New Teacher Tips - How to Use Seating Charts
Aug 22, 2009 Classroom Management 4043 Views
At an in-service teacher's meetings, the subject of classroom organization was brought up. We brainstormed quite a few elements such as the time of day, poor lighting, events and of course, the top ranked one - the classroom seating arrangements.
When you reorganize the seating arrangements, make sure you have a few options in terms of relocating very disruptive students. Don't just mix and match students without considering the social dynamics of your particular class.
I kept very light penciled copies of seating charts in my first and even second and third years of teaching.When I opted for group work, I had to explain new classroom procedures and rules and naturally, it was hard to explain to my students why I had relocated them. When you explain the rationale for your procedure, kids might find it convincing enough if the task speaks to them. Another challenge.
It took a great deal of experimentation for me to find the right balance. But the good news is that you will be thinking more automatically in terms of find the right seating arrangement for the right task. You don't also need to jump in with having elaborate and fancy seating arrangements. Rows work just fine. And when I need to restructure the seating arrangement, I inform the kids a bit ahead of time, and they work in groups from their seats. All they do is just turn their tables.
Make sure you have procedures that both illustrate and explain to the students exactly what you want. Not having a clear enough procedures is enough to turn them off-task. But, once you neutralize the social dynamics, you can (and should) penalize them if you find that they are not on-task by reflecting it in their final grade.
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