Reflection: Classroom Setup First Day of School - Section 1: Taking Attendance the Easy Way

 

My classroom is set up in groups of four.  Sometimes I refer to the groups as groups and other times, I refer to them as pods. I do not allow students, especially on they first day of school to pick any seat they want for a variety of reasons.

By assigning students to a desk, I can minimize the back of the room phenomenon.  I immediately get them used to the idea that there will be assigned seats in my class. The last reason I assign students is so that I can easily create a seating chart to help me learn names.  That's quite possibly the most important reason! I have a hard enough time learning names, if they're not sitting in the same seats for at least the first week, it's all over for me.

So how do I give them choice?  Instead of numbering every single desk, I number each group of desks. Then I write then umber of each group four times, once for every desk in the group.  When students enter, I tell them to sit at one of the desks within that group.  They do have some choice in that they can choose which of the four desks to sit in.  This matches my philosophy about students and choice--students need structure and choice, but you have to give them choices within a larger structure.

  Seating Charts and Choice
  Classroom Setup: Seating Charts and Choice
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First Day of School

Unit 1: Laying the Foundations: Teaching Routines, Procedures, and Expectations through Authentic Activities
Lesson 1 of 11

Objective: Students will be able to determine main ideas in a letter by reading, writing, and discussing letters from last year's seventh graders.

Big Idea: Rules, rules everywhere, but what in the world is this year going to be like?

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