Looking for a Do-It-All Seating Chart?

I want to start by acknowledging this post firmly labels me as a hopeless teaching nerd and establishes the fact this blog, while practical, is just not cool. This Seating Chart Template is one of those teacher files I stole years ago (from Brent Maddon if you know him!) and have adapted. The grid to the left is roughly set up like the rows or groups in my classroom but it allows me to take attendance by looking at empty desks. I just draw a little line through the student names who are absent, if they show up I add another line (like an X but with out the top-left line) to show they were tardy.

I have a special little clipboard upon which I have one of these templates per period cliped. In addition to attendance, I will also use the template to track other items such as behavior (positive/negative), participation during class discussions, etc. I use the right-hand side to keep an alphabetical list of last, first names (which I’ve deleted) so I can also see grades for the week at a glance.  I really love this template because I can see attendance, behavior, and grades for the whole week at a glance. At the end of the week, I punch holes in them and pop them into a binder because it is super-smart to cover your bases with a physical paper trail (anyone else been traumatized by an electronic grade book that ate your grades?).

When students walk into my classroom I hand them a card with a number on it that corresponds to a desk. This way I can break up obvious friend pairs (in order for everyone to get to know each other better) as well as strategically position students who look like they might need a little more physical proximity to me. Then I pass a list around and they write their name next to the number they picked up so I can build a seating chart for the first couple of weeks from the list. I typically rotate seats every 3 weeks to keep it fresh as well as make strategic seating assignments given academic performance and/or behavior.

Additionally, a seating chart like this can be really helpful for when a colleague or coach is observing you. Have them watch an entire lesson and put a ? on the student’s name when they ask a question, a + when they provide an answer or contribute positively and a – when they are audibly disruptive or off-task. Put a check mark every time you (the teacher) specifically address a student. It is incredibly enlightening to see a record of your classroom in this manner.

Any one else have a seating chart they love?

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4 thoughts on “Looking for a Do-It-All Seating Chart?

  1. Chrissy says:

    My cooperating teacher also used a chart to record absences/tardies. The difference was that we had them in a binder, and flipped them over each period. In the binder there were two pages that faced each other and the binder sat horizontally on a podium at the front of the class. This way, when the binder was open you had a seating chart above (in a page protector) and two weeks of presence/absence/tardy info below. These could also be used to record expected absences as they came in, and in our case (a multi-district career tech HS) we recorded small bits of info, such as home district or program. This was useful when some, but not all, of the students were out for a calamity day or program-specific field trip. And yes, we saved them all!

  2. John says:

    this seating chart is 7.3 times better than the one i was using!

  3. […] I check each of these at the door as they leave and jot down on my all-in-one seating chart (click here to see it) who I need to come back to or what trends I […]

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