Thursday, May 20, 2021

The Seating Chart

Students are creatures of habit. They like their routines. Once something has been established, like requiring them to wipe down their desks at the end of the period, they just continue to do that thing. They don't like it when we change things up on them.

In the co-taught classes, I am in charge of taking roll. (I'm in charge of roll in the classes where it's just me, too, of course.) After a couple weeks of not remembering any of the names of the in-person students, I decided to take advantage of their tendencies. I decided to make seating charts. 

We have not assigned seats. Now, you'd think that me making a seating chart and then not requiring the kiddos to sit in the same seats would mean that my seating charts are useless. They are not. 

Second period, Tuesday. Four students arrived. All sat down in the front row. I went down the line, and all had sat according to the seating chart. That they were unaware of. 

After a month of in-person learning, they have chosen their seats, and they are sticking to them. 

It's not 100%. In third period, a girl and a boy have done battle over the back far corner seat. It goes to the student who arrives first. (The one day that they started an argument over it, I forbid either to sit there. Since then, they've accepted the first one to get there gets it.) 

Save for a couple other adjustments daily, the kiddos pretty much stay in the same seats. And with my chart, I have started to learn their names. Or, at least, I'm way better at "guessing" who is who. 

Seating charts are how I learn students' names. It's the way my brain works. So, might as well play to my strengths, right?


  1. The same thing was true for me in college. There was never a seating chart but we all sat in the same seats every time.

  2. I used to sit in the same place when I was in school. If I was ever asked to change seats I was left feeling like a fish out of water. :-)

    Greetings from London.

  3. do what you have to do, if it works...

  4. A universal truth the world over. My eldest Barbarian was very upset the first day back after holidays as someone had sat in "his" seat - they haven't been allocated seating, but as you say, from day 1 the seat they choose is the seat they stay in.

  5. If the tool you need isn't there, make it!

    In China, kids chose their own English names, if they used one. I remembered best the ones that were either good, bad, or had a unique name. Butterfly, Apple, Rock...

    1. Yes, that is true. Use what works. This week the kiddos had a project, and one girl said she really likes working with slides. I told her to transfer her work to them and use that to help. Whatever works.


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