assigned seats?

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by teach42, Aug 14, 2012.

  1. teach42

    teach42 Comrade

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    Aug 14, 2012

    How many of you give assigned seats for your students? I'm still debating it because the students are old enough to choose for themselves. Yet, there are advantages like being able to learn the names faster and checking off homework or whatever else quickly. It would also be good for pairing/group work. This will be a new school for me so I'm not even sure what the teachers there do. They might get upset if they are not used to it.
     
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  3. Mathemagician

    Mathemagician Groupie

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    Yes, yes, yes! Don't worry about upsetting them.

    I think particularly for freshmen, assigned seats are crucial. The students are nervous, and the more structure and control there is for them, the better.

    In addition, if you are a new teacher and start off the year by saying "sit wherever you want", I think you are setting a precedent for them to do other things however they want.

    On the first day I intend to just seat them alphabetically. I will then collect a sheet to see if anyone has seating preferences, as well as check IEPs for this to make the revised seating chart.

    They are old enough to choose for themselves, but sometimes they make the wrong choice, and this results in problems for you.
     
  4. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    I sit my students alphabetically for the first week or so, then depending on the class I let them sit wherever. The exception would be upper level courses with only 10 or so kids in them.
     
  5. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I always seat my kids in alphabetical order.

    It sets the tone right away; the seating chart is up on the screen as they walk in and they're seated by the time the bell rings on that very first day.

    In addition, it does make it so much easier to hand back papers before I know who they are.
     
  6. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

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    I assign seats for all of my sections except the ones for college credit. For those sections, they must fill the front of the classroom first before using the back rows.

    The seating chart is on board when they walk in on the first day. I like the tone that it sets (structured).

    Over time, the seating shifts to accomodate laptop charging.
     
  7. ACardAttack

    ACardAttack Companion

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    I use them with seniors, but where I teach, it is very much needed to keep the kids in check.
     
  8. Ms.SLS

    Ms.SLS Cohort

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    I do seating charts. The social studies teacher I work with lets kids choose their own seats the first day (he has large group tables), but then tells them it's their group for the rest of the semester for all projects. Sooo... the kids who made the wrong choice automatically know that they made the wrong choice and now will have to work extra hard to make up for it. :)
     
  9. lucybelle

    lucybelle Connoisseur

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    I assign seats the very first day. I tell them that these are their assigned seats until I decide otherwise. During the year I switch it up some.
     
  10. HistTchr

    HistTchr Habitué

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    Yes, I always assign seats on the first day of school. I usually do it alphabetically, but sometimes need to make some exceptions for students with IEPs or other special needs that I know about in advance. The easiest way for me to do it is to number all of the desks with post-it notes. As students come in, I ask for their names, and then tell them which desk number to sit at. I do allow my seniors to choose their own seats, since they are in an AP level class where behavior issues are usually nonexistent!
     
  11. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    I do assigned seats with everyone except AP. There are only 5 of them in the class and they know how to work.

    For usually the first couple of days, everyone gets to sit where they want. It helps me learn who to separate. Plus my class numbers will change a lot this year in the first week.
     
  12. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    I also assign seats, primarily so that I can learn names quickly, but also because it does set the tone. We can have fun, but we will have structure.
     
  13. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Enthusiast

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    There's no sense trying to seat them alphabetically because my roster changes so much the first week. I hand them a numbered information card to fill out as they enter; they find the corresponding numbered seat. When I collect the cards, I can immediately do a seating chart. If problems or special needs arise, of course, I make changes. My seating chart is thumbnail pictures of the kids, and I use repositionable adhesive on the backs so that rearranging them is simple.
     
  14. paperlabs

    paperlabs Rookie

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    I change it up a lot - between heterogeneous and homogeneous grouping. Sometimes I like the struggling students to sit together so that I can help them all at once while working the room.
     
  15. orangepurple

    orangepurple Companion

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    I do what Mrs K does, usually: hand out numbered cards at the door. I shuffle them first so kids arriving together aren't necessarily seated together. Then I use the info to make a seating chart to start with.

    I would prefer alphabetical for learning names, and often move to alphabetical during the second week, but the schedule changes the first week make that too difficult.

    I think it is good to start out with the expectation that I get to assign the seats, so if I don't do numbered cards (for example, if I think I will do alphabetical starting on day 2) I will have up on the board "Welcome! Take any seat for today; seating assignments will be given out later in the week."
     
  16. Catcherman22

    Catcherman22 Companion

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    This, but I only do it untill I learn everybody's name. Once that occurs, I'll let the kids choose their own seats (If they can handle it) or I'll regroup kids based on ability level.
     
  17. HistTchr

    HistTchr Habitué

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    That's great! :lol: It must help to see the faces when you are trying to figure out who needs to be separated. I create seating charts in Word and write in students' names in pencil. I have access to all of their pictures, so I should look into putting those in this year!
     
  18. McParadigm

    McParadigm Companion

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    I always found that it depended on the overall climate and expectation level of the school and the community. There are definitely places where seating charts are little more than a minor convenience for your own sake...but there are a lot of places where that unspoken "there is a process to everything, and it matters" makes everything a lot easier and a lot more successful.
     
  19. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Start with a seating chart and then do what works for you.
     
  20. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    I am a HUGE fan of seating charts for various reasons
    - It helps with learning the names
    - you can also monitor student behavior. This way if a student is talking, you actually know who it is, because you can look it up on the seating chart. If the problem continues, all you have to do is look at him, pick up the clipboard with seating chart and write something on it. I do / did this all the times as a sub / teacher and it works great!
    - Later on you can move them around based on their personalities / problems / academic levels / needs, etc to avoid problems, peer tutoring, etc.
    - You can also decide later on with some classes that - as a reward for their awesome behavior - they can sit wherever.
    - I also found that it sets the tone and lets the students know that I run the show, i decide where they sit, not them. that's how I like it. (I'm not saying that if you let them sit wherever you won't have control, I just prefer it this way)

    I heard somewhere that it is a good idea to let the students sit wherever they want on the first day and make a seating chart. This way you can find out who they want to sit next to (friends), which can turn into a problem later (always talking), and then you can avoid that by coming up with a totally different seating arrangement. Some students work well sitting next to their friends, but a lot of them will just end up getting in trouble.
    - I don't think that any age group is too old.
    - I also don't think it matters how teachers do things at your school. I've been at the same assignment for 2 weeks and one of the lock ups (rowdy group), and their teacher does not have a seating chart. They understood perfectly that I do assigned seating and that's how it's gonna be for the time being.
     
  21. teresateaches

    teresateaches Companion

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    Aug 14, 2012

    I've always done assigned seats in the past with the exception of this last year. I thought I would try to let the kids choose to some extend, partially because we didn't receive our rosters until the morning the kids showed up, which made planning...well, impossible.

    I was never able to reverse it mid year when I was fed up with the constant moving about and shifting.

    I will never do that again. I've had classes in the past that could handle it but the vast majority are just not ready, esp. middle schoolers. They are far too social.
     
  22. rbschreiber@gma

    rbschreiber@gma Rookie

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    I'm a big fan of using seating charts, and I have one more good reason for doing it that I haven't seen mentioned: Subs.

    If you're ever out for a day, it's helpful for a sub to know where people sit (or are supposed to sit) to maintain some control. This also means they can leave you notes with the names of students who have excelled or had an issue.
     
  23. Camel

    Camel Rookie

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    When I first started teaching I would let my students pick their own seats, with the rule being that if things got out of hand I would move everyone around. Inevitably, this always happened, and the kids always whined and moaned about the new seating chart. If you give the students the power to pick their seats the first day, it can cause a lot of issues when you try to take that power away later in the year.

    Nowadays, I always have a seating chart ready to go on the first day of school. I like to rearrange my students seats every couple of months in order to switch things up and get people to interact more with people they might have completely ignored otherwise. Sometimes I have to make the seating charts ahead of time based on the class, but usually I just do things randomly by drawing popsicle sticks (The Sticks of Destiny) with the students' names on them.

    I don't even let my kids choose their groups for labs or projects. They love to complain about my methods, but I really like making them work outside of their comfort zone. It also eliminates a lot of other problems, like having a quiet student end up with no partner for something, or "forcing" the two people left without a group to work together, and stuff like that.
     
  24. Mathemagician

    Mathemagician Groupie

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    Good points. I'm thinking of telling my students that if they demonstrate good behavior the first three MPs, then they will earn the ability to choose seats in the last MP, but I'll see my classes before I even tell them that.
     
  25. mclaugcr

    mclaugcr Companion

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    I like this idea! I know a couple of the other teachers let the kids pick their seats after the first couple of weeks, but I was really leaning toward assigned seating. I think I might try this as a compromise.
     
  26. orangetea

    orangetea Connoisseur

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    For the first week (which is only 2-3 days), I don't assign seats because I need to know who shouldn't sit together and everything. Also, one thing to keep in mind is that some students need to sit in the front row because they can't see otherwise. I have horrible eyesight, and although I have contact lenses, they still aren't strong enough for me to see perfectly. (The doctors didn't want to increase my prescription too much.) When teachers put me in the back row, I struggled a lot. So I tell my students that if they need to sit close to the board, they can let me know privately over the next few days. I like the idea of having a seating chart ready on the first day because it does set the tone, but I don't do it for those two reasons.

    Some teachers let their students choose where to sit in term 4 but I haven't done that yet.
     
  27. Camel

    Camel Rookie

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    I like to say stuff like that too! "Maybe I'll let you pick your own partners for this project," or, "Maybe I'll let you pick your own seats for the next nine weeks."

    Every time, the Sticks of Destiny come out anyways, to the groans of my students and the maniacal laughter of their teacher. :D
     
  28. orangetea

    orangetea Connoisseur

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    Me too. There's always the one kid that doesn't have friends in class, so I try to avoid the situation where everyone has a group except one person. I've been there before and it's not fun.
     
  29. platypusok

    platypusok Companion

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    I teach 7-10 graders. I let them pick their own seats. If they can't stop talking or do their work, I move them. Out of six classes last year only one ended up with a seating chart.

    I did have one kid who had the desk right next to mine for 3 years even though the rest of the class got to choose their seats because I swear that kid could talk to a potted plant for an hour straight.

    I don't let kids pick their own groups. In my English classes, I have groups working on one aspect of the story (theme, conflicts, etc) and I tell them who's working on what based on where they are sitting. If they happen to get put in a group without their bff...oh well.

    But I work at a small school. I know all the kids already. Out of the 28 7th graders who moved up, I already knew all but 4. Plus there aren't any major discipline issues (although one new 8th grader needs to change his attitude quickly). It's mainly motivational issues. So, I'm lucky.
     
  30. GemStone

    GemStone Habitué

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    I had a science teacher who started off the year with assigned seats. Any students who earned an "A" on their report cards for that class were allowed to choose their own seats for the next marking period. I loved that.
     
  31. Mathemagician

    Mathemagician Groupie

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    I don't particularly like this. How does it work? These seats are reserved/assigned to the students who didn't get As, but A students, you may take any of the rest of the seats. Seems very divisive especially to the student who worked his butt off for a B+.
     
  32. GemStone

    GemStone Habitué

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    I don't remember her exact methods. However, I don't see a problem with rewarding those students who do earn an A.
     
  33. Mathemagician

    Mathemagician Groupie

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    I don't either, but this particular reward seems to draw too much attention to the students who didn't get the A.
     
  34. Mathemagician

    Mathemagician Groupie

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    Unless of course very few students in the class actually have As, in which case their seat selection would be quite limited anyway.
     
  35. hatima

    hatima Devotee

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    When I was in high school, math teachers and science teachers let us choose our own seats.

    English and social studies teachers had us sit in assigned seats based on our last name.

    My englsih, social studies, and science teachers assigned groups seemingly randomly. We never chose our own groups. (Math never had group work, just lecture!)
     
  36. hatima

    hatima Devotee

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    This would have been tough for me. I made C's in classes I worked so hard for. Homework for science and math were extremely hard for me. Homework from each class would take me literally hours. I would be doing homework from the time I got home 3:00 (after a half hour walk) until 11:00 or later. This was just a chapter from science, a page or two of math (just the even problems), and reading for english. English would take me at most an hour (essays much longer and done on weekends). Science and math were struggle. I rarely understood the assignment despite study, taking step by step notes, and a lot of effort. I would also call a homework help line for more help! I barely maintained a C in either subject. I'd have felt humiliated if the teacher didn't let me sit where I wanted because I didn't get an A. Several of the people I knew who had straight As, frequently cheated.

    I sat as close to the front as posible. (since my last name starts with an H I was generally in the second or third row). The further toward the back I sat the harder it was for me to follow the lecture I needed for homework and classwork. In my mind not getting to choose my seat because I wasn't "good" at the subject would have been discouraging and I would have done worse. (Front seats were usually the first choosen when the teacher let us choose). The further back I sat in Math and Science the worse my grade was.
     
  37. teach42

    teach42 Comrade

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    When I was in high school, I remember in one of my math classes, the teacher sat us based on our grade. I was the first one to be seated because I had the highest grade in the class and she would seat us around the room from there according to our grades. I don't think anyone had problems with that then but could you imagine teachers doing that today? There would be so many complaints from parents about how this would ruin their child's self-esteem. Amazing how much has changed in 10 years. Some of my teachers also posted all the scores of the students for tests, although it went by ID numbers but you knew exactly where you ranked in the class.
     
  38. Mathemagician

    Mathemagician Groupie

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    One of the teachers where I student taught still did that. He put them by ID number, but they were rank ordered by ID number so students knew where they stood. My students were very competitive and they begged me to do that too, but I refused especially since it makes no sense with grades being posted online instantly.
     
  39. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    This is a good point. I was planning on seating them in random order using playing cards the first day, but it might be better to start them off in alpha to give them the correct impression of the tone of the classroom, and then do the playing card thing later.
     
  40. orangetea

    orangetea Connoisseur

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    I would not recommend letting students with A's choose their seats.
     
  41. abbhi

    abbhi New Member

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    Aug 20, 2012

    This time teachers are aver for studying. In average 40persent teacher use to old notes or unsold paper, there are not intrastate to logically studying with example.
    They only reach top position in student they make student lazy & remembering only on only answer, the not made any extra knowledge & thinks to logically in class room.
    That's by our student is passing top; but its thinking abilities is very poor ?
    Regards
    abbhi
     

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