Assigned seating or not?

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

  1. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    Aug 10, 2016

    Are the names big enough to see? Really? Common sense says the names must be big enough to see so that students can see them. Otherwise, it wouldn't work. Loose or tape them, doesn't that really have a lot to do with the students in your school, your desk, and your trust in students. Since you seem to have little faith in students, you probably should tape them.

    I'm having trouble believing this is for real. I'd certainly be embarrassed to ask some of the questions you asked. Are the names projected large enough to see? I expect you wouldn't see the answer, "Well, no. I project them so small that the students can't see them and set them up to fail from day one allowing me to see all students as problems so I can claim the students are the problem."
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2016
  2. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    Aug 10, 2016

    Funny, I saw arguments that showed value for allowing students to sit where they wanted. I believe you just didn't value their opinions because it doesn't match your preconceived opinion.
     
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  3. a teacher

    a teacher Cohort

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    What are you talking about? You are not making sense!
     
  4. a teacher

    a teacher Cohort

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    Wrong. No arguments made.
     
  5. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    Aug 10, 2016

    Ok, raise your hands....

    who here has rearranged their seating chart to eliminate certain issues in class, only to find that the new arrangement is worse?
     
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  6. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    Ha, ha, 2ndTime! So true.
     
  7. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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    Aug 10, 2016

    Teaching is like those books where you can "choose your path" and accept the consequences. Do I go through the castle and face what's inside or go around and tough it out through the enchanted forest?

    LOL :rofl::toofunny:
    I just try to select the option that will have the least fall out and keep the classroom as calm as possible.
     
  8. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    Wow! Wish that quote was in every teacher's lounge in America.
     
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  9. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Aug 13, 2016

    classcharts.com is a great app for seating charts. You just upload an excel sheet with their names and you can add other information as well, and you can change the room configuration around however you want.

    It can randomly assign students to seats, you can seat based on gender, or even customizable criteria. I used to film myself teaching for lesson studies and I had to get permission slips from parents. So I sat those I got slips from at the front and those without it at the back so they wouldn't show up in the film all with the click of a button. You can also "pin" certain students to an area, or have them listed as front-preference or back-preference (if you need to meet IEP requirements). The app will sit them at the front or back as specified.

    If you use the classroom management function of it (you can give or take away points based on behavior), you can group kids by behavior. The whole school version even has some kind of AI system that can tell which students work better with whom and will seat them that way. You have to pay for that though, and I never tried it.

    As for my preference, I prefer to seat kids myself, from the first day of school to the last. I also don't put much stock in changing seats (at least for a long period of time) because of behavior. Students know that I expect good behavior from them whether they're sitting with their friends, or someone they don't know. I don't care, and the consequences will be applied the same way for rule-breaking regardless. I change around my seating twice a quarter to mix things up (again just a click of a button!), but I'm trying to get better at doing more things where students have to work with other people from around the classroom. One of my goals this year.

    I only change my assigned seating if it's requested by the parent, in an IEP, or the student voices some valid concerns.

    That said, that is just my preference. There are valid reasons for having free seating, especially if it works with your population.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2016
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  10. a teacher

    a teacher Cohort

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    Aug 13, 2016

    Thanks! I am assuming this app is free? But is it only an app? I want a program for my computer. I don't want to try to manage all that stuff on my phone.
     
  11. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    Aug 13, 2016

    Typed in the link given, classcharts.com, got this: https://www.classcharts.com/

    Not too hard to check out, is it?
     
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  12. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Yeah. It runs in the browser. There's no app for it (yet). Though you can access it on your phone or ipad if you want. It seems as though they're pushing their paid version a lot harder now, so it's not as obvious that you can create an account without signing up for a demo. Just click "Sign-Up" at the top of of the page and that will set you up with a free account.

    Though it does look like they added new features to both the free and paid versions, which is interesting.
     
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  13. a teacher

    a teacher Cohort

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    Aug 14, 2016

    Thanks! I will definitely check it out!
     
  14. GPC0321

    GPC0321 Companion

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    Aug 15, 2016

    Entering my 15th year teaching high school and I've done both. There are pros and cons to both, and honestly, if you're a good teacher that keeps kids engaged from bell to bell and empowers them to be responsible for their own choices in class, where they sit is of little consequence. I think letting them sit where they want and reminding them this is a privilege that can be removed is an effective strategy. It puts the responsibility on them to behave because they don't want to be moved. Put them in a seating chart and without fail there will be at least one kid who immediately asks if he/she can switch to another seat. So there's conflict right off the bat.

    I let mine choose. We're supposed to be preparing them for adulthood, and anything I can do to encourage personal responsibility for their behavior and choices is a good thing, IMO.
     
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  15. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Aug 15, 2016

    "A teacher", since you demanded an explanation for me (and others) to let the kids choose their seats, here is one: I have rival gang members and other 'enemies' in the same classroom, and at this new school I don't know 75 % of the students, so I cannot even predict where problems could be.

    I presented it as them choosing their seat is something they should appreciate, and if I have to move them, there will be a reason and they can't complain. They got it. I already moved a kid, and he didn't complain.
    Trust me, if I have any issues with kids, it won't be over the seats.

    I'm not even going to respond to your crazy comment how I always miss the point.
     
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  16. GPC0321

    GPC0321 Companion

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    Aug 15, 2016

    Yep. Inevitably I have students in the class who refuse to sit near one another. And that might pop up halfway through a semester because they've had a falling out over something. If I'm trying to keep up the "I tell you where to sit because I'm in charge" act, then when these students request to sit elsewhere and I allow it, I'm already losing cred with the class. Because as soon as one student asks for and receives permission to change a seat, others will surely follow.

    And I admit I've frantically rearranged seating charts in an attempt to curb sidebar talking and minimize interruptions to my teaching. Goodness, I've done it a lot! But what I usually discover is that the fault wasn't with where the students were sitting. It was usually something much less superficial than that.
     
  17. Bo C

    Bo C Rookie

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    Aug 16, 2016

    Well, there is a study titled ''Differential Effects of Seating Arrangements on Disruptive Behavior of Fifth Grade Students During Independent Seatwork'' (you can find it on the NCBI/NLM//NIH gov site) that showed classroom disruptions happened 2-3 times more frequently when students were allowed to pick their own seats. So letting students sit next to their friends might not be the best idea :)

    Instead you can try random seating assignments - that will keep it simple and effective. As you learn more about your students, you can move those easily distracted to the front / middle / away from doors and other visual or auditory distractions.

    That said, I don't discount the experience of others that have had success letting students pick their seats. I think many approaches can work, it just depends on your personality, the age/maturity of the students, and other factors (e.g. what the students experienced in other classrooms).
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2016
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  18. a teacher

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    Aug 17, 2016

    So there is the proof that you have less trouble when you assign seats. Thank you!
    In an ironic turn of events, you all may be interested to know that while I had set up my alphabetical seating plan I realized that my rosters were drastically inaccurate because many students would continue to be added to several of my classes. Therefore I had no choice but to allow them to pick seats. I am sort of happy I was forced into it because now I can see what it's like. One of the marks of a great teacher is always looking for better methods and how to improve what one is doing, so I'm open to see what happens. So far there really hasn't been any issue, but the kids are all 11th and 12th graders.
     
  19. Bo C

    Bo C Rookie

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    Aug 18, 2016

    Glad to hear! I personally like doing things out of my comfort zone occasionally, so it's nice to hear you are enjoying the new experience. Let us know how it goes!
     
  20. TechnoMage

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    Aug 31, 2016

    My first day I always have the directions for how to sit alphabetically on the board.
    It simply says "seat yourselves in alphabetical order". Then I watch. It is interesting to watch some take charge, and some just take a seat anywhere. Then I call the roll the way they should be seated calling each by where they should be. It is a hoot! And a learning experience. It also helps you to learn their names. It is seldom boring.
     
  21. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    This does sound interesting. I myself wouldn't want to do this on the first day, I'd rather avoid chaos (even if it's organized), but this gave me a great idea for our next book we're reading. The book Lord of the Flies has a lot to do with leadership, so I could do this activity just to see how they work together, who leads, who follows, etc.
     

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