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Musical Chairs

It took three tries, but I finally rearranged my seating chart. It’s amazing how the seemingly simplest tasks can require so much thought. The goal is basic enough. I need to somehow seat 28 students in a way that they can all do their best work. The actual process is more complex.

A seating chart accounts for several factors. First, who are the top performing students? I try to spread them out so they can act as helpers at each table. Next, who are the behavioral problems? I try to spread them out too. Depending on your perspective, I do this to surround them with positive role models, or just to minimize their damage. Finally, who are the students who get along and who are the students who do not get along?

Once I’ve weighed each of these factors, I’m ready to create a seating chart. But, wait, did I make sure to put the students who don’t speak English near other students who will be helpful? Did I make sure I’ll be able to keep an eye on a student who is easily distracted while I’m doing guided reading? Did I do a decent job mixing girls and boys together?

In the end, it’s practically a miracle it only took me three tries to put my seating chart together. Then again, this was all theoretical. Tomorrow it will be really interesting when I get to see how the arrangements work out in real life.

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