Classroom Management Tip
I am an avid proponent of seating plans. Students need consistent routines and structure to be successful. Seating plans can be time-consuming to create for the teacher, and they can cause students to be upset when they are not sitting with their friends.
Last year I mixed up my seating plans by changing up how I made the seating plan. Some days I would randomly number the desks, and then assign students numbers as they walked into the room. Other days I would hand out half of a card from a deck of cards and the students had to find the matching half taped to a desk.
Eventually the numbers would rub off the desks, or the cards would get bent. I did not want to keep having to number desks or buy new decks of cards. I also wanted a system that would allow for easy group creation for group work.
This summer, I created flexible seating cards to solve the problems with my previous flexible seating systems. These cards can be printed out on cardstock and laminated to help them last the whole school year.
How Do The Cards Work?
1. Decide if you want to tape the desk card to your desks or just place the card on the desk before students arrive to class. Personally I find that in the upper grades too much movement happens to tape items to desks. I will just be placing the desk set on each desk, and having a student collect them before instruction begins.
2. Decide which version of the card you want students to find as their seat – numbers, pilot alphabet, deck of cards or Morse code. Then hand each student one card as they walk into the classroom. The students then have to find their new seat by matching their small card to the four square desk card. Remember to have students write down their seat symbol so you can use that to make groups if needed.
3. To easily make groups shuffle the card set you used to assign the student seats, and make groups of 2,3,4, or 5. Show the new groups under a document camera, or by using magnets to post the cards on the board.