seating arrangements

Discussion in 'Kindergarten' started by yvonne, Sep 14, 2017.

  1. yvonne

    yvonne Guest

    Sep 14, 2017

    how many seating arrangements are appropriate for kindergarten?

    I try to keep my class in groups no bigger than five. This year I have a group of 4, 4, 4, 5, 5. These groups are color coded: red for low kids, orange for low to medium, green for medium, blue for medium to high, purple for high. Their tables are organized/ color coded this way and their spots on the rug for whole group instruction. So i have one seating chart.

    My aid does not like this. So she wants to make a seating chart for sitting on the rug, tables/centers and lunch tables. The reading intervention teachers come in to do Words Their Way and Reading Groups. There's 4 teachers so 4 groups. So that's another seating chart.

    So that would be at least 4 seating charts for kindergarteners.

    I think thats way too many. Because my aid is stubborn and bossy the only way she responds to me is if I say its research based, proven, or mandated.

    Can I get any thoughts or advice on how many seating charts are appropriate for kindergarten and how to approach this subject.

    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 14, 2017
  3. viola_x_wittrockiana

    viola_x_wittrockiana Comrade

    Oct 25, 2016
    Likes Received:

    Sep 14, 2017

    Depending on behavior, I can see having a chart for carpet time, but there's no need for one at centers and it's arguably detrimental at lunch. If the visiting RI teachers want charts, it's up to them to do charts how they need them, not your aide. You can find plenty of articles about how the increased academic demands are disrupting social development in K. Having to sit next to the same kids at lunch limits their ability to socialize with the whole class, esp. others unlike themselves.

    Honestly, I wouldn't have remembered exactly where I was supposed to sit when at that age.

    A note about ability grouping - make sure you reassess periodically and shift kids as appropriate, also be careful with color-coding because they pick up on more than you think and you don't want kids thinking they're dumb because they're in the red group. Animals or shapes are less connotative.
    Obadiah likes this.
  4. Obadiah

    Obadiah Groupie

    Jul 27, 2015
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    Sep 15, 2017

    Coincidentally, prior to coming across your post, I was remembering my time in Kindergarten--as a student. I remember we sat in a circle in chairs. The seats might have been assigned, or perhaps we just naturally ended up in the same seats, but I recall being directly across from the teacher. We sat in the chairs for class discussions and to listen to the adventures of Uncle Wiggly. I recall playing London Bridge as we formed a circle around the room. I recall a sitting game where we each had a partner and rocked back and forth. I recall getting up and leaving on schedule for a snack then suddenly realizing that no one else had traveled out into the hall with me--the friendly custodian brought me back to class. I recall nap time--not my favorite time. I recall my friend Timmy bringing a large toenail clipping in for show and tell.

    If I might submit a bit of professional disagreement, with understanding that I respect differences in opinion, and that I realize the concern for increased "academic" performance in Kindergarten, I survived a half day of playing with blocks and still academically succeeded in life, becoming a teacher. And if I might add, I don't recall 1st or 2nd grade being all that rigorous, not by today's standards. But let's return to Kindergarten. We did have language arts class--the teacher read aloud, we sang and quoted nursery rhymes and played musical games that included singing, all to tunes that followed strict mathematical arrangements. We built with blocks to experience mathematical foundations. We communicated in classroom discussions, even if they were about Timmy's toenail.

    I'm concerned about grouping students as low, medium, and high in beginning grades. These groupings are based on observable performance, but at such an early age, many, many factors contribute to the observation. At such an early age, the students' brains are growing phenomenally, and science still hasn't discovered all the intricacies involved. Their brain growth drastically changes within just 1 hour, but often lower grade groupings last all throughout school. If the lower groups don't receive the same brain stimulation as the upper groups, they won't succeed as far as their brain might take them. On the other hand, the opposite problem is just as formidable, forcing a student to perform above her/his current potential. The increased academic structure is dipping down into preschool and even earlier in some minor instances, and the current structure that I've witnessed is crowding out beginning structures of learning such as what I described in my own Kindergarten experiences. Just because it can't be tested on paper doesn't mean that essential brain development hasn't occurred.

    The Pisa tests seem to be the root cause of the concern. Then teachers and school systems receive the blame. Aside from the fact that some research indicates the Pisa tests are not showing a lack of performance in American schools, there is more to a child's educational development than school itself. Education begins at birth! Students are not born with a blank slate; they are born with instinctual knowledge and knowledge gained while in the womb. At birth they begin learning language from what they hear. Parents who communicate effectively with their infants and read to them (from birth) usually see effective language development. Kids who play, learn. Today many kids are not receiving adequate communication with parents, with other kids, with other adults; they are not receiving adequate age appropriate play time, they are videotized by TV, DVD's, and the Internet; they are trapped inside a room without exposure to the large geometric outdoors nor do they have ample opportunity to explore geometric situations such as raking leaves and jumping into the pile, playing hide and seek, swinging back and forth on a swingset, you name it. (Often overlooked in research, such mathematical learning also strongly influences reading and speaking development). Just yesterday, my sister reminded me of how I used to run up and down the sidewalk with my dad's tank-top undershirt around my neck in a cape flying like Superman. All of these originally normal activities have diminished, and that is why students aren't as prepared for school as they used to be. But personally, I have difficulty with attempting to rectify this situation by increasing the sit-down-paper-and-pencil activities in Kindergarten, and again, I question the functionality of early grouping students. Back to the original post, however, I might suggest to the aide that the teacher is in charge of the classroom, not the aide, and I do agree that assigned lunch seating and perhaps carpet seating is a bit much. I'd rather teach the students how to sit rather than where to sit.
  5. svassillion

    svassillion Companion

    Aug 23, 2017
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    Sep 28, 2017

    I have multiple groups for my Ks. It's still the beginning of the year so they've only been introduced to one of them so far which I call their Season Groups (fall, winter, spring, summer). These are heterogeneous groups to help separate the students who can not work well next to each other and keep a balance of girls and boys. These groups are never altered.

    Once I have a better idea of their current ability I'll introduce shape groups (circle, square, triangle, diamonds) for math which are homogeneous groupings. This helps me with differentiating my math lessons/centers and keeping materials organized. And later they'll be introduced to Color Groups (green, blue, orange, yellow) which are also homogeneous for reading time again to help me differentiate. Color and Shape groups are altered based on student growth throughout the year.

    IMO classes need at least one homogeneous grouping and one heterogeneous grouping so the teacher has flexibility for lessons whether they want diversity in groups or they are looking to focus on appropriate challenge. I chose to have two homogeneous because I find the students who excel or struggle with reading may be the opposite in math so I have one for each. In my experience, this has made my life so much easier and the students do not have a hard time with this.

    And to echo Viola's comment on ability grouping, you may want to reassess those color groups. I think red is often associated with "red flag" or "high alert", so it may not be the best idea to have your lowest group be red. Even if the kids don't make this assumption, their parents might and you want ability to be a mystery for students/parents.

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