Tried-It Tuesday: Class Charts Seating Website

Hello friends!
Today I'm linking up with my dear bud, Holly, to share an idea for her "Tried-It Tuesday" linky party:
http://www.fourthgradeflipper.blogspot.com/2014/01/tried-it-tuesday-book-flix-and-true-flix.html
Class Seating Arrangement makes such a huge difference in the classroom.
I change up my seats often - usually every third week. Sometimes we move desks, but keep the same arrangement. Other times we switch the arrangement around completely.
I do this for a number of reasons:
1. It allows the students to work with a variety of classmates
2. Table groups/Partners can only sit together for so long before conflict arises
3. It gives students different views of the classroom
4. I like to mix it up for our Team Challenge Competition.
 
How often do you change seats? The teacher next to me changes seats only once a quarter and the teacher across the hall has the same desk arrangement for the entire year. It's up to the teacher's style, preference, and group of kids.
 
A couple weeks ago I was introduced to a really cool website - Class Charts - that allows you to create different seating charts. It wasn't until I discovered the science behind their website, though, that I was really impressed. Class Charts doesn't just allow you to plug in student names and drop them in different desks around the classroom - it allows you place to enter student data and then designs classroom set-ups that will best support and challenge your students.
 
Here's some info from Class Charts:
 Classroom Seating Charts vs. Student Impact
Seating charts make a real difference to the classroom learning environment in terms of teacher effectiveness and student achievement. By using a seating chart the teacher is imposing their authority and showing the students that the classroom is in their control. By using their knowledge of students and putting careful thought into the design of the seating chart, the teacher can minimize negative interactions between students and take advantage of peer-peer learning strategies.
 In terms of student achievement, there is always a concern that the lower ability students have a negative impact on the achievement of the high ability students. A study at Montana State University looked at the impact of seating charts on student results in Montana State’s Criterion Reference Tests (CRTs).The research clearly shows a huge achievement increase for the lower ability students with no detrimental impact on the high ability students, as shown in the chart below:
 

 
 
 
Background story from the creator of ClassCharts: 
I have been teaching science & ICT for over 16 years and during this time I have used seating charts for all classes 6th-12th grade.  As a teacher, I went through the usual inspection regimes and always tried to do something a little bit extra to impress the inspectors. For the last inspection, I shared the concept of adding photos and key data to seating charts and this was taken up whole school. The Assistant principle and an administrator slaved for hours with excel and power point creating a seating charts and adding data for each class in the school (with 50 teachers that meant around 800 power point slides.) It was a lot of work but because the teachers were aware of students’ needs and abilities the approach was identified as an outstanding practice.

The above thoughts and research led us to consider how we could develop seating charts into a useful and effective classroom tool and we came up with:
  •         Adding student photos – names matter!
  •          Adding key data about students so teachers are aware of student needs and abilities at a glance.
  •          Using seating charts for effective differentiation – easily grouping or dispersing students in the classroom based on the data about them. For example – grouping the low ability readers for LSA support or differentiation work.
  •          Monitoring behavior and using the data in an intelligent way. All behaviour incidents are tracked and we use artificial intelligence to identify trends and patterns – all of this feeds back into the seating charts to minimize behavior issues and maximize learning.
  •          Finding which students interact positively / negatively with each other and making school leaders aware of this for when they decide class lists.
  •          Collaborating with colleagues & parents to tackle behavior as a team.
We built Class Charts from the perspective of a teacher with 16 years experience at the chalk-face.  We combine easy to use seating charts with stream-lined behavior management to improve student behavior. Feedback has been superb. Since our launch in January 2013 it is already being used by 60,000 teachers and 2 million students world -wide.
How to Connect with ClassCharts:
Product Website: www.classcharts.com
Company Website: www.edukey.co.uk
Twitter: @classcharts
Facebook: www.facebook.com/classcharts

Check out Class Charts - you won't be sorry! :)

2 comments :

  1. Thanks for the info! I will have to check this out. How often I move seats depends on my class. My class this year struggles a bit with self-control, so some students have sat in the same seat or area all year. Once I find something that works, I don't want to mess with it. On the other hand, some of my students have been moved quite a bit, as I keep looking for that perfect spot for them. I used to move my seats once a quarter, but it sure is a juggling trick when you have a certain dynamic going on.

    Stephanie
    Forever in Fifth Grade

    ReplyDelete
  2. I HATE making seating charts. Like Stephanie, I only move kids that have difficulties in their current spot. It's probably my least favorite thing to do :( Off to check out the site!

    ReplyDelete

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