Reserved Seating: How To Make Seating Charts Fun
Author: Jessica Johnson | MTR Coach and Director of Development
Caitlyn Kennedy, Melrose High School English teacher and MTR Graduate, created a seating chart like the one above to keep track of where everyone is sitting and—without opening her computer or taking out a pen—to make adjustments as needed.
Here’s how to do it:
Create a diagram of the desks in your classroom. You can do this with text boxes in a word processor, a pencil and graph paper, page layout software, or some other means. Make a photocopy for each class period and label the copies for each class period (e.g., 1st period, 2nd period).
For each class period, write each student’s name on a Post-It flag using a permanent marker like a Sharpie. Place each student’s Post-It flag on his/her seat. You can move Post-Its around as you experiment with whom you should seat where.
Slide the seating chart into a sheet protector. Make a photocopy for your co-teacher, coach, substitute teachers, or anyone else who needs to know who is sitting where.
When you want to move a student, simply move the Post-It flag.
When you want to form groups, you can easily have students look at the label on their desks (e.g., A1, E4, etc.) and form either a letter group (e.g., a group including students sitting in desks A1, A2, A3, and A4) or a number group (e.g., a group of students sitting in A1, B1, C1, etc.).
Overheard in English teacher Meg Ryan’s class when a new seating chart was posted on the projector: A student walked in and said, “Reserved seating. I like it.” Love this student’s positive framing! She knew Ms. Ryan had planned a great classroom environment with attention to each student. Assigned seats aren’t so appealing, but reserved seating makes me think I’m walking into a Grizzlies game! You can use the term “reserved seating” with your students too.