Seating Charts

Do you use a seating chart? How do you decide how students are arranged?


11 Responses to Seating Charts

  1. No seating chart 98% of the time. I tell the students straight out that they are in high school now and that they may sit where they like – I will only impose a seating chart as a doomsday final resort when their choices and behavior demand it..

  2. Sarah says:

    I have a seating chart for guest teachers, but other than that I’m pretty flexible. I always start the year with a seating chart, but I never officially change it after that. If students choose to move and give me a fairly decent reason or just move and don’t make it an issue then I don’t have any problems with them changing their seats.
    Pretty much the same as MathCurmudgeon.

  3. Eva Rudolph says:

    In my 7th grade math class I taped a brightly colored/laminated number on each desk and have a set of the same numbers in a stack. When the students would walk into the classroom, I hand them a number and have them find the corresponding desk and sit there for that day. This was done everyday, so the students sat in a different spot and were working in different groups each time. One student is desginated to collect the numbers at the beginning of class. I have found that the students take to this quickly and really like the idea that they will sit somewhere different each day.

    I have never had too much “number switching” but when I do it is pretty easy to pick up on. The students that do switch thier numbers sit in a desginated area until they are allowed to pick numbers again.

    At the beginning of the year I give out a seating chart for the students when there is a substitute teacher, and had a copy of this available for the sub as well. I also made this my test day seating chart, so the students would remember where they would sit when I did call in a sub.

  4. However, a seating chart streamlines taking roll. Any opportunity to use your time and their time effectively is good.

    And if students can choose their own seats, isn’t the seating being determined by the aggressive kids? Aren’t the quiet kids being relegated to second class?

  5. Eva, this is great! I’ve been thinking about this for this year. A side benefit to numbered desks is that you can use this for tasks which require randomization, such as calling on students.

    Two issues:

    1) How do you keep students from messing with the desk numbers (writing, tearing, poking)?
    2) Don’t desks occasionally need to be rearranged? Is this just a non-issue?

  6. Eva Rudolph says:

    Exactly! Glad I could help.

    Here are the answers to your questions–>

    The kids do try to mess with them, but I have learned to not only laminate them but to use the thick clear tape to put them on the desks. The ones that they handle wear too, but not too bad. I make a set myself for the beginning of the year and then after Christmas I make another set. Last year I assigned a number to each student and had them help me make the 2nd set and then quickly get them laminated and have a few students help to cut them out and place them on the desks, didn’t take too long.

    I probally arrange my desks differently every week, sometimes more based on the activity/lesson/project we are working on at the time. It actually works out pretty well becasue the numbers go with the desks and the kids don’t miss a beat–they just find the corresponding number and carry on. This is very beneficial with this type of seating chart because I am free to rearrange anytime without having to spend time making a new seating chart or showing the students the new seating arrangement.

  7. Debbie says:

    I use a seating plan for all of my classes for students aged 11 to 16, even with my form whilst they’re young. My 17/18 year olds are just asked to sit at certain desks (i.e. near the front).

  8. Karl Mason says:

    There are severe problems with allowing the pupils to choose their own seats, the main one is that the students will become insular and have a limited set of ideas. Working with people of different backgrounds, abilities and ideas helps people to broaden their minds. So you should always set them in groups according to something of your choosing, be up front with the kids why they are in the particular groups. Once in a group, I leave them as they are for 6 weeks then re-set them according to another criteria.

  9. I Speak Math says:

    I teach middle school so seating charts are a necessity. They are brilliant kids, and amazing. But, they just can’t stop talking to each other. They are just all too interesting. true story. : )

  10. Duncan Wils says:

    I am based in the UK and have been teaching for over 16 years. I ALWAYS use a seating chart – even with my KS5 pupils. I have written a series of useful notes about seating charts at which readers may find useful.

  11. Pingback: Do Teachers Still Need Classroom Seating Charts? |

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