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Seating Chart?
Old 07-02-2016, 06:22 AM
 
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What does everyone use for a seating chart? Assigned spots or not assigned spots? I'm thinking about not using assigned spots next year and wondering about all the details...I see the pros and cons of it and need some more advice!! I've always had names on the tables in the past and liked that but I'm willing to try something new if it will help my students possibly become more responsible and/or better at solving problems, etc. I see some potential there for great learning moments...
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Old 07-02-2016, 06:33 AM
 
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I do both! I start the year with assigned seats at tables and on the floor in group areas. As we master routines and expectations, I open it up to flexible seating. The name tag below is the one I use; it is initially on tables and then I put it on their supply box for reference and supply box identification.
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Old 07-02-2016, 06:37 AM
 
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How well does flexible seating work for you, ECGen23? Pros & cons...
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Old 07-02-2016, 06:42 AM
 
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With consistency and modeling expectations, blah blah, I have no cons. I have six traps (making 3 tables), a standing desk, clipboards, and two traps I took the legs off (they sit on the floor, like a Japanese restaurant), plus kid-size couches, bean bags, etc. I have ball chairs and hokki stools. The kids experiment to see what they like best and then become very consistent in their choices.

I had doubts, but I have had a great experience with it.
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Old 07-02-2016, 06:57 AM
 
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Wonderful thanks (appreciate the "blah blah" part - haha!)


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Old 07-02-2016, 07:38 AM
 
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I am very interested in this and would like to hear from more people that use flexible seating and/or no assigned spots. I have been slowly filling my classroom with things that would make it easy for me to switch to flexible seating but I am apprehensive to make the full leap. Currently I have pillows, wobble chairs, lap trays, and clip boards. I am thinking of lowering a table or two and adding more things. How did the transition go once you changed your seating from traditional tables and chairs and once you implement it each year? Thanks.
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Old 07-02-2016, 07:42 AM
 
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I did full leap and no regrets! I don't introduce it until we have solid routines. My main rule is: You can be anywhere in the room provided you are doing your work and not keeping anyone else from doing his/her work. If you are not following that rule, I will re-place you." I had to perform very few re-placements last year. They loved that freedom and lived up to the trust I put in them.

I also truly believe their concentration, output, etc. was much better, especially when writing.
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Old 07-02-2016, 07:56 AM
 
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I like the "re-place you" statement. It's a very logical consequence and consistent with the routines. I can think of some students last year who would have preferred the flexible seating and I regret not doing that for them. On the other hand, I had others who craved routine and maybe wouldn't have liked it. For those kids I probably would have gave them just a few options so they wouldn't feel overwhelmed. Each class is so different too - who knows what group I'll have in the fall!
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Alternative seating
Old 07-02-2016, 07:59 AM
 
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Sooo, when you guys do alternative seating does this happen during reading groups too? Trying to wrap my brain around it! Thanks!
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Old 07-02-2016, 08:02 AM
 
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Quote:
I had others who craved routine and maybe wouldn't have liked it.
But, they create their own routine, which I think is very powerful. They can choose the same thing every time. Most of mine did, once they tried a few options.

Quote:
Each class is so different too - who knows what group I'll have in the fall!
Yes! Every year, I have to tweak a little. Some years, I introduce flexible seating early because the class is ready to take that responsibility. Other years...well...with some class personalities, it takes a little longer. It all comes down to knowing your kids.


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Old 07-02-2016, 08:06 AM
 
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Quote:
Sooo, when you guys do alternative seating does this happen during reading groups too? Trying to wrap my brain around it! Thanks!
I use "flexible seating" to mean choice in location and "alternative seating" to mean not the traditional chairs and the two go hand in hand. A hokki stool at an assigned place at a table is alternative seating. Taking a clipboard and working in a spot in the room of your choosing while lying on your belly is flexible seating.

Does that make sense?

When you say reading group, what does that mean to you? For me, guided reading is a small group at my horse shoe table with me and flexible seating doesn't come into play, but alternative seating does.

Dig?
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Old 07-02-2016, 08:14 AM
 
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AddieJ - I am right there with you. This past year I had such an amazing group that I regret not taking the leap. They were able to handle almost anything. The things I did introduce, that were new to me, went over well. I am nervous though, also, because I don't know what next year will bring.
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Old 07-02-2016, 09:50 AM
 
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I *usually* have assigned spots on the rug and choice during group or center work. We have two ways we sit on the rug - on the numbers and around the perimeter. Usually the numbers are assigned and the perimeter is a choice. But some years they can't handle the choice or I have to specify boy/girl seating.

My work seating includes regular chairs, hokki stools, a floor table, standing table, and on the floor with a clipboard. Again, usually they can handle this. Last year, though - aye aye aye! - I had to assign almost all of my boys a seat because they just couldn't handle the freedom. I hated having to do it but we would not have gotten anything done if I hadn't. Other years, though, I have loved having flexible seating and the kids really rise to it and are more productive. This year I'm also introducing a table with slanted tops, so I'm excited to see if they like it! I know for kids that struggle with the actual physical process of writing it's supposed to be helpful - we shall see!

As for my group, I sit at the horseshoe table with both hokki stools and regular chairs. Sometimes the movement of the hokki stools drives me a little batty, though, and I have to bring over the regular chairs. Depends on the group and my mood!

All of my seating is available from day one except the floor. That I allow a little later when we have our routines more firmly in place. I wish I had a few more options (like beanbags or something) but my room is so tiny that there's no room. I am on the lookout for those wal-mart scoop chairs, though, so if I find some I'm going to try them!
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snack...
Old 07-02-2016, 10:15 AM
 
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How do you do snack time? Everyone find a spot at a table?

In the past, everyone has an assigned table spot sitting on the floor. (After spring break I bring in the chairs) However during any work time, I would say I have flexible seating.
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Old 07-03-2016, 08:27 AM
 
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I used assigned seats at the tables to start the day so substitutes can use the seating chart to take attendance. Students may sit with friends at other tables before the bell rings, but they must be in their assigned seat for attendance.

When I am doing a whole group lesson, students have assigned seats on the carpet. I pair students so they can help each other. The partnerships change depending on the subject. When I have them sit on the perimeter like PP, they choose where they want to sit.

Once I introduce a lesson during whole group, students can choose where they want to work. I use flexible seating during other times like writing, math stations, D5 time and free-choice center time. i.e. During writing, students can work at a table, take a clipboard to work on the carpet, work at the table for science or housekeeping. During D5, students can sit on the little couch to read, grab a reading dot (round placemats I found at Walmart for $1.00) and pick a spot on the floor, sit at the table in the housekeeping area, sit at the science table or sit on the carpet. The stipulation is that the students are not to sit next to the small group table when I am working with students.

For alternative seating, I have a noodle chair, 3 plastic molded chairs and a chair with bungee cord wrapped around the front legs for students to put their feet to bounce them up and down.
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Old 07-03-2016, 08:28 AM
 
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[Sbkangas5, where did you get your standing table? I would like to try that. The idea of a slanted table sounds interesting, too. I have used sturdy binders as "slant boards" in the past, but slanted tables sounds like a good idea. Are you able to adjust from a flat table to a slanted table?
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Old 07-05-2016, 02:27 PM
 
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My standing table is just a table (or maybe it's a two person desk?) that I raised up as far as it goes, which is perfect for kinders!

As for the slanted table, I had it funded through donor's choose right at the end of the year so I don't even have it yet. But I don't think it adjusts. I'm interested to see if I like it - we do a lot of art projects and it may not work well for that (I'm not exactly sure of the top size), so I'm not getting rid of my flat table yet. We shall see!
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Old 07-17-2016, 05:57 PM
 
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I put names on chairs, then I can move them easily around (I have several tables in the classroom).
My kindergartners know to find their chair in the morning and remember where it is, because that's their spot at the table for the rest of the day (usually multiple days). This makes it really easy to move kids who are having/causing problems to a new spot at a moment's notice. Even if they forget their spot, we can usually figure it out by asking the kids around them, and if not? It's not a big deal.

To be honest, for the most part, I don't really care where that chair is in the morning, as long as kids who are going to talk constantly aren't by each other (sometimes they rearrange the chairs during free play at the end of school). I usually don't even check, or just do a brief check of where specific kids are. I like that the kids are shuffled around, it helps build a greater sense of common community, rather than best friends.

I might change that this year, and when I have a class that needs specific spots to get along, I assign spots, but the truth is, I don't really stress about this particular issue. When I had a super chatty group I had to do a little bit of arrangement, and when I had a more argumentative class I would assign them table (like kid A and kid B have to sit at separate tables, or boys and girls have to alternate)

I can't do totally flexible seating because we have snack and lunch in the classroom and everybody needs a spot. When we go to centers, or a pull a small group, it doesn't really matter what chair they grab to sit in, as long as they do it quickly and without fuss.
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