks everybody for your help.

    Scott
     
  15. teacherpippi

    teacherpippi Habitué

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    Apr 24, 2008

    Glad to hear it's working out!
     
  16. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    Anytime I want to redo seating charts, I print the names on removeable ink-jet labels and put them on the desks before they arrive. They just have to find the name and have a seat. I've also used stickers--find the sticker that matches the one they get as they enter. (Same general idea as the colors.)

    Arguing with me over it is NEVER an option.
     
  17. Miss W

    Miss W Phenom

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    With mine, I have to physically move desks. I usually plan it out on paper the night before. It takes maybe 10 minutes to rearrange. Which reminds me. I need to move a round a group of 4 students.
     
  18. smarkham01

    smarkham01 Companion

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    Apr 28, 2008

    It works for me subbing (MS&HS). For those classes that I have a seating chart, I use the chart to take roll. Call the name three times and tell them that they have to sit where the chart shows them sitting. Otherwise they're marked absent. You say the teacher moved you but failed to update the chart? I'm really sorry, but you need to bring that up when the teacher is here.

    Gets a bit of grumbling in one of the districts I sub in, but it puts me firmly in control.
     
  19. cmw

    cmw Groupie

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    At the beginning of the year I do assigned seats to learn names quickly. I let my fifth graders choose their seats during the second quarter & my 4th during the third. I let them know once they choose a seat it goes on the seating chart so they cannot change seats. Every couple months I have them choose new ones. I always explain that their choice must work for me and them. If they are too chatty with their neighbor I will find them a new seat...that they will not like I'm sure. I have a few that I have moved, but overall most stay on task to be near their friends.
    I like the colors idea too though. :D
     
  20. touchinglives

    touchinglives Companion

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    I know this is not a new thread, but when I read what
    ScottUSF1 said about first period stealing all the stars, it cracked me up!
     
  21. Chef Dave

    Chef Dave Companion

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    Why are you debating with them? There shouldn't be any debates.

    Talk to your building administrator and make this person aware of your situation.

    After you have spoken to the administrator, give the students a choice. They may sit in their assigned seats or go to the office on a disciplinary referral for insubordination. As some of the other posters said, you should also contact the parents.

    Don't waste your time debating with students. The students are baiting you in the hope that you will give in. A secondary benefit is that they get to waste a lot of time in off task behavior.
     
  22. muinteoir

    muinteoir Companion

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    Jul 4, 2008

    Why are you debating with them? If they are not in their seats at the specified time, follow whatever protocol is in place for not following procedures.
     
  23. Ms.Jasztal

    Ms.Jasztal Maven

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    Now you know what to do for next year, and do not in any way accept debating/arguing.

    Even I notice with my former students (by seeing them as middle schoolers from time to time) that all they want to do is fit in. Teachers generally aren't the first thing on their minds at this age. Even good kids shed their good reputations to look cool, and if the "cool" kid is arguing, then they'll think that's what they should try to look better to the others. The first things on their minds are the opposite sex, MySpace, music, their cell phones, and when they'll go skateboarding (or whichever hobby).
     
  24. Tenured

    Tenured Rookie

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    To the O.P. - I have watched similar stuff happen at my school with other teachers. May I ask, did you START school with a seating chart? Everytime I have seen kids/classes refuse to sit where they are told is when they were first allowed to choose their own seats. I have even seen the same kids move from my class (w/ assigned seats) to the next door class (w/ assigned seats) and the teacher wonders why they can't get them too. To me, it's always because they were first allowed to sit anywhere and they don't want to give up that privaledge (which they view as a right)

    Kids walk in on the first day of school. They always ask, "where do we sit" and I tell them "anywhere for now, because you'll get assigned seats just as soon as class starts"

    I call roll, I then get them into their seats. I have NEVER had a kid refuse. I have had them moan and groan when I've moved them individually, but the bottom line is they moved.

    Your kids simply think seating charts are optional




    so basically, if you can't enforce a rule, just let them do whatever they were doing in the first place????

    I can't believe this advice is coming from anyone who has ever worked with kids.

    If they followed rules of conduct like 'no talking while teacher is speaking' the teacher wouldn't be trying to put them in assigned seats, now would she?



    problem is, she lost respect in this classroom a LONG time ago. Personality (being the alpha of the room) is a necessity in a classroom and this teacher was more interested in being the 'cool teacher' that tried to let kids have adult responsibilities WAY before they are ready.




    I have taught middle and highschool from grades 6-12. I put a 19 y.o. senior in an assigned seat just as quickly as I put an 11 y.o. 6th grader
     
  25. Tenured

    Tenured Rookie

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    Why is 90% of the advice on this thread about choice, or giving incentive to convince them to sit where the teacher tells them?
    (ie - bribing them) All you teach them is if a boss tells them to do something they don't like, they drag their feet and maybe they can get something out of it first. I don't bribe my kids for their good behavior, I expect it, from day 1.
     
  26. paperheart

    paperheart Groupie

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    I had 1 issue with that last year...I never really solved it. I just told the students to move. It was irritating.

    The color idea sounds great. I am working on including more choice into my classroom next year. How do you deal with students who must sit somewhere specific due to an IEP requirement? I tend to have 2-6 students/class who need to sit in proximity to me and/or the front of the room.
     
  27. MrL

    MrL Companion

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    I actually realized my second year that my desk setup was totally inefficient, so I rearranged all the tables. If possible, see if you could do a better pattern.

    I tell my students that sitting in an unassigned seat counts as a tardy. Tardies will trigger phone calls & detentions. I also use gentle reminders. Rather than "Shameir, you're in the wrong seat!" I say, "Shameir, did you forget your seat today?" Some of the kids really just forget sometimes.
     
  28. TeacherSandra

    TeacherSandra Enthusiast

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    {snicker, snicker here}; I LOVE IT! :2up:
     
  29. stepka

    stepka Comrade

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    I'm not a teacher yet, but I just read a great suggestion for dealing with kids who don't mind detention: play the un-coolest music you can find while they're staying after. A couple of German polkas and some yodeling will keep those guys in line. Maybe a preschool song or two. I just can't wait to be a teacher.:whistle: Of course this works best with the middle school kids.
     

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