Need classroom seating chart ideas? Look no further!
Creating a classroom seating chart doesn’t have to be your worst nightmare, at the bottom of your to-do list, pushed aside until a moment of pure desperation hits!
If you browse the inter-webs for any amount of time, you’ve probably come across memes with teachers working out elaborate equations so as “not to make things worse” with their seating chart situation.
It’s true. Creating a seating chart can be time-consuming if you let it.
After all, you have to consider:
- Medical issues
- Vision/hearing issues
- IEP/504 stipulations
- Social/emotional needs
- Individual student needs
- Friend groups
And this is just the beginning. You also might find yourself considering the balance of personalities at a table group, gender, student interests, working styles, etc. It can be overwhelming, especially at the secondary level with multiple classes to consider. Is it any wonder that teachers need classroom seating chart ideas to help them save time?
Reasons for Creating a Classroom Seating Chart
Some teachers will say that a classroom seating chart is not necessary. Aaaaand depending on the class, this might work. However, I like to mix my high school students up frequently so that:
- They’re exposed to different perspectives
- They begin to feel a sense of community in the room no matter who they sit by.
In addition, a new classroom seating chart can help to “re-set” and focus a class that has developed a negative pattern of behavior. Aaaaand, engagement goes up when students have new peers to collaborate with.
Teachers are Time-Poor
Up until last year, I was on the struggle bus with seating chart creation. I found myself putting it off because it was time-consuming.
Then, one day, I saw my colleague moving little colored pieces of paper around at her desk and asked her what she was up to… “I’m making a new classroom seating chart,” she said…and was done in less than five minutes.
Please, teach me your ways, I begged.
So, she did. Here’s the low-tech classroom seating chart idea that I used last year!
Low-Tech Seating Chart Idea #1
Three reasons why I love this strategy:
- I never end up awkwardly forgetting to include a student in an updated seating chart.
- It’s visual!
- I only have to write each student’s name ONE time at the beginning of the year!
Create ONE master copy of your table arrangement(s), make enough copies for each of your classes, and stick them in clear page protectors. Bonus points awarded if you already have some sort of teacher binder into which you can put these organizational items!
Decide on your top 3-4 considerations for making the classroom seating chart (see the list above for ideas). Grab different colored stacks of mini sticky notes or Post-It page marking flags.
Dedicate a color to each category. I like to keep mine simple, with three categories as follows.
- Medical issues / Vision/hearing issues
- IEP/504 stipulations
- All other students
Write student names on the appropriate sticky note colors.
Place sticky notes onto the seating chart pages at the appropriate desks/table groups.
Extra Credit: If you would also like to record a quick symbol next to student names to help you remember personality conflicts and other needs, you can do so.
High-Tech Seating Chart Idea #2
If you’re a fan of digital teaching tools, you can take strategy #1 into Google Slides. After using the low-tech version last year, I have switched this year to using Google Slide classroom seating charts.
Three Reasons Why I Love This Strategy (in addition to reasons listed for the low-tech strategy above):
- I minimize paper shuffle, making life more happy and less chaotic.
- I can attach comments to student name boxes.
- I can name each version of the seating chart, making it easy to remember past student groupings.
I have created a quick tutorial video that walks you through each step of the classroom seating chart creation process. Enjoy!
Hey, if you loved this post, I want to be sure you’ve had the chance to grab a FREE copy of my guide to streamlined grading. I know how hard it is to do all the things as an English teacher, so I’m over the moon to be able to share with you some of my best strategies for reducing the grading overwhelm.
Click on the link above or the image below to get started!
[…] teacher side hustle forced me to learn organizational skills and budget my […]
[…] I do NOT use a seating chart. This is because I want to see who students naturally choose to sit by. In a particularly talkative class, I’ll split these students up when I create their first seating chart. […]