#MyFavFriday: Loving the Internet & Seating Chart Heaven

MFFIn the past when we needed help, or needed a fresh idea…what did we do without the internet? without Twitter Tweeps to ask? without blogs to search?  I am continuously amazed at the resources that the MathTwitterBlogosphere puts out there for all to use.

My current example of how awesome you all are:
Due to the implementation of the Common Core in my school this year, we are also working on cooperative learning and putting more of the ownership of learning on the students.  I love all of this, but my 8th grade students DO NOT know how to effectively work together.  It’s been a long first half of the year teaching them how to work together and I hope it gets easier. (Anyone with helpful ideas, please share!)  My favorite comment from a student earlier in the year when I moved the desks from groups of 4 to rows for the quarter final…”can we just stay in rows, I like that so much better.” It made me laugh because all of last year the students didn’t like sitting in pairs and would have loved to sit in groups…they were such a social group.

At the start of the year, with my desks in groups of four for the first time in my teaching career, I never created a seating chart on paper that I liked.  Our gradebook program, while it does have a seating chart option, does not and will not fit all of the desks I need in the right spots, so all it does is confuse a sub (& sometimes myself).  So I have to create it on my own.  A teacher at my school shared the seating chart word document he created and I was just using that the first two quarters.  The problem was it just had boxes for names, nothing for attendance or assignments or behavior.  I would use a different color pen each day and create a key at the bottom of the chart to keep track of it all.  It didn’t work so well, or at least as well as I had hoped.

Enter my desire to find the perfect seating chart (or at least the perfect one for now). I searched online and in an images search came across this beautiful picture of joyous desks with boxes for all that I needed.  Low and behold, the image comes from another math blogger and it was from 2008!!! How did I not find this before? Thank you Ms. J at Sines of Learning for your awesome creation! You can find her blog post here: http://sinesoflearning.blogspot.com/2008/10/seating-charts.html

Sadly I needed a different layout and many more desks because I have 9 groups.  Enter my evening messing with Ms. J’s graphics and creating my seating chart in powerpoint. Check it out below:

I added numbers to my groups because that’s how I have them labeled in class and I added grouping numbers and letters to the desks as well.  I do also have those taped to the desks for the students, but I thought I might like it on my seating charts.  I used some of my fun fonts and love the way it turned out.

Similar to @gwaddellnvhs and his #MyFavFriday post about Pens (http://blog.mrwaddell.net/archives/673), I created new groups for the new quarter and used my favorite pen to write in the names for easy copying so I can have enough sheets for the 6 weeks we will be in groups. What is it with teachers and pens? 🙂

I am looking forward to the new quarter, new groups and a fun start with my shiny new seating charts! Yeah!

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