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Seating Charts

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Classroom Seating Charts

seating chart    There are different ways to organize the students in your classroom. Types of seating charts include student choice, alphabetical, and teacher placed. Some teachers do not believe in using a seating chart. However, allowing friends to sit next to each other can cause disruptions in your class. Assigning high school or middle school students alphabetically might allow friends to be seated next each other or placed next to the same person since elementary school. Do not let your classroom management be left to chance.

Seating charts are one of the best preventative measures a teacher can use. Sitting a talkative student next to a shy student might limit disruptions. Silence is not a goal of classroom management but having students on task is a goal, like when they are working on our interactive online assessments.

The following are some general rules of seating charts: First, any student who may be required by law to be placed somewhere specific is most important. It is very important that you, the teacher, attend every IEP or student centered meeting, because it may affect your classroom, and hence how you manage the class. Second, students in the front and center of your room will receive the most eye contact from you. If you want to keep a close eye on a student, put them in the front of the room. This may work well for students with ADD. The front corners are the best place to put a student who disrupts the class. This could be a student with ADD who gets easily distracted by other students.

The problem with front and center is that when a student is disruptive, the whole class sees it. This is not a good place to put students with ADHD. When disruptive students are placed in the corners, students focus less attention on them. If a student is challenging, but not defiant, the back corners of the room work best.

Because of an IEP or 504 plans, the first row may be filled with students who are required to be there. If the first row is filled, then put your disruptive students on either end of the second row. Sit less talkative students next to, in front of, and behind the talkative student. The front of the room is also a great place to place an unmotivated student. Placing unmotivated students in the front allows you to frequently observe what they are doing and to remind them to keep on task.

If you want to quickly learn who is friends with whom in your class, let students sit wherever they want for a couple of days. Write down where they sit and record who talks with whom, how disruptive they are and how many times they talk or disrupt. This is great to do on the first days of school since you get to use this data for the whole school year.

With this data, create your seating chart by sitting the most disruptive students in the front corners. Sit students who like to talk with each other on opposite sides of the room, front/back and left/right. When placing students in the seating chart, always think, will this student talk to the students next to him or her, either next to or in front of or behind. This will help to minimize the desire to talk. Notice how much effort and planning goes into a sitting chart. This effort is to prevent a student from disrupting your class.

* Disclaimer: Before implementing any ideas from this website, please first consult your principal to make sure they are in compliance with state laws, district and school procedures.

Management Rule #9

  1. Student engagement strategies keep students on task.

  2. Use classroom procedures to create consistency.

  3. Always check for understanding.

  4. Create a safe classroom environment using respect..

  5. Use classroom consequences to correct wrong student behavior.

  6. Use the tone of your voice and body language to communicate information.

  7. Academically challenge every student.

  8. How to easily get your students' attention.

  9. apple logo Use a classroom seating chart.

  10. Increase participation by using collaborative learning and group projects.

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