Seating Charts for Subs!

Discussion in 'Substitute Teachers' started by teachnfl, Oct 21, 2009.

  1. teachnfl

    teachnfl Rookie

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    Oct 21, 2009

    One of most important things a teacher should leave a sub, aside from the lesson plan for the day, is a current seating chart!
    So far this school year, none of the teachers whom I subbed for left a seating chart for me. Seating charts are helpful because:

    • students respond better if you know their names
    • students may have IEP and the seating arrangement may be apart of the plan (but without a seating chart-----how does the sub know?)

    In fact, I have resorted to making my OWN handwritten seating chart for the day because, as a teacher, I believe using students' names frequently (especially if you're a sub) sends the message that you are "with it" and "in charge".

    Anyone else run into this situation? :confused:
     
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  3. fratermus

    fratermus Companion

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    Oct 22, 2009

    Seating charts (and kids trained to sit in those seats) are incredibly useful. Lesson plan first, seating chart second.
     
  4. pjlmom

    pjlmom Rookie

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    seating charts

    I make new seating charts while I'm taking role. When kids see they have a sub they change seats, or the charts given are old. This way when I call their name they are surprised. When they know you know their name, a lot of the bad behavior stops. My seating chart goes on the back of my report. During class I'm circle the troublemakers names and those sleeping in class. I also make a note of those working hard on the assignment so I can complement and praise those on task. The teacher then will know who is playing musical chairs while she is out.:eek:
     
  5. mandagap06

    mandagap06 Devotee

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    Oct 22, 2009

    I don't sub past 5th grade, but for those who do once they get to highschool or even middle school it can be hard since they do not have assigned seats! I have only really been left a seating chart a couple of times in what 3 yrs of subbing. What helps me the most is nametags on the desks. Most elem. classes have those. Most elem kids are also pretty honest when I ask them their name! Kindergarten teachers usually leave nametags for their kids to wear and I just call their name and they come up and I put on their name tag! I wish all kinder-5th would wear them.
     
  6. GlendaLL

    GlendaLL Aficionado

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    Oct 22, 2009

    I totally agree! When students are "anonymous," they feel that they can do all kinds of crazy stuff!
     
  7. teachnfl

    teachnfl Rookie

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    Oct 22, 2009

    pjlmom,
    Exactly! That's really one of the main points about how seating charts help with behavior management. When you call their name, even using their name in a lesson, it really does get their attention! They know you mean business. ;)

    As far as teachers leaving subs seating charts for middle and high school classes, I couldn't see how it would HURT! If students don't have assigned seats, the teacher should leave a list of students' names with important information (allergies, ESOL, etc) which could help.

    However, as subs, making our own seating chart may be the ONLY option. :dizzy:
     
  8. Special-t

    Special-t Enthusiast

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    Oct 23, 2009

    A seating chart is the most useful thing a teacher can leave for a sub. I've had one left for me twice this semester and it made management SO much easier.
     
  9. azure

    azure Companion

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    Oct 23, 2009

    I have to disagree. I sub middle and high school a lot, and nearly all of them have assigned seats and usually provide seating charts.
     
  10. Special-t

    Special-t Enthusiast

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    Amazing seating charts today in 8th grade history. I would not have gotten through the day without them. This school has long 108 minute block scheduling and the kids get restless. Knowing their names was crucial.

    I posted on the board to sit in their assigned seats so I could use the seating chart to take role. Then once I had a handle on the class, I let them re-seat themselves as a reward and adjusted the chart so I still knew their names for mgmt purposes.

    I have a new little trick that's worked my last few middle school jobs (this is only feasible with seating charts). I make my own copy and mark stars by the names of the students who are on task. It gives the kids extra incentive to stay in their seats (because I can't give them a star if I don't know who they are!), and they love getting rewarded. If they start moving around too much or getting rowdy, I tell them I'm going to come around and start giving more stars - and they actually scamper back to their seats and get to work! I can't believe I found something that works with this age group.

    ... but even though my mgmt skills are improving, middle school SO exhausting ...
     
  11. teachnfl

    teachnfl Rookie

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    Oct 24, 2009

    special-t,
    Wow! Good thing you had the seating charts! I like the "star" idea, but how many stars do they need to get the 'reward'? What usually is the 'reward' ? Sounds like it really works! :cool:
     
  12. SwOcean Gal

    SwOcean Gal Devotee

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    Oct 24, 2009

    It really does help knowing names. It is funny- I always make a seating chart and call names throughout the day, so the next time I am in that school and I see a student I had I know their name and I can say Hi, name! They get so excited
    Someone posted on here last year that she let the kids quiz her at the end of the day on their names. So she had to know all of the kids names by the end of the day and pass the quiz. I loved that idea- I do not remember who posted it, but I use that too now.
     
  13. mandagap06

    mandagap06 Devotee

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    Oct 24, 2009

    I am sry but maybe I was just speaking for my area! In my area the middle and highschoolers do not have assigned seats!
     
  14. IAMdoneSubbing

    IAMdoneSubbing Companion

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    Oct 24, 2009

    Last time I subbed a class (3rd grade) that was a little crazy, I made a seating chart just to write their misbehavior since they are sitting in their seats. By doing so, the kids who normally would behave well did't even act up, knowing that they'd be recorded. I told them that I'd fill in their names later since names are on the desks.

    What I noticed about these kids was that they want the sub to talk to them about things unrelated to the subject at hand. That day, durign social studies, I decided to change my eye glasses. (I have a computer pair that doesn't have distance vision). So, I talked about it with them. I told them that since their room wasn't big, this pair of eyeglasses would work fine unlike the one I was wearing that was for far visions as well aside from near and intermediate vision. (Of course, I explained to them what intermediate vision was.) Also, since one kid offered me his eye glasses when I went to the teacger's desk to get my 2nd pair, I decided to explain why one's prescription wouldn't work for another by drawing the picture of normal pupil on the board and then the ones with cornea shape that'd require eye glasses just to give them some idea. Good thing I know physics (Refraction/refelection) to explain that a little bit to them. Everyone was so cooperative that the kids who would normally behave well, started ignoring the bad behavior of the bad kids instead of giggling. I wonder whether talking about things outside their classwork made them think I was so knowledgable about things. I might just start talking about tipics like that (from Physics and Chemistry), of course, describing in ways they'd understand.
     
  15. myownwoman

    myownwoman Habitué

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    Oct 24, 2009

    currentSubber that's a good idea, as they will see you as more human (I know) and they can connect to you much more easily.
     
  16. azure

    azure Companion

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    Oct 24, 2009

    Our district uses STI computer program for all it's recording keeping. With that program a teacher is able to make a seating chart with pictures. Now that is useful.
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2009
  17. Special-t

    Special-t Enthusiast

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    Oct 25, 2009

    In this case, there was no physical reward.

    With elementary age kids, I think you'd have to have a physical reward of some kind because they need faster gratification to stay motivated. (I did something similar with a 4th grade class I subbed for the entire week - I printed up certificates they could earn to take home to show their parents or leave at school to show the teacher - it was touching how many wanted me to keep them at school so the teacher could see how good they were).

    It's different with middle school kids because they can conceive of a reward in the future. I worked on the assumption that the teacher has told them to behave for the sub ... and that they get some kind of behavior grade.

    I started out by saying something like, "Usually subs keep a "bad" list of the students who misbehave, right??? Today I'm going to keep a GOOD list and everyone can make it onto the list!" I had to reinforce this idea by repeating this a few times in the first 15 minutes. And the students who still weren't listening (the disruptive ones) got really curious when they saw me walking around putting marks by the names. When they saw I was giving stars .... slowly .... they got to work so they could earn stars, too. I immediately gave these slow starters their first star the moment they started to work.

    So, it's not a competition to reach a certain number, it's a way to show off to their regular teacher that they earned stars.

    Because there's no target number, I was able to keep the stars proportional by loading on the stars for the "good" students and keep the challenging students motivated to earn more stars.
     
  18. ancientcivteach

    ancientcivteach Habitué

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    Oct 26, 2009

    This is interesting. I really don't use seating charts so I don't have them to leave for subs. (I rarely miss school, too)

    I could do either of the following:

    leave nametags that the substitute could ask the students to wear (pre-printed)

    leave a name-list with pictures


    Which do you think would be most useful?
     
  19. myownwoman

    myownwoman Habitué

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    I would rather have name-list with pictures because the kids could always switch their name tags. The students would be more apt to behave and listen to subs when they see we know who they are.
     
  20. azure

    azure Companion

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    Please reconsider and make the seating charts. Use pencil, so it's easy to erase when you move kids. Your subs will thank you. It's very quick and easy to do and would take a lot less time than name tags.

     
  21. Special-t

    Special-t Enthusiast

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    I love name tags! I forgot how useful they are. A name list with pictures would be tougher to use because it takes awhile to match the real faces with the photos.
     
  22. teachnfl

    teachnfl Rookie

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    I agree that it is better to have a physical seating chart (with pictures is a BONUS) because there is already SO MUCH for the sub to worry about and extra nametags to make sure each student appropriately wears would be a headache. :dizzy:

    Now, having visibe nametags on the DESKS is helpful...but by this time in the year most of the tags have either been removed by students or are not on ALL the desks.

     
  23. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Oct 26, 2009

    ...OR seven different kids sit in each desk, so it's not feasible to put seven different nametags on each one.
     
  24. souljah00

    souljah00 Rookie

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    I started off as a sub and became a teacher, so when I had my own class I made them sub ready. I always kept a seating chart in pencil and cover it with transparency paper for my notes and the sub notes. I also highlighted the "problem" kids and the "helpers" so the sub could be prepared. I also built in a reward for the students so the sub didn't have to worry about one. The reward was usually extra credit for my high school kids and free time for the middle school kids. The high school student wanted free time or the opportunity to make up a missed assignment.
     
  25. Special-t

    Special-t Enthusiast

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    Oct 27, 2009

    This method worked really well in one class - it was the next best thing to a seating chart. The backs of all the chairs (the side facing the front) were clearly numbered with a big taped on card. I could pretty easily keep track of the students by number, and they knew I could tell the teacher who behaved and who did not - even without knowing their names.
     
  26. Kangaroo22

    Kangaroo22 Virtuoso

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    In the school I subbed in today we actually had to hand in a form to the main office that asked if you were able to find and use the teacher's seating charts.
     
  27. Michael S.

    Michael S. Companion

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    Oct 28, 2009

    Every school should have forms that ask if subs were able to find everything needed. I go into classes too often without having class lists, etc., etc. and it is horrible. I usually either drop a hint such as writing my own class list or state in my note that it would have been nice to have.

    If school administrators took a more active role in making sure their teachers are prepared for absences, substitute teachers would be more effective (on average).
     
  28. azure

    azure Companion

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    I wasn't talking about a name list with pictures. Our STI program allows the teacher to create a seating chart
    with pictures, so you see the picture of the child (with name) in the position s/he is sitting.

    I can see name tags working for primary K-2, but beyond that I think the kids would think that's too babyish for them. Also with older kids the teacher is often not close enough to read a name tag.

    The seating chart is best in middle and high school where kids try to switch seats when they see a sub is in the room. As a sub I NEVER believe them when they tell me the teacher moved them. I just say, "Well, that may or may not be true, but today we're going by this seating chart because I need to know who's who.

     
  29. rockangel312

    rockangel312 Companion

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    Yeah it's rare if they leave a seating chart. In my experience the only time I have had one is when I personally know the teacher and they leave me one. Usually I just make my own up. This way I can say their name instead of pointing.
     
  30. rockangel312

    rockangel312 Companion

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    Yeah it's rare if they leave a seating chart. In my experience the only time I have had one is when I personally know the teacher and they leave me one. Usually I just make my own up. This way I can say their name instead of pointing.
     
  31. kellyrosebud

    kellyrosebud Rookie

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    While my students don't always have their names on their desk for me, I always make sure the students desk name tags are on when I have a sub.

    When I pull out the pile of desk name tags, it's a tell-tale sign that a sub day is coming!
     
  32. fratermus

    fratermus Companion

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    Many teachers around here draw the desk layout then put the names on the smallest post-it notes for easy rearrangement. Some slip the paper into a clear sleeve to prevent damage/movement.

    It's genius, and I'll do the same when I get my own classroom.
     
  33. IAMdoneSubbing

    IAMdoneSubbing Companion

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    Hey, I was re-reading some posts and saw this. I also do this strategy routinely now. The idea started during subbing middle school in another district. It was just easier to get the names of good kids who were also fewer. And today, in a special ed class that I have been subbing for 4 days last week, I just kept a piece of paper with me at all time, always adding the stars and erasing them if they misbehaved, also telling them that once they lost all their stars, I'd start writing minus sigsn and that it would mean BAD. I also let them earn to remove the minus sign. It worked much better than pulling their cards which can get quite disruptive.

    I alos told them that I was doing it to show their teacher.

     

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