Classroom Seating

Classroom Seating System Example

Changing the seating arrangement often and having students work with new peers can support the development of community in your classroom.

Steps for Setup of System

  1. Create a system to display new seating that is easy to use.
  2. Determine the desk arrangement (groups are beneficial for building community).
  3. On a SMART board or similar digital file, have a visual of the desk arrangement in your classroom.
  4. Use the digital file, and save the seating versions from week to week to keep track of where students sat.
  5. Keep the desk groups in the same spot in your classroom, so it is just a matter of moving their names on the digital file.
  6. Determine how often you want to change seating and stick to that.
    • Consider changing weekly, but do what is most feasible for you.
    • Students accept and adjust to the schedule quite easily.
  7. Be purposeful in your seating arrangement
    • Put friends together so that they can learn to sit by each other and still pay attention.
    • Put students together that don’t know each other well to endorse development of new friendships.
    • Put students with varied skill levels together so that they can learn from each other.

Teaching the System

  1. Describe the seating system to students
  2. Be consistent with when and how often you change the seating.
    • Consider doing it mid-day (when they return from lunch/recess)
      • Change the seating arrangement at the end of every week.
      • Students can clean their desks prior to lunch/recess.
      • When they return from recess the new seating arrangement can posted on the digital display
      • Students can move their supplies to their new seat.
    • When it is predictable and consistent this helps reduce any anxiety that students may have regarding a new seating arrangement.
  3. Explain expectations with working with their partner or in groups.
    • If they are with a friend this gives them an opportunity practice paying attention and not being distracted.
    • If they are with someone new this gives them an opportunity to meet a new person and learn how to work with someone they don’t know.

Benefits of this System

  1. Promotes development of relationships and friendships.
  2. Provides an opportunity for students to meet each other outside of their immediate friendship circle.
  3. Contributes to a sense of community.
  4. Helps with cleanliness of the classroom.