When it comes to seating arrangements in my classroom I'm a groups/pods/tables/etc. kind of teacher. I try to instill in my students a sense of collaboration and teamwork. I love when they work together to solve problems and enjoy seeing students helping and supporting one another. The only issue I find with groups is that I tend to only have the students work with those in their group. I hate deciding who is going to work with who and I needed to find a different way to do things.

A fellow coworker of mine numbers her desks, this way when it is time to assign students to a seat she gives them a number and they find their desk rather than trying to give them directions to their desk which they inevitably never locate correctly. So I decided to do that this year, but being the teacher that I am I had to make it different and my own (not that there was anything wrong with her method, but she's an English teacher so she didn't see the Math possibilities behind this genius idea).

Here is what I did…

I have 24 desks in my room and I put them into 6 groups of 4 desks. Each desk is numbered 1-24 using a blue, green, red, purple pattern (repeated for all 6 groups). I then created a seating chart like I normally would but put their number and color in each box. I made sure that for each of my classes I had the same number of kids sitting in each color seat.

On the 1st day of school, I always greet the students in the hallway making sure they are in the right class and helping others find their way around. HERE IS THE MATH BEHIND THIS GENIUS IDEA!! This year I will be giving each of my students an index card that has a math problem on it with their name. The answer to their problem lets them know what number desk they are assigned to. I'm excited about starting with math as soon as they walk in the door! I differentiated the problems on the cards based on the ability level of my students (the ones I've had before) I focused on solving linear equations but for my freshmen I gave them Order of Operation problems since this is a skill I know their former teacher was working on with them. Some of my other ideas to shake up my groups is to have them work with their same color peers, maybe do even and odds, greens with purples and reds with blues, etc. Can't wait to see how this goes on Wednesday for our 1st day of school!

This is a great idea! I love using both colors and numbers because then in the future you can say all green desk numbers move two groups over or something like that. I totally want to steal this idea...Thank you for sharing!

ReplyDeleteSteal away! There are so many different ways that you can group kids with this method. I've only had it like this for 2 days now and already I'm loving it.

DeleteThe color coding is great! "Greens please come pick up the handout" "reds go get rulers for your group"

ReplyDeleteI never thought about having their specific color be a "role" within the group. LOVE IT :) Thanks for the suggestion, I think I'm going to do exactly what you said.

DeleteVery good written article. It will be helpful to anyone who uses it, including yours truly. Keep up the good work – for sure i will check out more posts.

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