Assigned seats at circle?

Discussion in 'Preschool' started by Miss J. Pre-K, Oct 24, 2009.

  1. Miss J. Pre-K

    Miss J. Pre-K Comrade

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    Oct 24, 2009

    I'm just wondering who does assigned seats at circle time and if it has helped. I did it last year and circle time seemed to go so much smoother. This year my advisor wants everything very free-flowing, no name tags to change centers, no chosen seats at lunch, no assigned seats at circle. And yet when she observed my circle, she kept talking about all the distractions as I have to tell children to pay attention. Well . . . duh, they're sitting beside kids they like to talk with/mess with/aggravate. She wants me to give kids one warning then remove them to a chair outside of circle . . . that's still a lot of distractions to me. I do everything I can to make circle time more fun and interactive, but there's always going to be those kids that just need to talk/wiggle.

    I know assigned seats is not the most DAP, but is it really harmful?
     
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  3. frog

    frog New Member

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    I don't see how you can't do assigned seating at circle! When you have to deal with hearing or vision needs or attention deficits. Those children need special placement during group times, don't they? We have 20 in our class and I, for the majority of the year, have assigned seating. If it means they are getting more out of circle time I don't see anything wrong with it. Everyone in our center does the same thing.
     
  4. GoehringTeaches

    GoehringTeaches Comrade

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    I do it in Kindergarten, and I wouldn't have it any other way! It gives my students a chance to socialize with other kids that they normally wouldn't! Even though I try not to place talkers by talkers, they usually end up learning to chat with each other!
     
  5. futureteach21

    futureteach21 Habitué

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    What is DAP?
     
  6. SwOcean Gal

    SwOcean Gal Devotee

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    DAP= Developmentally appropriate, right?

    I was observing in a pre-k that did this. I think it is fine. I also worked at a pre-k that did not do it, but it was a lab school with lots of student teachers always present- so it was not really needed at all
     
  7. Hummingbrd

    Hummingbrd Rookie

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    Oct 24, 2009


    DAP=Developmentally Appropriate Practice
     
  8. SpecialPreskoo

    SpecialPreskoo Moderator

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    I do with my preschoolers. I try to vary up my SPE and my reg. kids. I also split up my chatter boxes and those that bug certain other kids. If I need someone right up under me to keep their attention, then they are there. It is called being PROACTIVE to prevent problems.
     
  9. Miss J. Pre-K

    Miss J. Pre-K Comrade

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    So it sounds like y'all think it's okay. I didn't really see anything wrong with assigned spots, but wanted to get other opinions. The advisor I'm talking about has a lot of pre-k experience, but has been out of the classroom for several years. I think I'll try it when we get back from Fall Break on Tuesday.
     
  10. kimrandy1

    kimrandy1 Enthusiast

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    I do assigned seats at circle, too, and we re-assign seats every other week, so that the kids get chances to be in many different locations on the rug, and they get to sit next to a large variety of people.

    I cannot imagine not having name cards to change centers. What a disaster! How are teaching kids limits and making choices when there are no choices necessary to make? I guess you don't limit the # of kids in a center at a time, so how does that go, management-wise? I know some of my centers cannot physcially accomodate more than x number of kids, and in others, I only have enough materials to entertain x number of kids. When I allow more kids than that number, I struggle with discipline and management.
     
  11. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    Finding one's name is DAP, and I have used it when the class needed more structure, and I needed more peace.
     
  12. Dzenna

    Dzenna Groupie

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    I don't use name cards to change centers. I have a bulletin board with my centers listed. Each center sign has dots- for the number of places available for each center. A child will place a clothes pin (with their name) on the dot of the center where they want to go. They get to choose, yet have limits.

    Some children are only used to situations that are teacher- directed, and they have difficulty making decisions when offered child-directed activities. My class is structured 50/50 to allow children the opportunity to initiate on their own.
     
  13. mrgrinch09

    mrgrinch09 Comrade

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    I think your supervisor needs to stop micro-managing your classroom.

    :D
     
  14. skyone

    skyone Rookie

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    Blue is exactly correct. Having the children find their name is critical! Also, by having the children not sit next to their "friends" and having them rotate to sit next to others allows them to get to know other children and the class will bond. I have found this to be true every year.
     
  15. kimrandy1

    kimrandy1 Enthusiast

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    Well, that's what I do, too (only a little differently - I use magnets, but the same idea). I was reading the initial post as the class having no limits for each center - no "sign up." I don't control where my kids go at centers, and I think it's important that I don't. They need to learn to make choices and to make decisions....and how to handle disappointment when choice #1 is not available to them because that center is full. I think it's also important to note that the kids can also change centers whenever they want during center time - as long as they clean up their mess before they leave a center.

    It doesn't have to be a name on a card to function as a "name-card." A clothespin, a magnet, etc. can still work as a place holder that represents that child in a center.

    I have heard of (and observed) classes where there are no limits on the number of kids at each center, there is no formal "choice chart." The kids can all roam freely and change centers at will, no matter how many people are in each center. So, realistically, 15 kids could be in the dramatic play area, and it's a "learning experience" for them to try to figure out that there aren't enough toys there for them all, so they should make another choice. I feel that is just setting the class and teacher up for frustration. I thought that was the type of situation the director was encouraging.
    Kim
     
  16. LvToyFoxTerrier

    LvToyFoxTerrier Rookie

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    how do you mark where their assigned seating is at the rug?
     
  17. kimrandy1

    kimrandy1 Enthusiast

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    My rug has clearly delineated spots. It's a series of circles...6 circles in the front row that are red, the next row has 6 orange ones, then purple, then yellow, then green. Each of those circles has a number in them, 1-6. So, I made up a chart that looks like the rug, and the kids quickly learn that they sit on Yellow 1 or Purple 5, etc. Even if they can't rec. #s or colors yet, they do remember who they sit next to, etc.
    I write their names on my laminated chart and tell them to refer to the chart if they forget.
     
  18. Miss J. Pre-K

    Miss J. Pre-K Comrade

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    Oct 25, 2009

    I agree 100%, but I'm kind of stuck. I have 2 advisors, one is a k teacher at the school who has been wonderful, giving ideas and advice, but respecting that it's my classroom. Another is a roving pre-k advisor that goes to all the pre-k classrooms and gives advice and ideas. She's said, "It's okay if you decide to do things differently" but that's not the impression I get. I've had to move my room arrangement around 4 times since August to get it the way she wants. It's my first year in this district, I really want and need this job, and the advisor has the ear and respect of one of the hiring people, to put it bluntly.
     
  19. Miss J. Pre-K

    Miss J. Pre-K Comrade

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    I have heard of (and observed) classes where there are no limits on the number of kids at each center, there is no formal "choice chart." The kids can all roam freely and change centers at will, no matter how many people are in each center. So, realistically, 15 kids could be in the dramatic play area, and it's a "learning experience" for them to try to figure out that there aren't enough toys there for them all, so they should make another choice. I feel that is just setting the class and teacher up for frustration. I thought that was the type of situation the director was encouraging.
    Kim[/QUOTE]

    This is basically how it is in my class. Actually, a lot of early childhood programs at colleges are teaching that this is the new way to do centers. I have a majority (an overwhelming majority) of girls in my class. It's not unusual for there to be 8 kids in housekeeping, but they do figure out, hey, I can't move, I'll choose another center. This really hasn't been a problem, because we usually have an art activity that draws kids to the table, and my assistant usually plays a game with some kids at another table. We don't clean up until the end, and I try to tell kids, "You were in housekeeping, you need to go help clean up there." If they get done cleaning up at one center, they go to another to help. We've talked about how it's our classroom, and we all have to help take care of it, even if we didn't play in that center. It's required some giving up of control on my part, but I surprisingly like not having to settle disputes about who's allowed at what center. The only limited centers are water table (3) and easel (2) and usually I call 6 over to do art at a time. That's just because there is really limited space in those places.
     
  20. Miller59

    Miller59 Companion

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    I write their names on masking tape and stick them on my rug. I have a very small group so this takes me no time. Right now they have free choice at circle, but I'll go back to assigned seats in a week or so.

    I assign seats at lunch time every day.
     
  21. fiskeda

    fiskeda Rookie

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    We have what we call sit a ponds?? We are the busy bees so i have a picture of each child as a bee and they sit on that, but they are not in the same place each time i change them around... I have very small kids and they love it.....
     
  22. vannapk

    vannapk Groupie

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    Ditto, assigned seats at circle here too and I'm an advisor :) I also don't assign them seats with the old-fashioned nameplates attached to the tables, but I do assign them each to a table, they get to choose which seat to sit at when they get there.
     
  23. Dzenna

    Dzenna Groupie

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    Kim- It sounds as if your centers run like mine. Can you tell me more about your magnets? I'm always searching for a "better way".
     
  24. Mrs_Barrett

    Mrs_Barrett Cohort

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    Oct 26, 2009

    I use names on the carpet, just tape. I do it because half my students are special ed and have issues with space. THe name on the floor gives them a little boundry. We also do center name tags to limit the amt of students at the centers.
     
  25. Whitchel

    Whitchel Rookie

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    I have assigned seats at circle, I have 17 students and a rug with 20 spots to sit on. We use a fairness chart to decide who gets to do what on what day, so the object their name is on is laminated and cut into a square, then that square is duct taped down to the rug with color duct tape. We also use these objects as their name tags for centers. I don't assign seats at the tables but I do assign students to certain tables...right now I have the pumpkin table, scarecrow table and witch table.

    I can't imagine circle without assign seats, we have to have some kind of order with 17 kids.
     
  26. Maxadoodle

    Maxadoodle Comrade

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    Well, I am in a minority, but I don't assign seats, except at snack time because of allergies. My circle time is in a separate room from my classroom, so there are no toys to distract the children. They can sit anywhere initially, come close "where you can see" for a story, and we are up and down, moving around so much, assigned spots would not work.

    I also do not limit the number of children in a center. Pretty much, if there is no room, they move on to another area. I don't use chairs during free play at my tables, so if eight children want to do play dough together, they stand closely and share. I love hearing a child as another for some play dough, a toy when he is finished, or developing their "joining a group" skills. I have 15 children this year, a bit boy heavy, so I make sure I have plenty of blocks, cars, trains, and ramps available.
     
  27. darlin77

    darlin77 Rookie

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    I am definitely in favor of assigned seating at circle time. I substituted in a Kindergarten that did not have assigned seating and it was chaos. I quickly assigned their seating, and saw an immediate improvement. I'm all in favor of giving children choices, but I'm also in favor of having a well-run classroom that facilitates learning.
     
  28. kimrandy1

    kimrandy1 Enthusiast

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    Dzenna,
    I have kids' names on a half-index card. (so I guess it ends up being 3 1/2 by 2 1/2.). I like using these because then I can use a picture on them in the first part of the year for those that don't know their names yet, and transition to only first names, and then into first and last, and finally into only using last names (unless I have twins or cousins!). Each has a piece of magnetic tape on the back.

    On a chalkboard that is hung low, I have it taped off into a grid. Each part of the grid has a label with a center picture in it (these are not magnetic, they are held on with putty). the child covers the picture with his/her name, and that indicates that the spot is taken. They know only to chose from pictures that they can see.

    I like this because I can vary the number of kids allowed in a center based on what toys are in there. I had 5 kids allowed in blocks in September, but when I added fire trucks and fire hats for October, I pulled off 3 of the pictures so that only 2 could play (I only have two hats). On the other hand, I added 3 more to Dramatic Play when I added more toys. And I can completely close a center just by removing the picture, like I did today when we had a massive paint spill and I didn't want the kids walking in it. I just removed the easel pictures, and no one could sign up for easel.

    Kim
     
  29. clarnet73

    clarnet73 Moderator

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    Oct 27, 2009

    I've done both assigned seats and free choice, depending on the group.

    I've given each child a letter to sit on, or a particular colored shape, for the month (or whatever time frame). One year, we had lots of part-time kids, so we assigned letters each day. Took about 3 minutes to assign all 20 kids and we got to check their letter recognition skills... they LOVED guessing who they'd get to sit next to that day, and then if it's a behavior/talking issue, it didn't last for long! I've also had groups that could handle sitting wherever they want with only a reminder to "please make a good choice." I find that it really depends on the group.

    As far as centers... I've never done center tags per say... yet i've always had some control.

    The kids ALWAYS know how many are allowed in a particular location... although as long as they're playing appropriately, I don't generally make a big deal out of it. I leave it up to the kids... "Can I play at kitchen?" "Well, how many people are playing there?" "Four." "OK, then can you go play there?"

    Last year i did 4's At-Risk PreK. At the beginning of center time, they did choose a center. I used a pocket chart, all the centers were labeled with a picture on a sentance strip, and they had to recognize their name and put it where they wanted to play. Sometimes a center would be closed (usually because it didn't get cleaned up appropriately the day before, and that was a logical consequence that everyone understood), I just turned it over in the pocket chart and put a "closed" sign on the center. Some kids would on their own go move their names when they wanted to change centers, but I didn't enforce whether or not they did. Again, I wanted them to figure out on their own if there was space. I was often pulling kids for a small group or game or whatever, so I didn't make a big deal about moving thier cards... but card collector was one of their jobs at the end of center, and heaven forbid if anyone else did it! For some reason, they loved that job! (wow, that was a long paragraph!)

    As far as assigned seats for table work/snack/etc... I've done it different ways. My favorite was putting names on the CHAIRS instead of on the tables. One thing, when they're on the tables, they weren't really looking for their name, they just looked at where they usually sit. PLus contact papering them on the tables theyl ooked so yucky after a week or two, at least when they were sitting at the table we usually used for art projects! On the chairs, they still had to look to find their name but i could move them around really easily to split up kids, or delibreately seat kids together. I've also done it where they had a sentance strip name card at their seat telling them where to sit... again, they had to look and we could easily split kidsu p when needed. (And, like one of the PP's, I HAD to assign seats for meals and such because I had a lot of food allergies)

    In K, you're going to have assigned seats at the table or the desk. Doesnt' mean you ALWAYS have to sit there, but it's an expectation. I don't have any problem teaching that kind of behavior in an appropriate manner to younger kids, too... often, it's an issue of saving our sanity :)
     
  30. tiffharmon2001

    tiffharmon2001 Comrade

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    Oct 28, 2009

    I tried not doing assigned seats this year at the beginning. The problem is that I have the alphabet on my rug and all the kids wanted to sit on their first letter. I have 2 kids for several letters and 3 for D, so that didn't work out very well.

    I assigned seats so I wouldn't have to hear them fight. They don't realize it, but I did it in ABC order by first name. NO ONE is sitting on their first letter. :)
     
  31. skyone

    skyone Rookie

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    I teach three year olds and to prepare them to recognize their name I use laminated paper with their name typed and a picture of the child for assigned seating at circle time. This way I can change their seat as behavior issues arise and place the most needy next to me. By the end of the year, each child can recognize their name and most of the names in the class.

    The only problem I have is that I have the student who was helper the day before picks the helper for that day. When they all know each other's names, they try to pick their friends' names. Certainly, a good problem to have. It also prepares them for learning to write their name.
     
  32. msj

    msj Companion

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    Oct 29, 2009

    I do not do assigned seats at circle. However, Ido do control centers. Some days (depending on how the behavior of the class is that day, although they do not know that is how I decide), I do closed centers where I send certain kids to each center, and I rotate them. Some days I do open centers where I control the number of kids at each center. The way I do that is I have signs labling each center. On the signs are 3 green people outlines. I tape three red people over top the green ones. Before centers I tell the children which centers will be available and then remove the number of red people that matches the number of children that are allowed at that center. In other words, if 2 kids can go to blocks, the sign will show 2 green people. The children are allowed to move freely about the room to any center provided it is open and there are available spaces.
     
  33. McKennaL

    McKennaL Groupie

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    Oct 30, 2009

    EXACTLY!!!!!!

    I moved out the rug which had the alphabet inchworm (with letters willy nilly in bunches - kids were clumped here and there on top of each other and causing so many distractions), and used my masking tape to form a grid on the carpet. The kids sit in their own square. They sit cross cross applesauce and find that they can even put their hands on the carpet next to themselves and NOT touch another. It has brought a LOT of peace and helps with attention.

    They look like a CLASSROOM now - not a herd of little gremlins. And they act like it too. (BTW...every teacher/aide/administrator who passes through says... "WONDERFUL!")

    I was going nuts before...i NEEDED organization amongst the chaos...and just sitting in a grid did it for us.

    (NOW, if I could only work on "get your coats and back-pack" timing. THAT will drive me over the edge!!!!)
     

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