Assigned seating or not?

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by a teacher, Aug 3, 2016.

  1. a teacher

    a teacher Cohort

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    Hi everyone. How do you seat students when they come in the first day of school? I know many let them sit where they want. My problem with that is I don't want them talking to their friends when I am introducing the class- I want full attention. I also want them to be a little off balance so they are more cautious and focused. Lastly, it sends a message that I am the one who decides classroom policy.

    My method on the first day is a bit tedious though, so I am looking for suggestions on how to get them in and seated fast.

    I am also looking for a good free program or website for creating seating charts. I hope someone can help with this, as I prefer recommendations. Thanks.
     
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  3. geoteacher

    geoteacher Habitué

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    I assign seats right away. I am not so worried about talking as I am about my ability to quickly learn their names. Does your school utilize a SIS or LMS? Many of them have seating chart sections built right in. I really like the one on Canvas because students can also use it to take attendance via the SmartBoard.
     
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  4. a teacher

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    I am looking for a program I can just download for free and use. Can Canvas do that?
     
  5. beccmo

    beccmo Comrade

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    Sophomores have assigned seats. My senior level courses are small. They will get the privilege (and I make a big deal of this) of choosing their seats in the front of the room. I reserve the right to-and have- assign seats to seniors who cannot behave appropriately.
     
  6. Mr.Literature

    Mr.Literature Companion

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    I teach 8th graders and the thought of allowing them to pick their seats is scary. On our gradebook we have access to their scores. I basically group them by their levels. I like to have at least one higher level kid paired up with a lower level child. And if they happen to be sitting next to a friend, then they lucked out. Nothing is forever though. If I need to make adjustments, I'll do it quickly.

    The first couple of weeks are their honeymoon phase though. They were relatively great last year. It was a couple of weeks into it that the behaviors started to make an appearance.
     
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  7. Rockguykev

    Rockguykev Connoisseur

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    I give them a card when they walk through the door that they then match to a desk. I do not understand why anyone who waste time calling out seats as the first impression of their class.
     
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  8. Mr.Literature

    Mr.Literature Companion

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    I teach 8th grade ELA. What does this mean? I have them for around 90 minutes. I've got nothing but time.
     
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  9. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    Giving a choice of seating assignment is something that needs to be earned in my classes. No one has earned anything on Day 1, or even Day 20. MAYBE, then we will talk!
     
  10. agdamity

    agdamity Fanatic

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    I do not assign seats immediately on the first day. I let them come in and sit by their friends so I know who to separate! :)
     
  11. Mr.Literature

    Mr.Literature Companion

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    That's actually really hilarious. Halfway through class, "I know who your friends are now! Get up and move!" :cool:
     
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  12. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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  13. GTB4GT

    GTB4GT Cohort

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    I make them sit alphabetically by last name on the first day. It helps me learn names easier and it sets the tone that I am in charge of where they sit. Most times, letting the students choose is a recipe for disaster early on. if they earn the right to sit where they please, I may loosen up
     
  14. Mr.Literature

    Mr.Literature Companion

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    Lol last year I had a few of those. Can't say I didn't love them. Those kids knew how to make me smile
     
  15. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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    Oh mine tested me. FOR SURE! They love to see where those boundaries are.
     
  16. agdamity

    agdamity Fanatic

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    Works like a charm every year!! They always think it's really cool they get to choose their seats, so I get some street cred.
     
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  17. agdamity

    agdamity Fanatic

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    I've been known to sit my biggest talkers with each other. They talk each other's heads off, but they leave everybody else alone. Of course, it was a last resort, but there are actually some kids who can talk and get their work done.
     
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  18. a teacher

    a teacher Cohort

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    Ok, so what I'm getting here is that if you let them choose their seats, they will be happier with you, but will talk too much. I don't want to risk that, and also if they never got to choose their seats in the first place, they won't get upset when you have to move them.

    But how do I get them seated when they first come in? Someone mentioned giving them numbers, but wouldn't that be random as opposed to alphabetical?

    Also, I still need recommendations for a seating chart program, please.
     
  19. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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    I do horseshoe seating and boy girl boy girl until I run out and then just randomly pair the left overs. I don't do alpha because I never plan on keeping them that way. What I may end up doing is printing out their pictures and posting them on the desks to help me. :) I had these desks so I wrote their names in chalk marker. It was fantastic.

    [​IMG]
     
  20. beccmo

    beccmo Comrade

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    I have student names on index cards placed at the assigned seats. Students walk into class and find their seat. Bellringer for day 1. I then collect the cards and save them in case I find the need to change assigned seats.
     
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  21. a teacher

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    Okay that makes sense. What's "Bellringer"? Also, doesn't it take time to make all the index cards for 100-200 students?
     
  22. a teacher

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    How long does this take?
     
  23. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    I know this goes against everything most of you are saying but I do let them choose their seats. First day they come in, I tell them to have a seat. If most of them are trying to sit in the back, I ask them to move closer, I don't need every seat in the front filled, I'd actually rather have some empty seats here and there, but I don't want everyone trying to avoid the front.
    I tell them we do have assigned seating, but FOR NOW where they're sitting is fine. They like it, because I'm letting them sit where they want. They sort of feel like I'm treating them as adults.
    I do let them know, and emphasize it, that that seat does not belong to them, and any time I see fit, I will move them and they will move without a question.

    This has worked for me for 3 years. I don't think that students look at me as giving up control, I think they see it as being reasonable. I have moved student of course, but there are those students who don't care where you seat them, they will talk to anyone and everyone, and those are the real problems, not the majority.

    This year I will not know most of the students so I'm gonna have to learn a lot of new names and fast. Assigned seating actually helps with that, and it makes taking attendance so easy.
     
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  24. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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    How long does what take?
     
  25. Mr.Literature

    Mr.Literature Companion

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    Are you at the high school level? The level of maturity is different. I definitely think what you do is valid for high school students. But I've tried to give my students the opportunity to sit where they want, and it just doesn't work. They have such little self-control because of their age. I don't blame them, I just avoid unpleasant situations by assigning seats.
     
  26. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    Those of you who let your kids choose their own seats, how do you handle seating accommodations from a kid's IEP?

    Just curious.
     
  27. a teacher

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    Writing everyone's name on every desk every period.
     
  28. a teacher

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    Aren't you inviting problems as kids who sit with their friends may talk to them while you are giving instruction as well as feel entitled to sit where they chose and challenge your authority when you decide to move them?
     
  29. jadorelafrance

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    I had this issue when I allowed my senior class last year this privilege...

    That won't happen again.
     
  30. agdamity

    agdamity Fanatic

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    The only seating accommodation I've seen on an IEP is preferential seating, which my sped teachers have explained to me as meaning a seat that works for the student. It doesn't have to be at the front.
     
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  31. beccmo

    beccmo Comrade

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    I only do this for my sophomore classes, so at most I have 75 cards. I have written out cards myself when I have a smaller amount. Best way for as many as you have would be to have students write or decorate their own on the first day of school (so no assigned seats this day). By "Bellringer" I mean warm-up activity--some 3 minute thing (for me usually a question relating to the previous day or homework assignment) for students to do at the bell while I take attendance and such. I find the younger high school students need this.
     
  32. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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    I didn't write everyone's names on the desks every period. I taught third grade so had my kids all day.
    If you did teach MS/HS, you could simply write more than one kid's name on the desk. That's what I did when we swapped kids for math & ELA interventions.
     
  33. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    I have a much different teaching assignment than most of you. I have grade 3 to grade 8 in my room. Even when I have had nuch younger students, I have never assigned seats. I tell them from day 1 that I reserve the authority to move seats if a problem occurs. Most of the time the teacher glare solves any issues.
     
  34. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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    [​IMG]
     
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  35. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    That's it :)
     
  36. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    I don't assign seats the first day. When the students arrive, they are invited to take any one of the seats where they will be able to work. I learn a lot about the students as I watch them find seats--who the friends are, who everyone wants to sit with, who no one wants to sit with, who doesn't have any friends in the class. I let the kids know that I will move them if they have chosen a spot where they aren't able to work.

    I do new seating arrangements at least once a month; sometimes I choose where the kids sit and sometimes they make the choices. I do like to give them as much ownership of their learning environment as I can.
     
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  37. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    I let mine choose their seats for the first couple days. It allows me to get a feel for personalities and class dynamics. I know immediately who to separate. Usually they're really good for a little bit. In 5 years, I've only had to move people once in that first week. I usually end up assigning seats for most of my regular sophomores, but everyone else usually demonstrates they can behave and sit by their friends.

    I am exceptionally good with names though too.

    If I assigned seats, I would hand out cards that matched with a seat so we didn't waste any time.
     
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  38. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    Usually by the time I get them in high school, they sit according to their plan because they know it really does help. If they don't, I usually talk with them and sometimes with the SPED teacher.

     
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  39. fjaravata

    fjaravata Rookie

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    I also let my 5-8th grade students to choose wisely and freely--with the emphasis on wisely of course.
     
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  40. a teacher

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    Can someone please respond to the issue of friends talking from day one and interruptions? It seems most of you let kids of all ages sit together with friends. But what is the payoff for you? You risk having to discipline a child when if they were in a random seat of your choosing they would not be talking to a friend when you are giving instruction. Is there something wrong with alphabetized seating?

    Also, I know many of you must have digital seating charts. WHAT are you using???
     
  41. mckbearcat48

    mckbearcat48 Cohort

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    Most of the LMS I know of have seating charts options in the Class Management section.
     

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