How do you assign seating?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by OneBerry, Jun 1, 2014.

  1. OneBerry

    OneBerry Comrade

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    Jun 1, 2014

    How do you assign seating (if you do)? It is one of my least favorite classroom teaching tasks. I have promised my kiddos new seating charts before the year is out, but procrastinated on making them. It takes me forever and I almost always notice changes that need to be made after the first day of kids sitting in new seats. I'm just looking for ideas on how you plan yours.
     
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  3. agdamity

    agdamity Fanatic

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    Jun 1, 2014

    The ones who have difficulty focusing or seeing go in the front. Behavior issues/ talkers are spread out with quiet ones in between. Those who disturb each other with faces, gestures, etc. are placed facing the same direction so they can't see each other. Other than that, it just depends how I want to arrange the room. Small table groups? Long tables? Horseshoe? I change my seats up a lot!
     
  4. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    I print out a template, and I make little desk icons with all the kids names so I can move everything around. I start by putting the "preferential seating" kids down, and then if I know any kids need to be separated, I put them on opposite sides of the room. By that point I usually have about 1/3 of my class placed. From there, I just make sure I have an even mix of boys and girls. Once I'm happy, I write names in on my template and look at the template for the next two days to make sure nothing jumps out at me. After the third time I look at it and there's no "FIX THIS!!!" moment, I go ahead and move their desks.

    It's a little time-consuming, but it works for me. The big thing is having something where I can physically move kids' names around. I'd sit there forever if I tried to write in everybody's name, and cross out when I saw problems, etc.
     
  5. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    Jun 1, 2014

    When I taught MS, I used to assign seats using alphabetical order. I would never let kids pick their own seats and if I ever had to go back to MS, I would do this again. My desks are always in rows (I hate groups).

    This year I taught HS and I assigned seats first semester alphabetically, but chose not to assign seats second semester. I found that assigned seating did nothing to alleviate any of the problems I had with disruptive students; I could move them all over the room but it is what it is.

    In fact, I had (somewhat) fewer problems when I did not assign seats this semester but I'm sure that's because I taught fewer freshman, sophomores and juniors second semester.
     
  6. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    Jun 1, 2014

    It varies with each class. Special needs go first. Then goes my worst group (either get in trouble or don't get along. Whatever that year's problem is.) Then I start trying to mix up ability levels while paying attention to who can not sit by who. It goes on. It is never perfect and never will be perfect.
     
  7. beccmo

    beccmo Comrade

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    Jun 1, 2014

    I teach high school so this may not help. On the first day of school I let students choose their own seats (knowing they will most likely sit by their best friends). They keep these for the first 3 days of school. During that time I make 2 new seating charts...one for class time and one for lab stations and partners. It is rare that chosen neighbors are lab partners. Class seating charts I change every quarter but lab partners are usually year-long.
     
  8. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Jun 1, 2014

    I posted this in another thread but the web app http://classcharts.com allows you to create a random seating chart on the fly even allowing you to group students by behavior points (which you assign as you teach), by boys/girls together or apart, and also takes into account who prefers to sit in the front or the back.

    I've just played around with it so far and haven't put it into full practice this year. I'm going to buy a tablet over the summer and play around with using that to replace my clipboard (which I use to mark behavior and other information) next year. But it should be good for seating charts even if you don't use the other stuff this year.
     
  9. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    If a seating chart is already made but you want to change it up, these are the things I consider:
    - students who get distracted (ADHD, ADD or otherwise) sit up front, or close up front.
    - Behavior students, or those who talk are separated from others by having quiet students in between, sort of boxed in. If possible, they sit up front.

    In the beginning of the year I allow them to sit where they want to, but they know I can change the seats anytime I want to (and probably will), they don't own their seats. This allows me to see who their friends are, and later on who I need to keep the students away from :)
    Then I change the seats as I find necessary.
     
  10. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    Jun 2, 2014

    In high school, I let them sit where they want to at first, but I change them FREQUENTLY as we do activities. I pretty much make them sit with someone new for each unit. My desks are arranged in pairs, so I have them work with a partner for the length of that unit. Once the first week or so is over, I have a good sense of who should and shouldn't be together... ever. LOL. I make unit seat assignments based on academic need and personality.
     
  11. mariecurie

    mariecurie Companion

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    Jun 2, 2014

    Before school starts I make my seating charts: SPED students sit in close proximity to my desk (so, the front row), and after that I base it on their most recent science MCA scores. I put students with high scores near students with lower scores, etc. I also alternate boy-girl. After the first quarter I change it up based on performance and behavior, but it's still boy-girl.
     
  12. platypusok

    platypusok Companion

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    Jun 2, 2014

    I teach 7-10 and I let them pick their seats with the caveat that I can change them at my will. It generally works for me.

    7th: I had a couple of boys who could not keep it together when they were near each other so they had to sit on opposite sides of the room.

    8th: about 1/3 of the class had assigned seats-it was to keep certain kids away from each other.

    9th: I had to separate a couple of kids who begin dating in the middle of the year and were more interested in talking then working.

    10th: they were fine the whole year with picking their own seats

    In previous years, I've given every class a seating chart and I really don't see a huge difference between then and this last year.
     
  13. teacherguy111

    teacherguy111 Cohort

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    Jun 4, 2014

    I just use my gradebook's random seat assigner. Then I just move any pairs or groups of people that should not be next to each other.
     
  14. TamaraF

    TamaraF Companion

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    Jun 4, 2014

    My room has desks in a horse shoe shape. I let students choose seats at first, and then make a seating plan based on what I see the first week. I put "texters" in plain sight of me, "clowns" toward the back where they can distract the fewest number of others, and spread out the ones who chat. They know I can (and will!) move them around as needed.
     

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