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seating plan practicalities

Discussion in 'Behaviour' started by PegMatite, Oct 28, 2011.

  1. PegMatite

    PegMatite New commenter

    Thanks to you both for the advice. Sounds like putting the seating plan up on powerpoint is the answer.
  2. Tom_Bennett

    Tom_Bennett Occasional commenter

    Hi there
    Here's a link to an article I wrote on seating plans, along with a simple (and I do mean simple) template. I think SPs are invaluable, and very important with new groups. I get mine to stand at the back and then name and point to each seat; works fine for me, takes five minutes, and establishes your authority and role in the room.
    Good luck
    Read more from Tom here on his personal blog, or follow him on Twitter here.
  3. Zadok1

    Zadok1 New commenter

    I agree that as long as you can put windows and doors on the plan it should be okay.
    The only other advice I'd offer is:

    1) Tell the kids that the purpose of the seating plan is to help you get to know them... if they're not used to being seated in a plan it will help to stop any grumbling

    2) Tell them that when you put the plan on the board you do not expect to hear anyone making stupid noises about the person they have been seated with, that it would be considered by you to be bullying and is therefore not acceptable. Explain that when someone makes a comment or a noise that makes another person feel bad about themselves... especially in front of the rest of the class that counts as bullying. Go on to explain that if someone has a genuine problem with the person they have been seated next to they will have to deal with it for this lesson but that they can speak to you privately at the end of the lesson, that you will listen and will consider whether the plan should be altered.

    I know this all sounds a bit over the top but it helps to establish your authority in the classroom and makes you sound like a totally reasonable person... because of course you are a totally reasonable person!
  4. I would recommend asking the current teacher (if they're available) about any specific issues before hand..........and then go through the class-list with them to double-check!
    I've taught a boy that was not allowed to sit next to girls for safety reasons. I was fore-warned by the TA before I received the email telling me this. I taught a boy and girl in one class whose mum and dad had started seeing each other. The boy and girl disliked each other but once the parents' relationship began this turned to pure venom. Again, the wonderful TA saw my new seating plan and let me know what was happening just before I sat them at the same table!
    If you've taught Bobby and Freddy for the last three years you may forget to tell the new teacher that everyone knows you don't sit those two together!
    Sometimes the issues are so big people forget that not everyone knows. Sometimes they are small enough to slip the mind but large enough to sabbotage an otherwise good plan.
    Good luck.
  5. I'm with Tom on this. Get them stood around the outside of the room and direct to the seats. This has the huge advantage of having no scope for misunderstanding (either real or fake). Make it clear that it is non negotiable though and crack down on any comedians who want to have a laugh at their mate's expense because of who they are put next to.
  6. I've always started by having the students lined up outside the room, then asked the girls or the boys to sit down starting from the front and to leave a gap between. Then ask the girls to fill in the spaces from the front - therefore they do get a 'choice' but it is a guided choice with clear boundaries. This has always worked well for me, even with my Year 11 classes. Give it a a go and see what happens. Then obviously once you get to know the students you can make little changes where necessary.
  7. I've actually asked kids before "now, if you know that you're sat next to someone that it's not a good idea for you to be sat next to, this is your chance to do the sensible thing and move before I get to know you for mucking around and doing the wrong thing"... it's amazing how many will voluntarily move with a variety of sheepish expressions on their faces!
  8. ScienceGuy

    ScienceGuy Established commenter

    I change my seating plan regularly and use several ways of seating pupils depending on the group. For higher ability KS4 groups I tens to seat them in rank order with more able pupils at the back of the classroom. This means that the students who are having some difficulties either due to behaviour or genuine problems with understanding are near the front and so they can get advice as necessary.
    For other groups I tend to mix up the class by gender and try to avoid having people work with the same partner more than once. After I have had the class for a while it becomes relatively easy to identify which students need to be away from each other. Some classes are more difficult than others; one group had a set of 5 boys that had to be apart from each other and another set of 3 girls and oneboy that needed to be kept apart.
    When putting students into a new plan I favour having them stand at the back of the room whilst I assign them to their seats a few at a time. It takes a couple of mintues and is an effective way of reminding the class who is in charge at the start of a new term.
  9. I find class seating plans really useful in my teaching and have even gone down the data rich route (ie putting things like SEN, KS3 results etc on them). This takes a long time but it is really good to have all the key info at a glance.
  10. joli2

    joli2 New commenter

    I disagree with both of these suggestions and if a student teacher did this with any of my classes I'd be very annoyed.


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