Friday, February 10, 2012

Principles of Arranging Students' Seats

In my last two post (first post & second), I described how I arranged the new seating of the students. I did not describe my rationale for the new seating arrangement in either of those posts. I could give a reason for why I seated every single student the way that I did. However, I think that would lead to a lengthy post and be boring for you. Instead, I will just explain the principles that I intentionally followed to arrange the new seating of the students as I did. You may not necessarily agree with or wish to abide by the same principles that I was abiding by, but nonetheless, they are the principles I was following.

#1: Don't allow friends to sit in the same group or in neighboring seats.
- I was following this principle because generally, at least in 3rd grade, friends do not work well together. They spend a lot of time distracting each other. When they distract each other, it distracts me. And, that means that the lesson stops.

#2: Have the easily distracted students sit up front.
- When my 3rd grade students are distracted, they are usually doing things like drawing, making stuff, or reading a book that is not appropriate for the lesson at hand. It is easier for me to notice that they are distracted when they are sitting closer to me.

#3: Each student group must have at least one "high" student.
- When I say that each student group must have at least one "high" student, I mean either academically or behaviorally. They could be super proficient in Math, English, or both. Let's say that a student does moderately well with respect to both subjects but is super focused on getting work done. That's what I mean by behaviorally "high." There are at least two points to having at least one "high" student in each group. Having at least one "high" student in each group serves as a kind of anchor for each group in terms of their level of focus. It's been my experience that generally the students who do well in school also happen to be the ones that are not only focused, but they want more responsibility and more ways to feel more valuable. One such way is by tutoring other students (such as those in their group) in subject that those students struggle in or by merely redirecting them to the task at hand.

#4: Have special ed students sitting close to front.
- This is just a form of accommodation for the special ed students. This allows them to be as close as possible to the teacher so to receive help as quickly as can be given. Also, it makes everything on the whiteboard and under the docucam more visible.

#5: No students who sat with each other before will sit with each other again.
- If you've read my previous posts, then you should already be aware of this principle. The point of this principle is to increase their experience with working with others rather than getting too used to any one student or group of students.

And, those are about the only principles I can name which guided my decisions for the seating arrangement that I arrived at.

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