How do you assign seats at the beginning of the year?

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by woobie5, Jul 13, 2009.

  1. woobie5

    woobie5 Comrade

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    Jul 13, 2009

    How do you assign seats at the beginning of the year when you don't know your kiddos and their personalities?
     
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  3. TeachCA

    TeachCA Rookie

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    Jul 13, 2009

    I put them in alphabetical order so that I can learn their names quickly. I got this idea from Harry Wong's book The First Days of School. Hmm. At least I think I did. I read it somewhere! lol
     
  4. kidsr#1

    kidsr#1 Companion

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    Random/advice

    I randomly lay the students name tags out on the desks. Since I am in a K-12 school, I will ask the teachers before me if they see any that shouldn't be together because of personality issues. I let students know that their neighbors will change as needed.

    I generally move my kids around every 3-4 weeks or so.
     
  5. Lynn K.

    Lynn K. Habitué

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    I generally put them in a boy girl boy girl arrangement as much as possible. I always tell them that they may be moved as soon as the first day.

    I did have one girl once who cried because she didn't like her seat at orientation. Amazing!:confused:
     
  6. CFClassroom

    CFClassroom Connoisseur

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    We start the year with 3 half days. I assign seats for those three days and make it clear that on the first full day they will have their new official seats.

    I do a lot of team-building and partner/group activities during those three half days so it gives me a chance to see who works well together and who should be seated as far apart as humanly possible.

    I also ask the previous year teachers to look at my planned seating chart.
     
  7. shasha379

    shasha379 Devotee

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    I normally let them sit anywhere on the first day. I try to let everyone come into my room with a clean slate. Buddies always sit together. This lets me know who not to put together in the future. About three weeks into school I seat them in groups according to ability.
     
  8. DHE

    DHE Connoisseur

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    I also speak with former teachers just to see who should not sit near each other. I am constantly changing seating when I notice a spot is not working for certain students,
     
  9. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    You're Kinder right Woobie? I usually put name tags out, because they like to see their names and that they are part of the class. It helps the first day to say go find your seat. I use clear contact paper over the tag, so I can easily pick it up and move it when someone needs to be switched. Boy/girl is good advice. I also change the seating arrangements about every 2 months because they get tired of sitting next to the same people and I think it helps them develop more relationships in the class.
     
  10. knitter63

    knitter63 Groupie

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    I also read alphabetical order in Harry Wong-and I am going to try it this year! I have never assigned seats before, but I think it is a great idea to help learn their names faster. I also like the boy/girl idea-except I never have a fairly even amount of both. Last year's class had 6 girls and 12 boys...
     
  11. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Jul 13, 2009

    My kids sit at desks arranged in table groupings- I do an alternating boy-girl seating at the tables, random the first time since I don't know the kids...
     
  12. Teaching Grace

    Teaching Grace Connoisseur

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    I have dont them randomly over the last couple of years. I probably will this year too. I often change them by the end of the first week. I haven't ever had enough of an even boy girl ratio to do the boy girl thing. Last year I had 14 boys and 6 girls... yikes!
     
  13. Lynn K.

    Lynn K. Habitué

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    It's easier some years than others. Last year I had 12 boys and 6 girls, too. There were not enough corners or girls to separate the ones who needed it!:) It was a challenge!
     
  14. loves2teach

    loves2teach Enthusiast

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    I usually do ABC. It is funny because I have desks placed when the kids get there for back to school night. It never fails, I have parents who warn me that "Lisa" can't sit by "Jane" etc, etc,. I just tell them it is for the first few days, until I get to know them.
     
  15. lovetoshop

    lovetoshop Rookie

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    I have name tags on the desk when they come in for open house, along with everything else already labeled with their names. This way they know exactly where to sit the first day of school, so they won't be too nervous about what to do. Also, if a family comes in while I'm speaking to another family they can wander around and find their seat, where to hang their things, take home boxes, etc. It worked great last year, so I'm doing the same thing this year!
     
  16. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    I'll have at least 5 sections in SS coming through. I plan on having my desks in horseshoe-shaped. I'll have a colored dot on each desk. When the students come in, they will receive a colored dot and must sit in the same colored desk.
     
  17. CheleOh

    CheleOh Rookie

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    Jul 13, 2009

    Very first thing on the first day of school, they get to sit wherever they want. This, alone, gives me an idea of who is friends with whom... and often which pairings to avoid in the future ;-).

    About an hour into the first day, students "get" a class number by popping a balloon... their numbers are on pieces of paper inside the balloons. Then I seat them according to number order until the end of the month (usually 10 days to 2 weeks).

    I've found that the randomness of the balloon numbers helps when kids move in or out. I just slip the new student into the old student's spot (or add them to the end) and there is no trauma about messing up alphabetical order.

    After that, I assign seats until the last month when I let THEM arrange the room and sit wherever they like.

    Chele :)
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2009
  18. shasha379

    shasha379 Devotee

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    My students line up in alphabetical order. This helps me keep up with everyone. I start it the first day of school. I turn it into a game on the first day of school. I have them organize themselves in alpha order, and then I say this is how you will line up when leaving the classroom for the rest of year.
     
  19. skittleroo

    skittleroo Connoisseur

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    i do boy girl boy girl as much as possible. I wind up switching at least 1 or 2 (usually boys) within the first week or so. That is why I use vecro to attach nametags - easy to move
     
  20. Missy99

    Missy99 Connoisseur

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    Jul 13, 2009

    We receive a one-page sheet for each student, completed by the teacher from the previous year, which shows us the child's reading level, how they did on the TAKS test, and has a short bit of info about each child's strengths/weaknesses, who should not be seated with whom, etc.

    The sheets are pink for girls, blue for boys, which I find both quite sexist and quite convenient :)

    This was soooo helpful for me at the beginning of the year. I did end up making changes, but at least at the beginning of the year I knew who not to put together:haha:
     
  21. MrsHoot

    MrsHoot Comrade

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    LOVE this idea!!!!!!! How do you have them pop them? Do you have them sit on the balloons or just squeeze them with their hands?
     
  22. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    Woobie,
    Your situation is a bit different than many of the posters. First, you have kindergarten, so unless your school has preK and the majority went there, you really can't get info from their last year teacher. Second, I would never recommend letting K's choose their own seat -- this may work very well with older students, but I think K's may not always understand that once they chose, they are expected to stay there (until you move them.) They may constently want to get up and "chose again" or get upset when someone they don't want choses to sit next to them. I think it sets a better tone with this young of an age group to say "This is were you will be sitting for now."

    When I taught K, I always did assigned seats. There is something magical to a kindergartner about coming into the room and seeing his or her name at their place at the table. It is so special to them.

    I always did two things -- boy/girl as much as possible, and I always looked at the student addresses before I did it. Students who live close to each other (on the same street, right around the block, etc) -- I put them at different tables. Often, if they live close, they already know each other. They also may have all kinds of history they bring with them. My advisor was a K teacher and she clued me in on this. You don't want super-best friends or neighborhood enemies sitting next to each other if you can help it.

    Now, no matter how hard to plan, there are always things you won't know, but you'll see that the first day, and you can make changes as you need to. Keep it flexible the first couple of days.

    My last piece of advice -- you will always have a parent who says "My little girl can't sit by Debbie. They don't get along." You don't want to ignore them, because if you do, and anything happens, you have set the tone for the entire year with that parent. Parents do know these things, and that should be respected. However, don't let them select where their little girl is going to sit, or bully you into moving Debbie. If they dont want their child next to Debbie, move their child, not Debbie. If you let the parent choose the new seat, it sometimes leads to a situation where the parent feels they can tell you how to do everything. Or the parent may come up with a "problem" with the next seat you select "No, my daughter can't sit there -- she needs to be right up by the board. No she can't be there, it is too close to the window. No she can't sit there, because she wants to be near her friend...": and on it goes. The next thing you know, you've moved 4 students, and everything is so confused.

    I'm not saying you shouldn't honor a reasonable request -- of course you should -- but there are some parents out there who will not make requests -- they will make demands. And in the chaos of the first day, it is hard to tell one from the other. :)

    In Kindergarten, almost every parent would love for their child to sit right up front, next to you, and in the "Best seat in the house." However, there are usually 25 parents who would all like that seat. If you assign it based on who is the most demanding, you are setting a dangerous presidence -- one from which it is very hard to recover.

    When a parent says "My daughter can't sit next to little Debbie" I just smile, say "Oh, thanks for letting me know. Your daugther can sit right here at the reading table and I'll rearrange things in just a few minutes." I always have a cleared off table (my reading table) and everything the child will need right there. After the parent leaves, then you choose a new seat for the child.
     
  23. CheleOh

    CheleOh Rookie

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    I let them pop the balloons however they wish. Some kids are a bit skiddish and have a friend pop them. :)

    Most use a pencil... some try to jump on them... some sit on them.... It's a fun bit of chaos, then we calm down, move seats, and make our class list/chart that hangs on the wall.

    Chele :)
     
  24. natelukesmom

    natelukesmom Companion

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    I usually do alphabetical until I get to know the kids. However, last year I did boy-girl-boy-girl, but had a little girl who cried because she didn't want to sit by a boy. So this year I think I'll go back to alphabetical. It really doesn't matter how they sit at first, because you get to know them so quickly and then change it around. ;)
     
  25. Pencil Monkey

    Pencil Monkey Devotee

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    I do random seating. I work in a small school and everyone alphabetizes their kids. I think the kids know their alphabetical neighbors the best so I try to mix it up.
    I also put colored dots or stars on the name plates by their names. So when I'm calling for kids to bring papers or something like that I can say all blue dots need to clean up the floor and all red dots need to collect papers for their table. I change it up randomly and call different colored dots each time. I like having the kids on their toes!
     
  26. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    I attach the nametags with sticky-tac and just move them as I feel necesary. Sometimes a few kids move a lot and others only every 9 weeks when I make sure they all have a chance to move to a different seats. For some reason they think it is fun to move seats and always ask when they get to try a new table :D
     
  27. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    On meet the teacher night, I let the kids pick their seats. Usually the kids with attention problems will put themselves close to the front or even right in front of me. I usually move the kids around, but that first seating chart works well for at least six weeks typically.
     
  28. skittleroo

    skittleroo Connoisseur

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    rainstorm, great advice

    and I never thought about noticing where they live. good point
     
  29. skittleroo

    skittleroo Connoisseur

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    tasha, I love the idea you have for using sticky tack to put down nametags. I like because its non-perm. The worst that could happen is loose a little sticky tack.
     
  30. Hoot Owl

    Hoot Owl Aficionado

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    I let my kids pick any seat they want and by anyone they wish, but, if talking or interence begins they'll be moved. It's worked wonderfully for 20 years.
     
  31. EiffelTower

    EiffelTower Comrade

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    I always seat them boy-girl, boy-girl. So, in a group of 4, a girl will set next to a boy and across from a boy and diagonal to a girl Then I make changes to who sits where based on their interactions.
     
  32. msmullenjr

    msmullenjr Devotee

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    The first two days they can sit wherever they walk in, I take notes on who needs to move away from friends and who appears to do fine by their friends. Then I assign seats. I actually rearrange the desks every two months or so, that way if they are unhappy it isn't likely to last that long anyway.
     

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